So let’s look at what is really going on. The state police were never involved in a “hate crime” investigation. There was nothing to investigate on that end. You have to look at how and why the so-called victim came in contact with the state police. He thought there was something wrong with Flaherty offering him money not to testify against Feinberg the 65-year-old guy. Whether he figured he was being set up by Flaherty or there was some other sinister reason for Flaherty’s offer is not known. To protect himself not knowing what was going on he reached out to the state cops.
Then he began working in cooperation with the state police. Assuming there was a call to the U.S.attorney’s office on the 23rd of December by the state police, a highly unusual procedure, it had to be solely because the state police believed Flaherty was involved in some type of attempt to bribe a witness. Again they were not interested in nor investigating any hate crime. Why if they have no interest do the federal prosecutors?
There are some plausible reasons the state police would reach outside the state prosecutors in the DA’s office where they worked and go to the federal prosecutors. None are good. They perhaps did not trust the DAs for whom they work to properly investigate the matter. Did they think the assistant DA’s would violate their oaths to protect Flaherty? Are they suspicious of the assistant DAs they work with? Something like that never happened in my 20 odd years in the DAs office. It is inconceivable to me that it could happen in any well run DA’s office. If they think there is something wrong with the Middlesex DAs then they should not be working there or they should be telling the federal prosecutors what is wrong with them.
Another reason may be that the state police figured the state ADAs would understand Flaherty was not committing a crime. He was attempting to bring about an accord and satisfaction which is permissible under state law. They hoped the federal prosecutors would not be familiar with the state statute. They sought to could convince the federal prosecutors that there was something wrong with what Flaherty was doing.
There could have been another reason. The state police wanted to record and video tape the conversations between Flaherty and the so-called victim. They may have known under state law they had no right to do this. As state law enforcement officers they figured they would skirt the state law by conspiring with the federal prosecutors to avoid being bound by state law. They would get the federals to OK the interception and say it is federal interception rather than a state interception even though no federal officers would be involved. This is probably what I find most offensive: state police and federal prosecutors colluding to circumvent the requirements of our state law.
The AUSA who spoke with the state cop had to know the investigation was about the bribe. He would not be concerned about the “hate crime” offense first of all because the state police were not investigating that. Next, and most importantly, because the Middlesex DA was already prosecuting it.
I feel confident that I can say without exception throughout the United States before a federal prosecutor will involve himself in an ongoing state prosecution a discussion is had between the prosecutors for the state and the federal government. I have never heard nor do I ever believe it happened where a cop called the federal prosecutor while a state prosecution was ongoing and the federal prosecutor decided he would commence an independent investigation without due diligence with those already doing the posecution.
Add to that, the so called civil rights offense was a trivial event. It occurred as a result of a small traffic matter. It did not come close to fitting the guidelines the federal prosecutors are supposed to follow in deciding to investigate it.
The idea that under all these circumstances a civil rights investigation was started defies belief.