The two top Massachusetts State Police officials abruptly retired just days after a trooper filed a lawsuit claiming he was disciplined for not initially editing an arrest report on a judge’s daughter.
Col. Richard McKeon, who headed the force, and Deputy Superintendent Francis Hughes, the second-in-command, both left the police force on Tuesday. McKeon’s retirement came three days earlier than he had originally planned, The Boston Herald reported. He had announced his retirement last week as furor mounted over the arrest report and a lawsuit was filed by state trooper Ryan Sceviour.
In the suit, McKeon is accused of having passed down orders for the report on Alli Bibaud’s Oct. 16 arrest to be edited so that it didn’t embarrass the 30-year-old’s father, Timothy Bibaud, a district court judge in Dudley, Massachusetts.
Sceviour said that he and a second trooper, who approved the initial report, were disciplined for including Bibaud’s admissions of drug use, prostitution and an offer to exchange sex for leniency.
Daniel Bennett, the state’s secretary of public safety, is named in the suit as having made the initial editing request to McKeon, something that his office has denied to HuffPost.
Hughes wasn’t named in the lawsuit, though Sceviour’s attorney Leonard Kesten told the Herald that he is a “John Doe” in the court papers and is a “link in the case.
“The timing is very questionable,” Kesten said of the retirements. “They keep saying, ‘Nobody did anything wrong. It’s all routine.’ And then the top two just abruptly retired.”
Dana Pullman, president of the State Police Association of Massachusetts, told the Herald that the timing of the retirements is “like a murder-suicide.”
State police spokesman Dave Procopio told the news site that “traditionally, when a Colonel/Superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police leaves his or her position, the Deputy Superintendent resigns as well to allow a new Colonel to select a second-in-command of his or her own choosing.”
State police admitted in a statement to HuffPost last week that the arrest report was revised, but said supervisors are permitted to ask for changes and that such requests are “not unusual.”
The department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from HuffPost on Wednesday.