How The Federals Create Crimes And Make Them Stick: Warning to All Public Employees in Massachusetts: Ask For A Lawyer (1 of 2)

DuckAnother sitting duck lost his job. By now I would think everyone employed in the public sector in Massachusetts should realize he is considered by federal prosecutors to be like those tin ducks at the carnival that go round and round and easily fall over when hit. There is very little crime in the area so to justify their jobs these prosecutors along with their FBI friends, who need to put out bulletins and keep up their statistics, are in the process of creating federal crimes.

The much vaunted and over populated federal public corruption unit in the Boston U.S. attorney’s office just brought down another probation officer to add to their statistics. He will plead guilty and get put on probation. The defendant has to agree to lose his job. Somehow the anti-corruption unit seems to delight in putting people out on the street.

This matter involved a 46-year-old guy named Lawrence Plumer who was pulling down near eighty grand a year for just supervising people. He had one of those “nice jobs if you can get it.” His vileness caused him to lose it. I agree he is not the ideal type of person who should be working in the probation department. My problem came when I was reading about the case when the thought came to me: why are the federal people investigating this guy?”

Here is the best I can find out about what Plumer did. It comes from an article by Globe reporter Milton Valencia, cited above, who does a good job covering Boston’s federal court. He writes: “[The FBI] first began investigating Plumer in January 2014 after a woman serving probation under his supervision reported “mistreatment” by him . . . Assistant US Attorney Robert A. Fisher said . .  . [he] did not describe the alleged “mistreatment” but said the investigation involved the woman’s deprivation of rights.”  

Valencia then went on to write: “the woman who reported the mistreatment, as well as a second woman serving probation, told federal agents that Plumer showed them pornography in his office.” He showed pornography that he had on his cellphone to the women 

Plumer was an easy catch. “Hi, Mr. Plumer, my name is FBI Special Agent Hoover. Here are my credentials. Have you been showing pornographic pictures on your cell phone to women you are supervising on probation?”  What do you think Plumer’s first instinct was? You got it. It would be to deny it.

Ironically if he admitted it he had done it he would still be on the job. Or, if not on the job, he would at least not be in federal court. There is no federal crime in flashing porn on a cell phone. But by denying it the federals had him.

But did they? If an FBI agent comes up to you and asks you if you are parked in a handicap spot which you are and you deny it, that is not a crime. The lying has to be about something in that is in the jurisdiction of the United States and a material fact or materially false. Congress has yet to make wrongly parking in a handicap spot a federal crime.

For Plumer to have committed the federal crime under 18 U.S.C. section 1001 (lying to an FBI agent) it had to occur during an act the United States had jurisdiction over.

So how do the federals stick their nose into this? They say Plumer was depriving the women of their Constitutional rights. He did not do it by showing them his cell phone so how did it occur? The prosecutor said he mistreated the two women; if he did so by just showing them the pictures that is not a federal crime. Do we have a constitutional right to not be shown such pornography?

Which calls up another question, what is a considered pornographic under the U.S. Constitution. My sense now is that there is little that is when it comes to adults. Unless Plumer was showing grossly obscene pictures which has not been alleged it would seem that he was not committing a federal crime.

That, of course, is a different question than whether Mr. Plumer should be a probation officer. What he did to women he was supervising is outrageous. His failure to treat these women in a decent manner and respect their rights was plainly wrong. I have no problem with his getting the boot for acting toward women so boorishly but it does seem overly harsh.

So you might ask, if it was not a crime, why then did he plead guilty? I will talk about that next.

 

 

 

 

21 thoughts on “How The Federals Create Crimes And Make Them Stick: Warning to All Public Employees in Massachusetts: Ask For A Lawyer (1 of 2)

  1. Do we know whether the type of relationship he had with the women (beyond being their supervisor) was at all friendly and casual? if it was, do we know whether it’s possible that he showed them the porn in the context of some recent casual conversation about something loosely related, perhaps about someone on probation ? If that’s possible , and if it in fact happened that way, then Plumer may be guilty of little more than poor judgment .

    1. The subtext seems to be that Plumer wanted sex from one or both of these women in exchange for favorable treatment. But it’s never really made explicit. In fact, the whole investigation is really murky. The leak to Channel 5 (complete with video of a man who hadn’t even been charged at that point!) would seem to be a serious breach of Justice Department rules and regulations, if not the law. Perhaps Fred Wyshak is busy ferreting out the scoundrel even as we converse.

