HomeNewsIn Emotional Meeting, Select Board Punts on Brennan Hearing

In Emotional Meeting, Select Board Punts on Brennan Hearing

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Tonight, in what was perhaps the most chaotic meeting in recent memory, the Hopkinton Select Board succumbed to intense public pressure and voted to continue Tim Brennan’s hearing to a future date. 

194 concerned residents packed the Hopkinton Senior Center, and more than 1,600 tuned in to HCAM to watch the Select Board conduct a Loudermill Hearing that would decide the fate of suspended Hopkinton Police Sergeant Tim Brennan. Many arrived early to claim a seat and socialize with friends and neighbors, but a hush fell over the crowd as Brennan entered the room, flanked by his attorneys. 

Facing the Select Board on the left sat Police Chief Joseph Bennett and the town’s labor attorney, Nicholas Anastasopoulos of Mirick O’Connell. On the right sat Brennan and his attorney, Daniel Fogarty, along with Attorney Elizabeth Keeley, the former Chief of the Human Trafficking Division at the Office of the Attorney General (AGO) for Massachusetts, and now an attorney in private practice.

Select Board Chair Muriel Kramer called the meeting to order and reminded the audience that although the meeting was public, no one but the attorneys, Chief Bennett, and Sgt. Brennan would be permitted to speak. Kramer was visibly emotional in her preamble. “We are here to achieve the honorable,” she said, citing the motto of her alma mater, Worcester Academy. She also acknowledged her long, personal relationship with Brennan and his family. 

The Town Leads Off

Attorney Anastasopoulos made the first presentation, recalling the events of the day he learned of John Porter’s indictment. He also mentioned that this is just the second public hearing he’s seen in over 20 years of practice. “Normally these things are done in Executive Session,” said Anastasopoulos.

“It’s obvious Sgt. Brennan can turn out a room, but that’s not what we’re talking about here,” he added. 

Attorney Nick Anastasopoulos and Chief of Police Joseph Bennett
Attorney Nick Anastasopoulos and Chief of Police Joseph Bennett address the Select Board

Anastasopoulos then proceeded to lay out the 5 claims of policy violations Brennan made in connection with the Porter case. Specifically, the town asserted the following:

  • You knew as of August 21, 2022, of an alleged rape of a minor and failed to report it to law enforcement, which is a violation of Departmental Rules 10.0 Attention to Duty; Internal Affairs Policy 4.01 General Considerations and Guidelines; and Rules and Regulations General Order 2018-0004.
  • You knew as of 2017 of an alleged sexual assault on a minor and failed to report it to law enforcement, which is a violation of Departmental Rules 10.0 Attention to Duty; Internal Affairs Policy 4.01 General Considerations and Guidelines; and Rules and Regulations General Order 2018-0004.
  • You knew in August 2022 that the victim was pursuing a criminal investigation and was concerned for her safety and you failed to report her concern to law enforcement, which is a violation of Departmental Rules 10.0 Attention to Duty and Internal Affairs Policy 4.01 General Considerations and Guidelines.
  • You knew in 2015 that the accused and the victim had engaged in an inappropriate sexual relationship and did not report it to the Chief, which is a violation Regulation 10.1 Professional Image and Rules and Regulations General Order 2018-0004.
  • You used the victim as a babysitter while you were a School Resource Officer and did not obtain prior approval from your supervisor to do so, which is a violation of Rules and Regulations School Resource Officer Policy and Procedure 4.10, Section 9 Prohibited Conduct.

Next, Chief Bennett described the events of August 24, 2022, when he learned from the Middlesex District Attorney’s office that detectives were on the way to Hopkinton, and that they ordered him not to discuss the matter with anyone to avoid compromising the investigation. Bennett claimed that because of Brennan’s failure to act, crucial evidence could not be collected. 

“I will not tolerate officers concealing, covering up, staying silent, or standing by while officers commit unlawful acts of violence,” he stated emphatically. 

“I hereby recommend the termination of Sergeant Timothy J. Brennan of the Hopkinton Police Department, effective immediately,” said the Chief.

Brennan Speaks

Attorney Fogarty then began his defense presentation, arguing the opposite of the town’s claim that Brennan “did nothing for the alleged victim”, but had in fact created a “trusting environment” for her. Throughout his presentation, Fogarty frequently deferred to Brennan, who spoke in his own words. 

“I am humbled by the outpouring of support from the community,” said Brennan. He went on to state that as a certified rape defense trainer, he had personally graduated more than 1,000 women from his classes over the course of his service, and that in his 36 years in law enforcement he has a spotless record. 

