An indictment is used for the purpose of spelling out a crime committed by a person. It is supposed to be based on facts alleged to have been committed by a defendant. Fitzpatrick’s indictment is here.
Prosecutor Wyshak spelled out the background of Fitzpatrick and others in the first dozen or so paragraphs. Paragraph 7 is where he takes a shot at South Boston calling it an organized crime group which is strange because during Whitey’s trial he had a chart showing it was the Winter Hill Gang with no reference to South Boston. In fact, no one called that gang South Boston. But that’s just a little hang-up Wyshak has thinking things evil live in Southie along with the Irish little people.
In the indictment he goes on to tell how Fitzpatrick appeared on 60 Minutes and wrote a book but does not relate this information to any of the crimes charged which are six counts of perjury (Fred: Fitzpatrick was not under oath on 60 Minutes or when he wrote his book.)
Later in the early paragraphs of the indictment Wyshak does something quite unheard of: he included in the indictment statements made by Whitey’s defense counsel during his opening statement in the Whitey trial. Those statements are not evidence as Wyshak knows. I figure he used them as a hook to reel Fitzpatrick’s statements into the boat of materiality. His argument being: “the counsel for Whitey said he was not an informant and Fitzpatrick supported that statement therefore that makes it material.
That might sound good to someone who knows nothing about the trial but in relation to the trial it hold no water. To understand this you have to go back to the time counsel for Whitey (Carney and Brennan) took over the case. They could see after a cursory look that they had little going for them in their defense. The bookies, drug dealers and Wyshak’s favorite gangsters were lined up to testify against him; the photographs of Whitey with the gangsters at Lancaster Street and the guns that would eventually sit on the table in the courtroom throughout the trial made most of the charges undefendable.
They also knew that Whitey saying he was Connolly’s informant would not do him much good when it came to a defense. The Court of Appeals had ruled in Whitey’s partner Stevie Flemmi’s case that Connolly could not give them a pass for any crimes. The only one who could would be a U.S. attorney. They figured that the only way Whitey had a chance was if an assistant U.S. attorney gave Whitey immunity.
When they talked with Whitey they found that he was under the impression that an assistant U.S. attorney had in fact given him immunity. The lawyers knew it was not important to the case whether Whitey was an informant or not; the assistant U.S. attorney could give the immunity for any reason, according the defense counsel.
Not needing to be an informant which was the out Flemmi tried to use and failed, Whitey figured he’d deny being an informant. He would go with the U.S. attorney agreement defense. He just had to come up with some reason that would motivate a U.S. attorney to do so. (This defense was never used since the judge ruled it out or order. That’s the main issue on appeal.)
Sometime in 2012 Whitey denied he was an informant. Fitzpatrick had a meeting with him in 1981 in which Fitzpatrick said Whitey told him he was not an informant. In the indictment in paragraph 3 Wyshak says Whitey was an informant and then in paragraph ten points out Whitey’s counsel denied he was an informant.
Wyshak is straining at the bit to make the issue of whether Whitey was an informant material to the trial. It isn’t. It has nothing to do with the charges Whitey faced; the jury did not have to decide anything relating to Whitey’s informant status. It was made a part of the trial only because Wyshak fell into the trap laid by the defense lawyers and he’s still struggling to get out of it.
Fitzpatrick has been indicted for 4 counts of perjury for lying about his background (finding the rifle that killed MLK [ct 11], arresting Gerry Angiulo [Ct 9], the reason for his transfer to Boston[Ct 1], the reason why he was transferred out of Boston [Ct 7] ), one count [Ct 5] relating to him seeking to close out Whitey as an informant, and, one count [Ct 3] relating to Whitey saying he was not an informant.
Why Fitzpatrick came to or went from Boston is irrelevant to the charges against Whitey as are whether he arrested Angiulo or found the ML King murder weapon; and, the informant issue is also immaterial.
The thing is that Wyshak has to know this. He is often able to bully the judges into going along with him and letting him get away with charging crimes where there is not any precedent for it as in the O’Brien probation cases.
Going after 75-year-old Fitzpatrick makes little sense. No one is going to send him to prison for these so-called lies. There’s something else behind this that does not involve Fitzpatrick but he was necessary as a vehicle on which to advance or accomplish this other thing. I’ll explore the various possibilities in my next post.