Over the past few years, Massachusetts newspaper reporters have written numerous articles regarding the lack of transparency within Bay State law enforcement; specifically their propensity to withhold public records. But a more abominable trend currently exists: In Pittsfield Massachusetts, when police officials are legally forced to release public records — documents containing scandalous information they wish to conceal — records are covertly forged, then released.
Attached to this post is a PDF file, consisting of seven Pittsfield Police Department attendance rosters, dated February 23, 2005 through March 1, 2005. The documents are complete forgeries, created by someone within the department for the specific purpose of protecting three individuals who are responsible for illicit activity conducted during a criminal investigation.
In 2010, written requests for the attendance rosters were submitted to both the Pittsfield acting police chief and the city’s management information manager; pursuant to Chapter 66, Section 10, of the Massachusetts General Laws regarding the timely release of public records. Both correspondences respectfully reminded recipients that the requested information must be released within 10 days, or a written explanation must be provided.
After the written requests went ignored, a Complaint for Judicial Review was filed. Subsequent to this filing, Pittsfield police administration was forced to release the attendance rosters. No longer able to conceal the shifts/hours worked by the three individuals in question, bogus attendance rosters were created. But in the haste to create forgeries, three pertinent details were inadvertently overlooked:
(1) Attendance rosters dated Wednesday, February 23, 2005 through Friday, March 1, 2005 should list Anthony Riello as the police chief. Riello was chief of the Pittsfield Police Department from 1996 until November 30, 2007. The rosters I received mistakingly list Michael Wynn as the police chief in 2005. One problem: Wynn didn’t take the reins until December of 2007, when he was assigned the auspicious title of Captain in Charge.
(2) Numerous Berkshire District Court documents, Pittsfield police reports, and Berkshire Superior Court trial transcript excerpts clearly establish that Detective James Casey, Inspector Mark Trapani, and Detective James Stimpson experienced a very busy work week from February 23, 2005 through March 1, 2005, yet their names are missing from the seven attendance rosters!
(3) A September 14, 2010 letter from Pittsfield Police Administrative Services Captain John Mullin, accedes to the fact that he must legally release copies of attendance rosters dated February 23, 2005 through March 1, 2005. Mullin’s letter goes on to state that, prior to searching for these rosters, the department must receive an $8.00 check or money order to cover the records search/copying fee. So legitimate rosters would have a print date subsequent to his September 14, 2010 correspondence. But the rosters I received have a print stamp date of 08/16/2010. How can documents be printed a month before they’re searched for?
Apparently, various and sundry attendance roster sheets were carelessly amalgamated to create the illusion of valid documents. Only someone with proper clearance and authority could have orchestrated the doctoring of departmental attendance records. Motive for the forgeries stems from concern that disreputable activity conducted by James Casey, Mark Trapani, and James Stimpson would be publicly exposed by private investigators; one of whom is a retired Connecticut state trooper. Working in conjunction with a crime scene specialist, a veteran fingerprint analyst, and a forensic data recovery specialist, the investigators assembled irrefutable evidence regarding malfeasance within the Pittsfield Police Department.
This begs the question: In how many other criminal cases have Pittsfield Police Department records been forged, then released to the unsuspecting public?
Michael Wynn faced scrutiny in 2015 after a supposed, and all too convenient, hard drive failure destroyed an unknown quantity of Pittsfield Police Department records. Rather than investigate the matter, the district attorney colluded with Wynn to withhold the incident from the public. It was only by chance that a Boston reporter learned of the cover up. Here is a link to that story.
Sure the Pittsfield Police Department withholds public records
Sure the Pittsfield Police Department attempts to destroy public records
Sure the Pittsfield Police Department creates fake public records
But why not?
The political machine in Boston condones it.
Secretary of the Commonwealth, Bill Galvin even encourages it.