Prior to the meeting, Attorney Keeley had provided the Select Board with a written statement, and Attorney Fogarty asked the Board if she would be allowed to speak. Board member Irfan Nasrullah objected, saying that the rules had been agreed to in advance. This drew a small outburst from someone in the crowd, who shouted that Attorney Anastasopoulos, who interjected and editorialized throughout the hearing, should have been held to the same standard.

Continuing in his presentation, Attorney Fogarty began to dismantle the town’s claims one at a time. In reference to the town’s allegation that Brennan had used the alleged victim as a babysitter without permission from his superior, Fogarty stated that the policy the town referenced was incorporated in 2017, yet the babysitting had occurred more than a decade prior. “This claim is wholly without merit,” he said.

On the town’s allegation that the Brennan knew of an “inappropriate relationship” between Porter and the alleged victim, Fogarty stated that both parties were adults at the time of the relationship, and that nothing reported to him was illegal. As the victim was 25 years old, Brennan was not a mandated reporter, and in any case, this was another policy that went into effect in 2018, well after the disclosure.

“Even the Chief agrees that the policy could not be followed here,” said Fogarty. “The policy does not contemplate the Chief or Deputy Chief being the subject of the complaint.”

Fogarty argued that in all cases, Brennan was acting in good faith in what he believed were the best interests of the victim.

Select Board Asks Questions and the Crowd Grows Restless

Chair Muriel Kramer led off the Select Board discussion. To a large extent, she seemed to agree with Attorney Fogarty; that several of the policies were inapplicable because the events occurred before the policies were written. “Even if there was a violation, it would be minor,” she said.

Then she turned to Brennan. 

“Did you fail to report this alleged sexual assault of a minor to protect a fellow police officer?,” she asked.

“I did not,” said Brennan. “Jay Porter and I have had a contentious relationship for a long time and there was no intention to do anything but to protect the victim until she was ready to come forward on her own.”

As the other Select Board members took turns asking questions, and Attorney Anastasopoulos embarked on another lengthy explanation, a member of the audience interrupted. “This is bullshit,” shouted the man, receiving a round of applause. Kramer admonished the crowd and told them she’d ask them to leave if interrupted again. 

Minutes later, Chief Bennett spoke to defend his friendship with Porter. Previously, Attorney Fogarty had pointed out that in the Kroll Internal Investigation report, Bennett had identified himself as Porter’s “closest confidant” in the department. Bennett asserted that he would have “done his duty” in spite of his relationship with Porter, calling any allegation to the opposite “blatantly false”. But immediately following, in reference to progressive discipline, Bennett drew the crowd’s ire when he compared the actions of Deputy Porter to Sergeant Brennan. “If Deputy Porter were here, I would fire him for the first violation.” The audience reacted viscerally to the equivalency the Chief put forth, prompting Chair Kramer to threaten a recess. Attorney Fogarty was equally incensed, and made an impassioned speech about how “wholly inappropriate” the comparison between the two situations is. The crowd burst into applause and Kramer, hearing enough, called for a 5 minute recess.

Returning from the recess, Kramer offered Board member Amy Ritterbusch the opportunity to speak. “I don’t particularly have any questions that haven’t already been answered,” she said. 

Then Board member Mary Jo Lafreniere spoke. “I just want to say that, as a Selectman, this is probably the hardest thing I’ve done so far.” Lafreniere then asked, rhetorically, “Were her parents ever notified? Was her mother notified? Was her father notified, that their 14-year old daughter was in trouble? By anybody?” This question drew no response from either attorney, presumably because it has been established that the alleged victim was an adult when she disclosed Porter’s abuse. Lafreniere then proceeded to outline several objections to how Brennan handled the matter, but asked no questions. “We gave (Porter) more power because we didn’t know. I really find fault with that,” she said. 

Board member Irfan Nasrullah followed Lafreniere’s lead. “How could you allow a sexual predator to keep advancing?” he asked Brennan. 

“What Sgt. Brennan has shared in his statements was a sincere concern throughout this process that coming forward without the survivor supporting or corroborating the allegations would not lead to justice,” responded Attorney Fogarty.

Ritterbusch Faces Blowback

“I make a motion to accept the Chief’s recommendation to terminate Sergeant Brennan’s employment,” said Ritterbusch. The motion was seconded by Lafreniere and the crowd gasped. 

As the Board members took turns stating their reasoning, Kramer was the first and only to say that she would vote against the motion, and received a round of applause, which she waved off. Nasrullah, Mannan and Lafreniere each made it clear that they would vote for the motion. 

