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Episode 7 of The HopTake: Brennan was fired. Is the Select Board next?

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On February 11, HopNews released the seventh episode of our original podcast The HopTake. In this episode, Peter and Jim discuss the firing of Sgt. Tim Brennan and the events surrounding it. We also reveal previously undisclosed information about a November 2023 deal that would have brought Brennan back to work, and dig into Hopkinton’s new Town Accountant, who was recently fired by the City of Woonsocket. Finally, we take a trip back in time to Hopkinton’s earliest days.

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  1. The fix was in all along.

    I stand by my call at the Select Board meeting last Tuesday for the Town of Hopkinton Select Board to request that the Massachusetts National Guard Military Police take over the leadership of the Police Department — and to also put a halt into any other promotions or hiring for the open lieutenant and deputy police chief positions (-24:40 mark on the HopNews podcast).

    The residents of this town DESPERATELY need an outside, independent investigation conducted into not just the railroading of Sgt. Tim Brennan by Police Chief Joseph Bennett and the Select Board, but even more importantly into the malicious, vicious outing of the identity of the child rape survivor AND her young children by Chief Bennett and Select Board Member Amy Rittenbusch.

    And who is the alleged school resource officer indicted on three counts of child rape by a Middlesex County Grand Jury? None other than former Deputy Chief John Porter, Bennett’s buddy.

    But wait, this gets worse. MUCH, MUCH WORSE.

    Porter was allowed by the chief, town manager and Select Board to continue coaching a high school girls soccer team in a neighboring community for several months after the Town was notified that Porter was under investigation for alleged child rape. In fact, that school district’s superintendent only found out when the media contacted him the morning the indictments came down against Porter.

    Oh, and Porter was allowed to retire with full benefits just four days before the indictments on three counts of child rape were made public.

    Meanwhile, Sgt. Tim Brennan, who honored the survivor’s wishes to come forward with her allegations at a time of her choosing, has lost his job and all his retirement benefits after 32 years of honorable service.

    And the report that one Select Board member shut down an agreement that the lawyers for Sgt. Brennan and the Town worked out back in November, as also mentioned in the podcast?

    As I said at the start of this post, the fix was in from the very beginning. How dare anyone upset the applecart with the centennial celebration of the Boston Marathon starting line being moved to Hopkinton coming up in April!

    Where is the justice? Who is the police chief serving and protecting? Not the survivor. Not a good, decent, honorable sergeant. Not the residents of Hopkinton.

    He is only serving and protecting his own sorry ass, and the four members who voted for dismissing Sgt. Tim Brennan are complicit in this travesty of justice.

    And when this crap hits the fan in the multiple civil suits that are sure to follow, it will be the taxpayers who will have to foot the bill for the hubris of the Town officials. To the tune of millions of dollars.

    As the Irish would say, this goes beyond the pale.

    The leadership of this town, with the exception of Muriel Kramer, has betrayed the survivor and her family every single damn step of the way, retraumatizing them on an almost daily basis. And they have ruthlessly taken down a principled, highly respected and devoted law enforcement officer in this Town as well.

    I would expect this if I lived in Putin’s Russia. I would not have ever expected this when I moved to this sleepy small suburb west of Boston five years ago.

    Why would any rape victim come forward in the Town of Hopkinton ever again? And what lesson does all this send to the rank and file of the Hopkinton Police Department?

    If these monsters took down Tim Brennan for a policy violation while allowing a deputy police chief to retire with a full pension, what does that tell everyone on the HPD staff about Chief Bennett’s ruthless revenge tactics — even as Bennett himself is not held accountable by the Select Board OR the Middlesex County District Attorney for breaking Massachusetts General Law by revealing the identity of the survivor and her young children?

    Furious outrage does not even begin to describe how so many residents in our town feel today.

    We will keep fighting— for Sgt. Brennan, for our Town’s integrity, for justice, and most importantly, for the survivor and her family.

    We are not going away. Not now, not ever.


  2. *In These ”Horrific Economic Times”, ‘Hopkinton Tax Payers Get Your Wallets, and Pocket Books Ready’
    for Another Significant ‘Substantial Withdrawal’?*

    “Thinking” & “Thinking Caps”

    ”Time for the ‘Selectmen/Town Manger’ to put their “Thinking Caps” On!”

    The Sargent was in a Catch-22 Situation? If he reported the ”Un- Collaborated Allegation” he would be in ‘Trouble’. Plus his direct Chain Of Command was conjecturally compromised as being directly involved in the Allegation.

    If he went outside the Department if he did not receive ‘Whistleblower Protection’ he would be in Trouble.
    For not following his ‘Chain Of Command?’

    Are the Rules and Regulations of the Police Department Constitutional?
    Were they approved by our Town Counsel?
    Are they reviewed Yearly by ‘Town Counsel’ to make sure they are ‘Constitutionally Applicable?’

    The Board of Selectmen, Town Manager, need to look at the ”Totality” of the ‘Officers work history’ and let that be their guide. In the opinion of many Tenured Residents.
    If the Board of Selectmen and Town Manger do not make the ‘just decision’ in this matter, it could $COST$ the Hopkinton Taxpayers Immensely in these very troubling ‘Economic Times’. Plus the Towns Municipal Liability Insurance Premiums $$ going sky high on all the Police Departments matters. Plus legions of future Court Settlements? More Costs to the Overburden Taxpayers of Hopkinton.

    If the Department was still under MA Civil Service, their would be an Impartial Civil Service Commission that would fully adjudicate his Termination.
    Will the Arbitrator really be Impartial? May the matter still end up in the Courts $$$$?
    Did his Termination Fully meet the standard of JUST CAUSE? When you fully adjust your Thinking Caps, the reasonable answer is a big NO!

  3. I wanted to take a moment to say thank you to the editor.

    As your coverage has shown, there is a real need for investigative reporting at the local level. Despite the disturbing events that have come to light in town of late, it’s inspiring to see detailed news coverage as well as more people getting involved in town government.

    I’ve also enjoyed your podcast. Your back and forth with Jim Scanlon is very thoughtful and engaging.

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