      Memo to Suffolk County Probation Department employees: Don’t do anything wrong, and don’t assume because you’ve been investigated 16 times, it won’t happen again. Remember, Fred Wyshak is a career prosecutor. If you go out for a drink after work, make sure it’s with your husband or wife. (Wouldn’t hurt to have a marriage certificate handy, either.)

    2. GOK:

      We really don’t know the circumstances behind it. All we know is he lied to an FBI agent and it became a federal crime. It might have been a couple of times he was indiscreet but otherwise was a good guy doing his job. That is what is wrong when the feds decide they will intrude on state business and create federal crimes.

  2. Team Wyshak did the same thing with James Day, the Assistant Chief Probation Officer, Woburn District Court. He was falsely accused of sexual advances to the wife of Thomas C. Brennan and two Strike Force agents under OPR investigation for bribes, perjury and selling drugs. AUSA Fred Wyshak/Laura Kaplan negotiated Brennan’s sentence down from 20 yrs minimum to life to 28 days TIME SERVED. Brennan’s brother was given a reduced sentence or immunity in connection with an armored car robbery-homicide at Star Market in Somerville.

      1. Yes, they were the “Case agents” in the Cashman investigations. And Laura Kaplan is supposed to be the “Brady-Giglio coordinator” to review discovery disclosures. What a joke! She and Wyshak lied and concealed all the discovery and then they were defense witnesses for the agents at their U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board disciplinary hearings.

        1. Thanks Bruce. I’d love to know more about that. Do you believe there was any truth to the allegations against the case agents? I have heard from impeccable sources that allegations were made against them by two distinctly seperate sources; the response of Wyshak was to go after the people that made the allegations rather than to investigate the allegations themselves….they didn’t care about the allegations, just knew that if they were true, his case against Cashman would go down the tubes. does this sound correct to you? I won’t write their names, but we are talking about the same agents…JD and SM, correct?

  3. Are the AUSA,s and the Bureau’s Boston Office that in need of cases/stats to have to resort to such piddling cases?

    1. Niall:

      Apparently because they are taking what would normally be routine state matters and dragging the people into federal court. It seems that they like the simple things and are adverse to doing something difficult.

  4. Matt: I think Plumer should be fired, but I’m mystified about how this became a federal criminal case. Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. Attorney, says the hapless Plumer made false statements “regarding an ongoing public corruption investigation.” Her AUSA, Robert Fisher, told the Globe that the violation involved the depravation of the women’s (civil?) rights. Seems to be no way of reconciling the two.

    The government says Plumer lied to the FBI on July 10. Five weeks or so later, a very strange story was broadcast on Channel 5. It reported that a Suffolk County probation officer was “at the center of a federal investigation into a serious crime. ” Plumer wasn’t identified by name, but the station rolled video of him (apparently) heading toward his house and getting out of his car. The video was blurred, but surely Plumer’s friends, relatives and neighbors must have immediately known who Channel 5 was talking about. The station said Plumer had been placed on paid leave, and that the investigation “involves prostitution.”

    Now, why did Ortiz’ office and/or the FBI leak this story to Channel 5? It’s clear that the feds wanted to put pressure on Plumer …. to confess that he’d used his cell phone to show porn to two female probationers? Nah. Looks like they were after bigger game in the probation department, and wanted Plumer’s cooperation. For whatever reason, (perhaps he knew nothing?) things didn’t work out, and Plumer was tossed onto the slag heap of lying to the FBI.

  5. THIS POST HAS BEEN EDITED:

    @ Declan: yes, your initials are correct, (JD) (SM) DOL AUSAs Laura Kaplan, Fred Wyshak and others were involved. They framed Woburn Probation Officer Jim Day and smeared him and others in the Globe and Herald, so I have no deference to their privacy. B refused to pay D and M $50K to “make his case go away.” When I moved to unseal some of the documents on the whitewashed DEA OPR and DOL-OIG internal affairs investigations on bribes, Kaplan/Wyshak tried to misdirect me with Day’s incident and privacy. I’ll cull out and forward some of the bribes and phony allegations regarding Jim Day.

    These scams go much deeper than that because J, D, S, M, Joe McCain, former AUSAs P K and T F were also doing other extortions for G C and M K.