Select Board member Amy Ritterbusch

Things took a turn when Ritterbusch began to read a lengthy prepared statement. “Good people sometimes make serious errors in judgement,” she said. The audience, slowly becoming aware that Ritterbusch’s speech (and by inference, her vote to terminate) appeared to be predetermined, became audibly agitated. “You pre-wrote your speech,” one woman shouted. Standing up, Kramer first attempted to calm the crowd, but quickly became upset, thinking the criticism was aimed at her. Collecting herself, she then called another five minute recess.

Lafreniere, who appeared to be confused, explained that the Select Board had only just received all the documents over the weekend. 

“She’s talking about me,” said Ritterbusch, to which Lafreniere replied “Oh”.

“Shame on you,” shouted a woman in the crowd. “No one will ever come forward because of you.”

Kramer issues a heated response to the crowd

>> WATCH: The crowd reacts to Ritterbusch’s canned speech

Meanwhile, in Recess…

As Kramer, the attorneys, and Brennan left the room, audience members took the opportunity trading opinions and analysis with one another. 

“Without Tim Brennan, Porter would never have come to justice,” said one woman. 

“The charges are for policy violations that came later, not when they happened,” said a man, as the crowd murmured in assent. 

Members of the audience share their thoughts during the recess

The break lasted much longer than 5 minutes, and with the continued absence of the attorneys, the town manager, and occasionally Ms. Kramer, it became evident that there was some kind of negotiation happening. 

Echoing what was likely on the mind of most attendees, Nasrullah turned to Lafreniere and was overheard saying “I could use a drink”. 

The Motion to Continue

Returning from the recess, Attorney Fogarty addressed the Board and offered them the opportunity to table the motion to terminate, to suspend the hearing, and allow for further discussion at a later date. The motion was introduced and seconded. Kramer insisted on establishing a timeline with the town’s attorney, and they committed to having the issue resolved within 30 days. The motion passed unanimously.

Her voice cracking, Kramer turned to her colleagues and said she would entertain a motion to adjourn. It was entered and passed, and Kramer covered her hands with her face to hide tears.

But it was Brennan who had the last word. 

“Folks, I want to thank all my friends for coming, and my family – ” to which the crowd interrupted him with an extended standing ovation.

Continuing, he said “What I want to say is that I appreciate everyone’s support, but please, these folks that are in front of us [motioning to the Select Board] are volunteers. They don’t get paid for this. Please treat them with respect as they leave.”

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55 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for the article and the video footage. I tuned in last night via YouTube and we couldn’t hear the dialogue that was taking place during the breaks. From the outside looking in, it appears that there is a lot of ego at play here. The Chief’s ego may be damaged because Brennan didn’t trust him to do the right thing if he reported to him and cited his close relationship with Porter. He is recommending termination for violations of policies that were not in existence at the time, or weren’t violated at all. He also appeared very angry while Brennan was calm and collected. The SB seems to be hung up on the fact that they promoted Porter and are essentially blaming Brennan for that. They all seemed to be looking out for themselves while Brennan was the only one looking out for the survivor.
    Many things the SB said made no sense: Shahidul was emotional over the voices of the vulnerable, yet Brennan was the only one that truly gave this vulnerable person a voice and justice, as the perpetrator in her case is being brought to justice strictly because of how Brennan handled it. MaryJo still thinks we are dealing with a 14 year old and wants someone to call her parents. Amy showed up with a predetermined speech and motion to terminate- how convenient and tidy; Nasrullah was also focused on the fact that they promoted Porter and resents Brennan for putting them in that situation. Muriel seemed to be the only one that understood what was going on and put the survivor first rather than herself- like her peers and the chief did. I’m glad they came to their senses and hope that this ends well for Brennan and results in a policy review and changes at the police dept. This is a tough and emotional situation for everybody and I’m glad they were able to take a step back and reconsider.

    • One has to wonder if MJ had already imbibed before the hearing?? Regardless, MJ, Ritterbush and Nasrullah should be recalled as they care more about covering their own hides than doing the right thing. Maybe they are anticipating a lawsuit thus trying to cover themselves? Regardless, the three above mentioned and Bennett need to go.
      Great letter Kristin!

      P.s I do ask myself the same question as “happygoin” states, why would Tim want to continue working under someone like Bennet?

  2. This matter does not need to be decided as an all-or-nothing proposition as put forth by the Chief (and should not have been) and as supported by Messrs. Nasrullah and Mannan and Mmmes. Ritterbusch and LaFrenier. And hopefully the further deliberations will result, at worst, in discipline somewhere in between.

