Trooper with local ties stands up to Mass. State Police

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The head of the Massachusetts State Police abruptly retired on Friday and the state attorney general’s office has launched an investigation following an explosive allegation of special treatment and possible conspiracy in a case involving a judge’s daughter and a young state trooper who was reportedly just trying to do the right thing.

Ryan Sceviour

Ryan Sceviour

Trooper Ryan Sceviour, 29, a Canton native, CHS graduate and a former Canton Police officer, made headlines across the country last week after the Boston Globe, following up on an initial exposé by Worcester area online blog Turtleboy Sports, reported that Sceviour was suing the State Police and his commanders for forcing him to unlawfully alter a police report and for unfairly reprimanding him. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court and alleges that the actions of Sceviour’s superiors have caused damage to his job security and his reputation as well as “severe emotional distress.”

The controversy stems from Sceviour’s police report detailing the October 16 arrest of Alli Bibaud — daughter of Dudley District Court Judge Timothy Bibaud — who was charged with operating under the influence of alcohol and drugs and various other motor vehicle offenses after crashing her car into a guardrail on Interstate 190 in Worcester. Sceviour, in his original report, noted that Bibaud appeared to be severely intoxicated and that she had offered him sex in exchange for leniency. He also included her claims that her father was a judge and that he was going to be furious with her when he found out about the arrest.

Sceviour, according to the lawsuit and by the State Police’s own admission, was subsequently ordered to remove certain portions of his original report that were deemed to be “inflammatory” and then told that he would be receiving a formal reprimand for including “negative and derogatory statements” attributable to Bibaud in his arrest report.

The punishment, according to the complaint, was doled out by his superiors at the Holden barracks after he was ordered to report there on his day off. The complaint cites a series of voicemails from Lt. James Fogarty indicating that the order to appear at the barracks came directly from the MSP superintendent himself — the since retired Col. Richard McKeon — and involved an “extremely important” matter regarding the arrest of a “judge’s daughter.”

Pertaining to the discipline Sceviour received, the lawsuit indicates that he was told by two superiors, Lt. Fogarty and Major Susan Anderson, that he had done “nothing wrong” and that they were simply following orders from above.

Sceviour, according to the lawsuit, was then presented with a marked-up copy of his original report and instructed by Major Anderson to sign off on the changes. After initially refusing to do so on the grounds that it would be “morally vacant,” Sceviour then reluctantly complied after he was told that failing to follow a direct order could result in further discipline and possible discharge. He was then ordered to deliver the amended report to Worcester District Court into the awaiting hands of ADA Jeffrey Travers.

The lawsuit further alleges that the conduct of “Col. McKeon, Major Anderson and others” amounted to conspiracy and that they had “agreed to arrange to have the original report surreptitiously removed from the court file and to replace it with the altered report.” However, Sceviour insisted on noting in the report that it had been revised, and the altered report was never put into the court file.

Reached by telephone on Tuesday, Sceviour’s attorney, Lenny Kesten, said his client deserves an award for his actions and for showing tremendous courage in the face of intimidation and coercion.

“He insisted on writing on it that it was amended,” Kesten said. “He would not give a report that appeared to be an original.”

“He had the bravery when he was sitting there with the major to say he wouldn’t do it,” Kesten added. “Here he is, his lifelong dream was to be a trooper. He’s a little over a year [on the job] and he’s being told that the highest people want to do this and he says no. To me, he’s a hero and I think he’s incredibly brave.”

Kesten said that Sceviour has received unanimous support from his fellow troopers as well as from the broader law enforcement community since the news of his lawsuit broke last week. At the same time, he noted that there are people involved, particularly superiors of Sceviour’s, who remain in positions of power and deserve to be “outed” for their offenses.

“Our intention,” he said, “is to expose the whole thing and see who did what so it never happens again to another trooper and Ryan can have a good career, as he should.”

In addition to Sceviour, Kesten is also representing Trooper Ali Rei, a drug recognition expert who administered a drug test to Bibaud on the night of her arrest. On Friday, Rei filed a federal lawsuit alleging that she was ordered by her superiors to shred her log entries in an administrative journal pertaining to the arrest and to redact from her report crude statements allegedly made by Bibaud.

In announcing his retirement on Friday as head of the State Police, Col. McKeon, a 35-year veteran of the agency, acknowledged the “public controversy” over his office’s handling of the Bibaud case, but defended his decision to “instruct subordinates to focus the arrest report on information relevant to the charges,” claiming that he has given that instruction “more times than [he] can remember,” particularly in cases involving drug addiction.

“In our law enforcement role,” McKeon wrote, “our first duty is to enforce the law and protect the public, but that doesn’t preclude us from being empathetic toward those in need.”

Governor Charlie Baker, through a spokesperson, thanked McKeon for his service but acknowledged that he “made a mistake” by getting involved in the Bibaud case. Baker had previously pledged a “significant review” of the allegations made by Sceviour and Rei, although Kesten said the investigation effectively ended less than 24 hours later with the retirement of McKeon.

In the meantime, there are indications in the court filings that the alleged controversy could go as far up the chain as Daniel Bennett, the secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, who was named as the person who instructed McKeon to have Sceviour’s police report altered. Bennett has vehemently denied any involvement in the matter, and Governor Baker has also publicly come to the defense of his cabinet appointee.

As for Judge Timothy Bibaud, Kesten said he has done his own background work and has thus far found no direct evidence that the judge was involved in any conspiracy pertaining to his daughter’s arrest.

Several of the players involved do have a history together, however, with Bibaud, McKeon and Bennett all having previously worked for the Worcester DA’s office.

Kesten would not speculate on the reason that several high-ranking law enforcement officials would be involved in a case such as this, although he is confident that the full truth will be uncovered in court.

“That’s why we filed the lawsuit,” he said. “To get to the bottom of who did what.”

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