    1. Thanks for the info. I’d love to see whatever you have. Are you aware that Mike Taylor was just convicted in Utah, I think, of bribing an FBI agent, who was also convicted? Not sure how he fits into this whole mess, but his name kept coming up. Do you know What was the special grand jury in Worcester was all about?

      1. THIS POST HAS BEEN EDITED

        Yes when M T got jammed up in Utah for the $54 Million DoD-CIA bribery scam he set up the NY agents who were trying to help him after he, former CIA CTC Director C, P K, FBI agent B L, R B, D, M and L F got intercepted in late 2012 trying whitewash the Utah case. L’s NY ASAC was transferred to B . . . just before ISIS moved in. DOJ-OIG, Boston Office commandeered the Utah case and “Graymailed” with DOJ-NSD, AAG who was M’s former FBI Chief of Staff. T got 2 years and L got 10 years in Utah and 5 in New York. I believe T just got transferred to Coolidge House, Boston after the J Hr merc case in NY.

        Amongst other things, T was protected for 2 rapes, divorce extortions, illegal wiretaps, drugs, guns, and other people with McCain, K, A D, C, and the Bulger-Winter Hill CIs, i.e., G K, J L, and the winning attorneys representing A D. They also set up MSP Trp. M.

    2. Bruce:

      I ran the archives from the Boston Globe looking for any mention of James Day being smeared by the Globe and found nothing. I’m not comfortable with putting out people’s names and making accusations against them so I will edit your post for your protection and so that people who you may have named have their identities protected.

  6. Matt,

    I’m emailing you some of the unsealed agent bribery-extortion and related Jim Day court docs. I’ll send you audio clips from the U.S. Merit System Protection Board hearings and other docs later. I’m not posting anything I cannot back up and these people are predators of vulnerable victims and undermine the integrity of the criminal justice system.

    1. Bruce:

      Thanks – I appreciate that. I did edit it reluctantly because I assumed you could back it up. I’ll look at the material and see if I can do a post on it. I was curious though that when I searched the Boston Globe archives I found nothing about the case. In the Pacer system there is also hardly any documents that are available. The whole thing I admit is strange. Thanks for not taking offense to the editing.

  7. Much of the significant material of public interest was filed ex parte sealed or in camera without any docket entries, seemingly in violation of Fed.R.Crim.P. 55, Mass. L.R. 7.2, and the First Amendment. These court records should all be docketed and unsealed for public oversight.

    In the course of my research, I did take notice of Jim Day being set up as a “chump prosecution,” however, I also observed significant conflicts and ulterior issues Mr. Day (whom I do not know) was probably not aware of when he decided to resign and plead guilty. But Mr. Day should have the benefit of restoring his reputation and, if necessary, his pension reinstated.

    There’s a large tranch of documents and audio I need to sift through and will update accordingly.

  8. Bruce/Matt,

    I found this on James Day..I had not heard of him either, but if this doesn’t sound like there’s something fishy going on, I don’t know what does! Sounds like Bruce is on to something.Get aloud of this steaming pile:

    BOSTON, Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ — A former Assistant Chief Probation Officer of the Woburn District Court was sentenced to prison today on federal corruption charges.

    United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan announced that JAMES E. DAY, 67, of 14 Marla Lane, Reading, MA, was sentenced to serve three months in prison, followed by six months of home confinement, upon his plea to an Information charging him with defrauding the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and its citizens of their right to his honest services by making false statements and presenting fraudulent documents to get a hardship driver’s license for an acquaintance. United States District Judge William G. Young also ordered DAY to pay a $3,000 fine and serve two years on supervised release.

    At the earlier plea hearing, the prosecutor said that DAY used his position as Assistant Chief Probation Officer of the Woburn District Court to illegally assist an acquaintance whose driver’s license had been revoked by the Registry of Motor Vehicles for a drug-related conviction. DAY arranged, through use of the mail, for the acquaintance to get a hearing before the Board of Appeal on Motor Vehicle Liability, Policies and Bonds, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a three-person board established by Massachusetts state law to hear appeals of persons aggrieved by a ruling or decision of the Registrar of Motor Vehicles. At the hearing, DAY appeared as well, and falsely claimed to be the person’s probation officer and presented fraudulent documents purporting to show that the person had passed various drug tests. As a result, the Board voted to award a hardship driver’s license to the acquaintance.

    The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney S. Theodore Merritt of the Public Corruption Unit and was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    CONTACT: Mary J. Connors of the U.S. Attorney’

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