    However, while it is yet to be seen how/if the Board decides this matter, and while I disagree with Ms. Kramer’s politics but fully agree with her stance on the Chief’s recommendation, it is clear that certain members of the Board, as the executive branch of Town government as elected by the voters and as the Town’s primary policy-making body, have lost sight of their mandate to heed the Town.

    Mr. Nasrullah’s seat is up for reelection this year; and Mmes. Ritterbusch’s and LaFreniere’s and Mr. Mannan’s will be up for reelection in 2025.

    The application form can be found here:

    • Recall Provision for Elected Officers 1. Application ​Any holder of any elective Town office, as defined in Section 31(a), may be recalled provided that the recall election occurs prior to six months from the end of his elective term. 2. Recall Petition​– Ten (10) percent of the voters of the Town may file with the Town Clerk an affidavit containing the name of the officer sought to be recalled and a statement of the grounds for the recall,

  3. I hope no one has lost sight of the fact that, even if this case is decided in Sgt. Brennan’s favor, and I hope it is, he cannot stay on the Hopkinton police force. How could he ever work for Chief Bennett? So, the lasting effect will be another excellent police officer leaves Hopkinton. It’s the town’s loss either way the case is decided.

    • OR……Chief Bennett can resign (in shame), and Sgt. Brennan becomes Chief Bennett. The Town wins, Sgt. Brennan wins, and definitely the citizens of Hopkinton get a huge win. Chief Bennett is the problem here. Why are so many officers leaving, and recruiting to the department is difficult?

        • This is just a crazy comment. They have to follow the law. He’s not going to resign. He likes power. And after all this, termination would be extremely difficult without proof that he too committed violations.

  4. The (heavily redacted in a very slanted way, that is, slanted in the Town’s favor, thus contributing to the character assassination of Brennan and the disinformation spreading) Kroll report mentions that Daniel Linksey listed several interviews he conducted, *including that of Chief Joe Bennett*. And yet…even now…even after the Town suddenly and finally released the actual interview transcripts last night to Fox25 News, the Town STILL HAS FAILED TO RELEASE ONE IMPORTANT INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT. THE INTERVIEW OF JOE BENNETT STILL HASN’T BEEN RELEASED. During Brennan’s i/v, Brennan said his memory was fuzzy on the exact date but that he thought that on 1/19/23, he (Brennan) approached the Chief while they were in a storage area (presumably private and unexposed to other departmental employees) and tried to talk to the Chief about the case, but when Brennan did, he was rebuffed/shut down/ignored. Then the Kroll report indicates that Brennan’s memory was consistent with that of the Chief. Why has the Chief’s interview not been released?

    Also, why did Mary Jo say, “We only got all of the reports and documents this past Friday night!” They were completed months ago! Mary Jo’s comments evidenced that she really hadn’t read through everything, or, at least she didn’t have a grasp of what they, in fact, said. Additionally, I’m wondering if the Select Board received Chief Joe Bennett’s interview last Friday when they apparently received everything else? If not….why not?

  5. If Chief Bennett was interviewed, why isn’t that on the HPD website like Brennan’s interview? This just gets murkier and murkier. Bennett looked like his head was going to blow off last night. There is something that isn’t right here – and all fingers point to Bennett. He took over in 2017 and since then, how many police officers have left, now this horrible situation with a good Cop Officer Brennan .. Something isn’t right and he will never be able to gain the respect of many of the Townspeople again. There was a heckler in the audience last night who yelled out “This is Bulls&*$” He was succinct and correct!

    • That would be me . Sent apology and reason to HopNews. If you want to know why I lost it, the town and Bennett had their time. Tim had his time. Select board had their question time a question was asked to Tim. Bennet’s counsel stepped over Tim with a 15+minute babble and board failed to put him in check. I left the Room and finished the meeting with our fire and police force which steadily got very blue. Also note the several good town’s people left saying if they stay there’s going to be problems.Steve Snow

  6. Sent to the board. Copied here.

    Dear members of the Hopkinton Select board. I am Tim Brennan’s brother. I was there last night at the meeting with the rest of Tim’s siblings and friends. Many lifelong friends for 40 plus years. My opinions might not matter to you but they should.

    The lack of professionalism and character shaming by the Chief and his attorney towards Sgt Tim Brennan are shameful. 3 of the charges weren’t even infractions when they happened. Yet they brought them forward anyway. This added chaos and confusion to an already chaotic situation. Attorney Anastopolos (making a good hourly rate) added to this chaotic environment, and the board let him. Some members having predetermined statements written before the hearing was even finished was abhorrent, minds made up before the hearing was started. And the paperwork being handed out as a “guide”. Only one side was allowed to add something to the select board meeting. That wasn’t Tim Brennans side who were denied an opportunity to add a persons insight an expert attorney.

