Robert Fitzpatrick the ex-FBI agent who worked in Boston as the assistant agent in charge was wrongfully indicted on April 28,2015 by a Boston federal grand jury in an indictment signed by Fred Wyshak . If ever an action showed meanness, pettiness, and abuse of prosecutorial power for one’s personal ends this is it. Coincidentally it became public yesterday on the same day I wrote about the injudicious use of power by Boston U.S. attorney Carmen Ortez providing a further example of an office that is out of control.
The indictment was returned on April 28,2015. Fitzpatrick did not have the courtesy of being treated with dignity for he was unnecessarily arrested and brought before the court in handcuffs. He had served 21 years as an FBI agent. Treating him like that is a small indication of the malice Wyshak can demonstrate to people he does not like something akin to what Vladimir Putin does. This has nothing to do with justice or performing the work of a prosecutor, it is a naked brutal act of unrestrained power to hurt a good man who has done nothing wrong except testify to what he believed to be the truth.
Fitzpatrick is charged with perjury and for each charge of perjury he is also accused of obstruction of justice. This again is one of the novel tricks by Wyshak by stretching one criminal act into a different one for the purpose of increasing the sentence; he usually does this by invoking the racketeering statute but unable to find others in league with Fitzpatrick he was only able to turn the perjury into an obstruction of justice.
The indictment by the grand jurors who are little more than rubber stamps for the federals set out the background by talking about Fitzpatrick’s time as an agent (1965 – 1986); his time in Boston (late 1980 to May 1986) Whitey Bulger’s years as an informant (1975 to 1990). The first indication that Wyshak has gone over the edge is when he describes Whitey saying he operated an organized crime group “known by various names including “the Winter Hill Gang” and “South Boston”.”
No one ever testified South Boston was an organized crime group. There was no organized crime group “South Boston” except in Wyshak’s erratic mind. South Boston is a section of the city. Whitey was from South Boston, most of the others in the gang were not. This is another attempt by Wyshak to demean and slander the people who live in South Boston. It continues his inexplicable obsession with it; when asked where former FBI agent Connolly went wrong he said he was too close to South Boston.
The specific acts of perjury that are charged are that Fitzpatrick said he was sent as assistant agent in charge to the Boston FBI office by an assistant director of the FBI with special instruction to clean up a problem there. The indictment alleges he received no such instruction and his transfer was routine. This is hardly material to the issues at trial and will require a “he said, she said” type of dispute. Every witness in the history of time could be indicted for such especially in divorce actions.
The next act is his statement that Whitey denied to him that he was an informant. The indictment alleges Whitey never made that denial to Fitzpatrick. This is a one-on-one conversation between Whitey and Fitzpatrick; how can it be proven. Perhaps, Wyshak will squeeze some witness like John Morris or Jim Ring, two former FBI agents who to save themselves have proven willing to go along with Wyshak’s view of the world to say Fitzpatrick told them something different. Wyshak is good with the hearsay evidence from cooperating witnesses but in truth there is no way he can prove this unless he is now going to make a deal with Whitey to get Fitzpatrick.
But even if Whitey testified against Fitzpatrick after being given one of Wyshak’s deals whether Whitey was an informant or not has no material bearing on the issues in the case. Defense counsel for Whitey threw a monkey into the case by alleging Whitey was not an informant and Wyshak fell for it and has been chasing it ever since. To be perjury a matter must be material to the charges and Whitey’s status though it consumed many trial dates was not something the jury had to consider.
The next act of perjury charged is he testified he gave a report recommending Whitey be closed out to SAC Sarhatt and he continued to recommend to others he be closed out. Here again none of this is material to the charges against Whitey; here again it is a “he said/ she said.” The usual Wyshak cooperating witnesses will come in and deny this. Keep in mind this is a side issue to the murders, guns, extortions, and other charges against Whitey.
The next act is that Fitzpatrick denied he was reduced in grade “because of charges related to an investigation into a shooting incident.” The indictment alleges he was demoted due to false reports he filed in the investigating incident and not because of retaliation against him. This is pure nonsense. Here’s why. To be perjury a person must believe he is lying; Fitzpatrick believes he was retaliated against by the FBI (there’s little doubt that is the case). Even if the FBI can show he filed a false report that does not make it perjury; proving a fact is X does not make a witness testifying it is Y a perjury if the witness believes it is Y.
The next two acts, one where Fitzpatrick said he arrested Gerry Angiulo (he was in charge of the arresting team while Ed Quinn the case agent made the actual arrest) and that he found the rifle used to kill Martin Luther King (it was found by others but he took custody of it for the FBI) at best are a bit of hyperbole that have nothing to do with the material evidence in the case but are just background evidence. it’s like indicting a person who said he grew up in Savin Hill when he actually came from Fields Corner; or one who said he won a Purple Heart in Vietnam when he really didn’t.
Such an indictment is not only petty it is plainly wrong especially considering the actions of Fitzpatrick are almost two years old, had no adverse impact on anything, and his testimony is the same as what he wrote in a book prior to the trial. When Fitzpatrick was testifying he said his book was a “memoir.” It is how he remembers things. If his memory does not comport with the facts but he believes his memory is true then his testimony is not perjury. This is elementary. Any first year prosecutor knows that.
This indictment show the horror of prosecutorial power that is unrestrained. Fitzpatrick grew up under hard circumstances, pulled himself together, went to college, served in the Army, and accomplished his life-long dream of becoming an FBI agent where he served 21 years rising to the position of assistant agent in charge of a major office.
Fitzpatrick is in his seventies. This is a crushing burden on a guy of that age not only financially but mentally. Everyone (especially FBI agents if any have courage) should be outraged at this action. It is so out of line I’d hope the new Attorney General Loretta Lynch spots it and puts an end to the horror since Boston’s Ortez seems incapable of controlling Wyshak.
The big question is what is Wyshak’s motive aside from pure revenge for this action. By the way, Fitzpatrick and I have had our differences which are spelled out in earlier communications on this blog between us. I might view things differently than he does but I have never doubted he believes what he has asserted. The little I know about the man is that he is a fighter and he will not be cowed by Wyshak’s indictment. I wish him the best in this unwarranted assault upon him in his late years and will write him offering my encouragement.
In a way, though, I welcome the indictment. It pulls away the curtain Wyshak hides behind. It shows beyond a shadow of a doubt the true character of Wyshak as a petty, vindictive and vain man incapable of understanding the concept of fairness or justice. He and those like him have been in power way too long.
I hope to explore this more next week because this action is so far out of the norm it must be explored.