I wrote about the case involving Assistant District Attorney John A. O’Leary the other day. He is a prosecutor who got arrested for OUI while driving his daughter to a dance class. It happened on a national holiday, Martin Luther King Day, which gave O’Leary time away from the office. Apparently during that time he may have had a little too much to drink. As you know drink not only impairs one’s ability to drive but also impairs one’s judgment. If it was the case then his driving in that condition, a condition that caused a motorist to be concerned about his operation of his car so as to call the state police and which caused a state police officer to observe his operation and decide to pull him over, he did put his daughter in a perilous position.
O’Leary now has to face the charges and the adverse publicity. His children will face the embarrassment of their father’s arrest. As I indicated since no one was hurt and I assume he has never been charged with this before he will get off with minimum punishment. Even though he is now suspended without pay I suggest that he will be allowed to resume his position in the district attorney’s office. I expect the District Attorney Early will recognize this incident does not rise to the level which requires the guy lose his job.
This case though has a strangely curious aspect to it. This pretty much routine matter out in Worcester County deserved a headline in the Boston Herald followed up by a gleeful Howie Carr column getting pleasure of out the misfortune of others.
It just so happens here that the state trooper who was the booking officer of O’Leary is the same state trooper, Ryan Sceviour, who arrested a judge’s daughter a few months ago. You may recall that incident. Here’s a tabloid summary of it.
After arresting her he filed a report which some higher-ups in his job found a little too raw. They asked him to modify it. He raised a stink about having to do it which resulted in some bosses in the state police fleeing with their pensions, some investigations (what happened to them), and a law suit in federal court against the department. I’ve never been able to figure out what the damages in the suit are about but that’s for another day.
Sceviour was not involved in the arrest of ADA O’Leary. It was Trooper Gregory Zanni. Zanni made the observation of O’Leary’s driving, had the initial interactions with him, and brought him to the station. It is Zanni who filed the report of the incident. But from the headlines in the Boston Herald, “Two Much – Trooper in judge’s daughter flap now ‘nervous’ after helping book Worcester prosecutor on OUI charge” you’d think that there was no Trooper Zanni and that Sceviour made the stop and arrest.
That would be natural. Why would a trooper be nervous who just booked a guy. His is an administrative function. Zanni is the guy on the road who should have been nervous if anyone should be nervous.
Well apparently it was a slow news time at the Boston Herald. Nothing new had happened to the Patriots. The phone rang. On it was Sceviour’s attorney. He said he received a call from Sceviour who “was nervous, so he called me. He knows he and the arresting trooper did the right thing, just like they do every day, and they wrote their report and included what the person said — the only time it was ever a problem was when they arrested a judge’s daughter.”
Nothing had happened. Why is this even newsworthy? The reporter should have told him to tell his client to take a pill and go back to sleep. But he or she didn’t. They apparently thought their Seinfeld story about nothing was worthy of a headline story. No wonder the paper is in bankruptcy.
I’m not sure the lawyer is doing his client any favors. You have to wonder how Trooper Sceviour can do his job as a trooper if he’s nervous after booking someone. Or, is the lawyer trying to build up some damages in his case by suggesting the first incident was so bad that now the trooper is impaired in his ability to do his job.
Trooper Sceviour was told to redact parts of about three sentences from his report on the judge’s daughter. The redactions related to extremely embarrassing statements of a sexual nature made by the daughter and that her father was a judge. That action in no way affected the case which by the way has been concluded with a guilty plea. I wrote about this before noting it was pretty much a story about nothing.
Back then Sceviour’s lawyer complained about the redactions. Now he has a different complaint. He complaining that the DA did not redacting the report in O’Leary’s case. He’s like the lawyer representing a rape defendant who argues his client was not the perpetrator but if he was the victim gave consent. I’d suggest this is obviously a lawyer who thinks the public is as stupid as the reporters who made his story into a headline.
The lawyer complained the DA removed the “sensationalist stuff” from his client’s report but did not remove “he fell asleep sitting up and snored” from Zanni’s report. He says: “What’s the difference.” He’s not much of an attorney if he cannot see one goes to proof of the crime and the other has nothing to do with it.
The lawyer also said the statement “my father’s a judge” was removed in his client’s case but the statement that O’Leary was “a prosecutor in the district attorney’s office in Worcester” was not removed. He says those are “identical languge.” Hardly, one identifies the defendant while the other has nothing to do with the defendant.
In the judge’s daughters case the DA said he had an ethical obligation to redact the more salacious matters in Scviour’s report. I’d rather he said it was a matter of decency and understanding for a fellow human being who made statements while intoxicated and possibly under the influence of drugs not to memorialize them in a report. hey involved salacious matters not germane to the matter but seriously damaging to a person’s reputation.
So O’Leary takes a big hit because some trooper is nervous. Strange world we live in.