    Hopkinton, get your act together. Your kangaroo court last night shows the lack of professionalism and leadership needed to navigate these difficult waters. Starting with the Chief and his attorney, shaming a decent police professional.

    Tim navigated waters for a victim helping her to become a survivor. Helping her have her day and for Porter to be held accountable. He navigated the murky waters of community policing and a situation that culminated with the victim telling Tim in August of 2022 that she was actually raped as a child. The day before she went to the DA. Difficult stuff for sure. Imagine how you would have handled this?

    The Chief defending his friendship with Porter and downplaying it was ridiculous. His lack of leadership at the top of the HPD is glaring. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on this wmalicious investigation and prosecution?

    It’s time you found qualified people on your select board. People who can follow a timeline and not be pushed into ruining an otherwise blemish free 30+ year career. Mr. Nusrullah was overheard saying he needed a drink, Mrs.LaFreniere was angrily reacting to a comment that wasn’t meant for her and couldn’t follow the timeline. (I’m not sure what she was speaking to when referring to a 14 year olds parents when the survivor is in her 30’s with children of her own) Mrs. Ritterbusch looked like a dear in headlights once she started reading her statement that was written before the “Hearing” and was called out for it by the gallery. This man’s career and retirement are on the line and you allow this attempt to railroad Sgt. Brennan? That’s pretty rotten. Why not ask the Chief why he didn’t have the know how to discipline an officer and keep it in house? Why blow it up? Seems like there is an agenda here. Where is the Interview notes for Chief with Kroll or the DA?

    Sgt Brennan was there for the vulnerable. He was there for a child of your community. He was there for you. Yet this Chief and his lawyer hire a firm to do an investigation that suggested Brennan broke rules, some that weren’t even in the book the Chief held up like a preacher holding a bible. (Loser move Chief!) The citizens of Hopkinton deserve better than allowing this Chief and his goon to try to deflect the blame upon Sgt. Tim Brennan. The grey area was navigated well by Tim.

    And to the Chief and his attorney. The way in which the characterized Tim Brennan was horrible. You don’t drag a man through the mud like this and waste so many resources and dollars. Tim Brennan is a decent man. Porter the accused

    I recommend the following. Have the Chief explain how much money was spent on this investigation, his decision to go after Brennan, and to pay this Police Professional for 8 months to sit on the sideline. Where in the budget does this money come from? Hundreds of thousands of dollars to discipline something that could’ve taken 30 minutes in the Chiefs office. Whatever happened to discipline that matched the situation and being a professional? The Chief and his defensive demeanor last night showed his lack of judgement and professionalism.

    As did the some members of the Hopkinton Select Board.

    Whatever path there is going forward and I hope there is resolution. I hope the Chief is held accountable. Chief Bennet could have handled this in his office, instead dollars, resources and careers have been ruined.

    All the Chief had to do was say “Thank you Tim”. For two reasons, you helped this woman and rid the town of a rapist.

    Since he didn’t, I will.

    Thank you Tim.

    #thankyoutim

    • I was surprised by several other things as well- like Amy R texting, Mary Jo complaining that they have to do this on “another Friday” and as you mentioned, Irfan looking for a drink. Unbelievable on all fronts considering the circumstances. It was like they just wanted to get this off their list of tasks for the day.

  7. The incoherent rambling of Chief Bennett regarding how he would have handled the initial investigation is nonsense. The survivor made it clear that she would not cooperate in any investigation. There were also no other witnesses to the allegation. I would like to know how Chief Bennett would investigate an allegation with no cooperating survivor and no witnesses.

    Additionally, this farce that if Sergeant Brennan had reported the allegation, the Selectboard would have had the power to take adverse employment action against Porter. Again, I would like to know how the Selectboard planned to do anything with no cooperating survivor and no witnesses. If Sergeant Brennan had not been an advocate and supporter of this survivor, Porter may still be employed.

    The meeting last night showed the Selectboard cared less about the survivor and more about their ability to control “their employee.” Which is exactly why there has been a mass exodus from the Town of Hopkinton. Poor management and a lack of leadership have driven employees out of town. The fact that tens of thousands of dollars were spent to investigate policy violations that weren’t even in effect during the allegation goes to show just how mismanaged the town is.

    Bring Sergeant Brennan back to work and find proper leadership for the police department!

