The records of Tim Flaherty’s case in the federal court show that the indictment was filed on May 26, 2015. Between that time and now various motions were filed and some hearings on procedural matters as well as motions took place. The last entry on the case dated April 29, 2016 reads: “Pre-trial Conference.” The next hearing on the case is scheduled for April 28, 2016, about two months ago. Looking at the record it appears the case is still open.
I suppose I could call Tim Flaherty and ask him what is going on. It is something I am reluctant to do while the case remains open. I do not want to jeopardize him in any manner.
How would I jeopardize him? I figure as part of his deal with the federal prosecutors he agreed not to say anything about the case. Those prosecutors are the very sensitive types. They also take themselves quite seriously. When they make deals as they did with Flaherty they do not want him out telling people what petty tyrants they are. They don’t want him saying that they abused their power in the first place by indicting him on such a frivolous charge. They don’t want him saying he did nothing wrong but was extorted into pleading guilty so that the case could go away.
We saw what they did in the case against former FBI Agent Robert Fitzpatrick. The old sick agent who was indicted for perjury was allowed to plead guilty and hit the street on probation. As part of the deal he was required to never say he was not guilty even though he really believes he is innocent but was forced into pleading guilty.
To keep Tim Flaherty from excoriating them they keep his case open to ensure compliance with their gag orders. That is how small and vindictive these prosecutors are that they hide their mistakes by threatening to undo any deal they make if the person tells the truth about it. The last thing they want is to have a person who was indicted for crime calling for a twenty year felony telling how they had no case against him but to have the case go away he was forced to plead guilty to a misdemeanor in the state court system.
That’s right. Tim apparently made a deal with the federal prosecutors to have the case sent to the state where it belonged in the first place if it belonged anywhere. Unlike the headline announcement at the beginning of the case from the US Attorney’s office which read: “Defense Lawyer Charged with Witness Tampering in Hate Crime Case.” there was no press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office over the ending of this case earlier this month. It ended under a two watt lightbulb in Middlesex Superior Court. Tim pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor indictment that charged him with disrupting state court proceedings a crime that is rarely charged. He was put on probation for a year. He had to agree to give up practicing law for a year something I’ll write about later.
Tim obviously is not guilty of anything except not following the correct procedure when executing an accord and satisfaction. Obviously he had no choice but to plead to the misdemeanor just so the case which never should have been brought would go away. He needed to put this behind him; he knew better than most that if you try a case to vindicate your innocence the expense and uncertainty of the outcome is not worth it.
The case cost Tim much agony. He had two excellent lawyers representing him: Marty Weinberg and Tom Butters. Those lawyers are expensive. When you are fighting for your livelihood you have to dig deep and borrow from family and friends to get the best. While the case was pending Tim’s older brother Chip died on April 9. Did this frivolous prosecution contribute to his untimely death at age 52. It is hard to know but it sure was not easy on Chip. What we do know is the prosecutors in this case judging from the result should never have put Tim through this.
You know the facts in this case. It involved a dispute between two drivers in Central Square, on a 27-year-old Muslim and the other a 61-year-old loudmouth. The younger man alleged he was called a racist slur and grabbed by the wrist. There were no witnesses and no injuries to this frivolous event. Here is a full detail of the facts. Tim under a state statute tried to settle the matter for his client the loud mouth.
If this case does not send a clear message that the federal prosecutors are abusing their powers I do not know of any one that does. Why was it necessary for these prosecutors to put this lawyer through all this trouble and turmoil when they agreed that the case was not really a federal case and not only that was one involving a state misdemeanor? Prosecutors are supposed to be serious people wary of their powers who seek to act in a just and appropriate manner.
These federal prosecutors fall far below the standards we required of newly hired assistant district attorneys right out of law school. They act frivolously with impunity. They are toying with people’s lives oblivious of the damage they are causing. Is it any wonder that I am reluctant to talk to Tim about the case lest I end up putting him back in an unfair and brutal position. And to think they work for what is called the Justice Department.