Watertown Police accused of arresting behavior

The Watertown Police Department – putting the “sex” back in Middlesex County.

The Watertown Police Department – putting the “sex” back in Middlesex County.

It’s a small town, Watertown, so small, in fact, that the police chief and the state rep are brothers.

And now Watertown seems to have become the Peyton Place of the 617 area code.

It’s all outlined in a lawsuit filed in Middlesex Superior Court by a former WPD detective, Kathleen E. Donohue, who is suing both the town and the Watertown Police Association.

Among her accusations: she had a five-year-long “sexual relationship” with now-Chief Michael Lawn beginning in 2009. He’s the brother of state Rep. John Lawn, a hack Democrat lifer who’s the chairman of some rubber-stamp committee at the State House.

“(Now-Chief Lawn) used the power of his position and isolation he knew Det. Donohue was experiencing to invite her to engage in an intimate relationship with him. She could not and did not resist,” the suit alleges.

The star-crossed WPD lovebirds continued, as the old song goes, livin’ here, lovin’ there, lyin’ in between.

“Lt. Lawn’s professional support for Det. Donohue waxed and waned with their relationship, which ended after his wife learned about it,” the suit states.

In some towns, that might be a problem. But not in Watertown. Nevertheless, after all the third-rate romances and low-rent rendezvouses ended, there were recriminations.

“For instance, one day in April of 2015, Lt. Lawn texted Det. Donohue, among other things, the following: ‘I’m (bleeping) out of my mind’; ‘You know what (bleep) off’; ‘Call your lawyer;’  ‘(Bleep) you;’ ‘Good bye, take me down. U don’t own me. Get that’; ‘I want u out of my life.’ He angrily told her that she had ruined his career,” the complaint states

That wasn’t true, of course. His brother John was and is the state rep from Watertown. In 2015, Chief Ed Deveau decided to retire. Deveau, by the way, also appears in Donohue’s complaint, in paragraph 57:

“On information and belief, Chief Deveau had himself participated in activities creating a hostile work environment for women WPD officers. On information and belief, his misconduct included his exposing himself to a woman officer as well as engaging in other forms of harassment and disparate treatment.”

In 2015, “seeking to protect himself and his future,” Lawn asked his boss, Capt. Thomas Rocca, to relieve him of his job running the detectives’ division.

“On information and belief, Capt. Rocca, as well as Lt. (James) O’Connor, knew of the relationship between Det. Donohue and Lt. Lawn. Lt. O’Connor and Lt. Lawn are cousins.”

Cousins? In Watertown? I told you it was a small town.

“In or around June 2015, Lt. O’Connor took over command of the Detectives’ Division from Lt. Lawn.”

Another nationwide search, cousin!

She no longer worked for him, but according to the lawsuit, the future chief “continued to disparage Det. Donohue in communications with her directly … His language continued to bear the mark of sexism and hostility: He wrote ‘(Bleep) u’; ‘Bitch’; ‘Go (bleep) yourself’ and phrases similar.”

Based on his stellar record, Lawn was soon promoted to chief.

In December 2016, the chief and his former gal pal “talked as both of them sat in their separate cars.”

The suit goes on: “His reaction was alarming: The Chief slammed his hands on the steering wheel of his vehicle, threw his cell phone on the floor, yelled at Det. Donohue and drove away.”

Well, as long as there were no hard feelings …

Donohue was basically forced out of the department, a process which her 36-page suit details at some length. As part of her complaint, she recounts what she says male WPD cops have gotten away with:

“Another male officer, during his tenure on the force, forged identities in order to obtain controlled substances illegally. On information and belief, he was not emergently suspended.”

“Another male officer lied directly to the Chief about being present on a detail when he was in fact getting a haircut. On information and belief, he was not emergently suspended.”

Who did these cops think they were, state troopers?

In paragraph 153 we meet still another cop at the Watertown Middle School who “was alleged to have engaged in inappropriate conduct towards a female staff member and female students. As alleged, this patrolman encouraged female students to cut class to sleep in his office, showed them a sexually charged video and an inappropriate internet site.

“It was further alleged that the patrolman spent time off campus with one student who was a victim of sexual abuse, gave her money, and encouraged her to call him ‘Daddy.’ That same officer was also alleged to have punched a student.”

Maybe the other student refused to call him Daddy. At any rate, that cop wasn’t fired, the suit alleges.

I called Chief Lawn Tuesday and left a message asking him if he wanted to comment on his alleged sexual relationship with Det. Donohue and all the other charges she made. He did not return the call.

I then called Rep. Lawn to ask him if he wanted to comment on the scandalous allegations his married brother’s ex-girlfriend was making against his brother the chief, and whether he thought it might be time for a good housecleaning at the Watertown PD.

Mr. Chairman likewise did not return my call.

Watertown – putting the “sex” back in Middlesex County.

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