  8. Select Board: “If we’d have known…”

    Really? That’s how you’re gonna spin this? Cowards. You just wanna be able to look yourselves in the mirror. You wish you had done better when you should have done better, so now you’re trying to make yourselves feel better by making Timmy Brennan take the fall for your own inaction and negligent supervision. You are elected officials. You are supposed to choose your police Chief wisely. You did not. The Chief is supposed to carefully pick his Deputy Chief. He did not. And then you (Select Board) also failed in your obligation to vet that Chief’s choice for Deputy. Shame on you all!
    And you guys (especially Mary Jo) kept on saying how Timmy Brennan should have told you what a bad choice Porter was for Deputy. Since when does the Town Select Board assign that type of role to a random Sergeant on the HPD? Where was that directive? It wasn’t Timmy’s job to get you info on the person being recommended for Deputy Chief. That was your job and the Chief’s job.

    Your Chief boastfully stated, “Sgt. Brennan did not have the rank, the authority, or the discretion” to make the victim-centric decisions that Sgt. Brennan made while compassionately considering the victim. A law enforcement officer *always* has discretion. The discretion given to any police officer should not be tempered without a full understanding of the unique circumstances that that officer faces. If you, Chief, want to own some discretion, perhaps you should own your own “sole discretion“ used in your pick of Jay Porter to be Deputy Chief of the Hopkinton Police Department. Your decisions, Select Board and Chief, time and time again, led to a series of promotions, where you, Chief, walked hand-in-hand with your pal, Jay Porter, to present him to the Board, as your pick for each of those promotions. So, in your learned opinion, Jay Porter was the very best pick for those positions. This, despite your close relationship, which, social engineering would say, likely led to your knowledge of the intimate relationship Jay Porter allegedly had with the victim. So there’s your “constant,” people. It’s the Chief’s constant pick of Jay Porter for every promotion, until the Chief’s buddy, Jay, finally was by the Chief’s side, to do his bidding, and that of the Chief’s own. Who better to trust than your bestie? So if you’re looking to lay blame, Select Board and Chief, take a long hard look in the mirror.

    So, Select Board, if the Chief didn’t give you all of the relevant information about his pick for Deputy (info that was readily available due to Porter’s longstanding reputation in this Town and in Upton — all you had to do was sit around at Cornell’s or at a local kid’s ballgame and listen to the banter), then that’s on the Chief (who was also *your* pick for Chief, btw) and on YOU, Select Board! Not on Timmy Brennan!

  9. I’m a former teacher from the HS. I worked with both Porter and Brennan. I’ve been following the story and I am so so upset. I was teaching there when the alleged rape of a child took place. I’m *sick* over this. I was also there when Brennan was the SRO. He is a kind man who cared about the kids and adults in that building. One time a male student was swearing and I asked him to stop. Brennan was across the cafeteria and saw the boy’s behavior. He flew across the cafe and got between us (I’m female) because he knew about the boy’s dangerous behavior, and I did not. He’s a good man. But at the time, I thought Porter was a good man too. Some of the former teachers and administrators have shared their thoughts informally (we’re all over the country now) on this matter and we are all sick over it. None of us suspected a thing–and that really bothers me. Believe me–we would have reported Porter in a New York minute if we knew. How dare you hurt one of our girls! Brennan should have reported. No doubt. We are all mandated reporters and we know what’s required of us by law. I think Brennan was taking care of the victim with the hopes that she could step forward and report herself. Are there times when following the letter of the law makes justice harder to achieve? But because Brennan failed to report–Porter was coaching teen girls in Blackstone. And we just don’t know about how those girls are–we *don’t *know *yet. This is *awful*. I’m sorry Hopkinton. I’m sorry that all of you are going through this. I’ve been praying for all of you, including Brennan, the victim, and even Porter.

    • Are you suggesting Tim should have reported the alleged rape to the alleged rapist himself – Porter? or to rapist’s BFF Bennett, the “Chief”? Do you know what Bennett knew of Porter? I respectfully request that you carefully consider your suggestions not knowing the full story. Hopkinton is “going through this” because those in charge are out of their league, are not strong in character, and continue to make poor decisions. It’s time for new leadership – leadership that serves the community – not their own egos and agendas. If the town wants change it’s time for those with passion and care for the town to step up. Bennett’s behavior last night confirmed his character. Bullying is not a good look for anyone including Bennett. I hope he can learn from this but my expectations are low. Your comments comparing Tim to Porter sicken me. Choose your words more carefully. If you are “sick” over these actions – imagine being someone in Tim’s family reading your ill thought through words. I find it saddening and disgusting that you would ever make a comparison. One is a rapist – the other is someone who made sure that the survivor had the time, space, and safety to report this heinous crime. The only person that matters in all of this is the survivor. The only person focused on bringing justice to the survivor is Tim. Thank you for being you, Tim. I wish there were more folks of your character in the world. #thankyoutim

      • Why be nasty? I know plenty. I want Tim to come out on top here too. My point is this is a hard situation. And I don’t appreciate your attack.

    • Dear WithLove…AndPrayersForPorter,

      Did you get your timeline from Mary Jo? She’s great, isn’t she? Did Mary Jo tell you that she was gonna call your parents?

      I hope you don’t teach history, WithLove, because, respectfully, you’re pretty terrible at understanding timelines.

      NOBODY KNEW of the abuse during the victim’s high school years. (That is, except Jay Porter, and maybe someone he would have wanted to confide in or brag to.)

      The “mandated reporter law” is triggered only if and when you (as a “mandated reporter”) learn about child abuse that is occurring at that very moment. The whole purpose is to report to DCF so that DCF can remove a child from an abusive situation. DCF does not remove adults from any situations. It’s the Department of CHILDREN and Family Services. And, for what it’s worth, back then it was CPS, which stands for CHILD Protective Services. Not Adult. Child.

      In 2017+ the victim was 28+ and was NOT a child in an active ongoing abusive situation. Instead, the victim was a mom who’d been adulting for 10+ years. And that’s the first time she told Brennan about “parking” with Porter. So all reporting occurred during the victim’s ADULT life.

      Stop spreading disinformation.

      • Another attack. I meant duty to report–sorry for the error. I know plenty here and my point was to send a heartfelt message to the community–not to demonstrate timelines, etc. Get over yourself with your self-righteousness.

        • Nobody is attacking you. They are correcting you. A man’s future is at stake and getting the facts corrected is important – it is not an attack.

  10. I was very disappointed in the open Selectmen’s Meeting and it pretty much started right off the bat. I get the fact that it was to be an open meeting, but not open to public input. I was naive enough to believe that the meeting may answer many questions that may educate the citizens of town, silly me! Of all the people who were permitted to speak throughout the evening, not one stated any expertise in any area of sexual assault guidelines, responsibilities, or obligations. However there was a person, highly qualified as a former Assistant District Attorney, who did possess the qualifications but was not allowed to speak. Maybe this former ADA could have given an opinion on what options that Sgt. Brennan did have available, or what the likelihood of prosecuting an uncooperative victim is. With all due respect to Muriel Kramer, I did use the word victim and not survivor, as this young lady, in my opinion, will continue to be a victim until the suspect is successfully prosecuted and convicted. Unfortunately, not all, but the majority of the board didn’t appear to have any regard or compassion for the victim. their sole focus seemed to be getting a pound of flesh from Sgt. Brennan.

    Next I would like to know what expertise, if any, the Town’s labor attorney has, and why was he allowed to present any comment, certainly not any experience with sexual assault victims. It is very disappointing to me that the Town spent any money on this attorney and the Kroll investigation, which recommended and supported charges, three out of five, any student in a junior high Civics class would know are bogus. You can’t be charged with something that wasn’t a law or policy when the alleged violation occurred. In other words, you can’t be charged retroactively, very simple. And the citizens of this town are paying big money for this level of advice, and who is hiring these “experts” for this level of service? In my nearly 40 years of public service, I have seen this tactic many times where they accuse someone, whom they have targeted, with multiple excessive charges, to bully, overwhelm, and intimidate them, when maybe only one or two charges even apply. It is a management scheme, and for the Selectmen to get drawn into such a ruse, even enhances the fact, that they were focused on one goal and one goal only. It is very apparent that they are blinded by their disdain for the way Sgt. Brennan handled this situation. This seems to be the second time in the last year or so that the Town has bought into an “outside consultant.” Let there be no mistake, these groups show up with colorful resumes, with samples of other projects that they have been involved with and they probably look good on paper. Just remember, they are in business to make money, and these studies, or projects are often steered or manipulated to keep the client happy, just FYI.

    A comment was made, something to the effect that none of the policies as drafted ever considered that the perpetrator would be in a department supervisory position. Let’s face it, this situation couldn’t have been anticipated in a million years, it was a curveball that came from Mars, in the whole scheme of things. To that end, Sgt. Brennan wasn’t presented a nice little package with a bow on top. With his years of training and expertise, his main priority and focus was to protect her physical safety, from any potential retaliation if suspect realized she may be contemplating an official complaint against him, try and prevent her from any further victimization or emotional trauma, while continuing to encourage her to report her assault. I truly believe that if Sgt. Brennan was giving confession to the Pope himself, that he would have never shared this situation with him!

    There were a few suggestions made that Sgt. Brennan could have gone to HR or a member of the Board. Maybe in a fantasy world of rainbows and unicorns, but not in reality! That would’ve made its rounds in the Town Hall, because no one would have had the authority to act on anything, and as is evidenced currently, the Select Board is more concerned with the only person who has shown any compassion for the victim. In my career, once as a supervisor, I tried to make a report of a female subordinate, that was sexually harassed by a male subordinate. Although very familiar with the Sexual Harassment policy, i reviewed it and went up the chain, and I was threatened with my job! Not a real warm and fuzzy feeling to get that response when trying to comply with a Federal Policy. I’ve seen it, experienced it, and almost lost my livelihood over it. It is not always rainbows and unicorns!

    What I’d also like to know, is when you pin on the shiny shield and take the oath of a police officer, where is it stated that you have to give up your compassion, humanity, empathy, integrity, credibility to satisfy a flawed policy or set of procedures?

    Sgt. Timothy Brennan exhibits all of those aforementioned qualities and more. There was no malicious intent at any point of this situation. He was focused on the victim and the victim only. He maintained her confidence, and continually encouraged her to come out with her story. I feel that those who insist on ruining Sgt. Brennan’s exemplary career are butt hurt that they weren’t a part of this situation earlier, and after seeing how they’ve handled it since they were made aware, thank God they weren’t! Maybe we can hire a consultant to investigate the fraudulent “expertise” that we were given, just a thought.

    • I would like to correct my statement that the female attorney that was not allowed to speak, formerly worked for the Attorney General’s Office, and not the District Attorney’s Office. My apologies.

    • I do want to make one comment on your post. The victim will never “get over” this. Sadly, I have been a victim since childhood too. You don’t get over it. Not even if he dies. 🙁

  11. Here’s my take on Tim’s character. The survivor trusted Tim because he is a stand-up guy who she knew would not betray her trust. Brennan respected the survivor and believed in her will to come forward in her own time. She trusted him with her secret much like we all have that one friend who will hold ours. THIS SPEAKS VOLUMES. Yes, this situation is way more nuanced, but what keeps haunting me is Porter’s power over the survivor and how absolutely intimidating and frightening this must have been for her even when the relationship evolved into a consensual one. Ugh to that! The only bad guy here is PORTER!

    I 100% believe that Brennan should NOT be terminated. However, if I were him, I would have the F this mindset and move on from the HPD. What’s crystal clear to me is the the chief has ZERO respect for Brennan.

  12. I’d like to leave a response to the biased Hopkinton Independent article summarizing last night’s hearing. I’m doing it here (instead of on Hopkinton Independent) because I’d rather ignore the ignorant. I hope HopNews will allow this comment, even though it refers readers to the “Town’s paper” (so called probably largely due to the fact that so much of its revenue stems from the Town’s advertising in it).

    So here’s what I have to say to that heavily-slanted summary found at https://hopkintonindependent.com/emotions-high-brennan-hearing-continued-so-sides-can-negotiate-agreement/ that ends with this:
    “Mannan asked what would have happened had the alleged victim never agreed to talk to law enforcement.
    ‘If the victim doesn’t come forward, does this die with all of us?’ he wondered, adding: ‘How do we trust the Police Department if everyone starts thinking that way.’ Struggling to get the words out, he added: ‘The voices of the vulnerable can be lost.’ ”

    My response to the above is as follows:

    But, Shah, the exact opposite occurred here because of Sgt. Brennan’s actions in a *very unique* situation. (Which unique situation should have given you pause. If you had studied victims’ stories of trauma, policing dynamics, and the specific dynamics within our seemingly-incestuous police leadership), you would have learned that, unfortunately, charges ensue in the minority of cases.) Here, the victim’s voice was NOT lost. It was heard. Heard loud enough for indictment! Honestly? It’s really nothing short of a *miracle* that, under the circumstances Brennan faced, this case reached indictment. Not just therapy for eternity. Not just a possible civil lawsuit. No. This victim, many years after her abuse, was able to see her perpetrator — the monster of her nightmares for 19 years — brought into court for arraignment on his actions that had occurred so many years ago.

    Do you realize how amazing that is, Shah? No. You don’t.

    You and your colleagues (save Muriel, maybe, a little bit) obviously don’t understand the complexities and extreme challenges of charging a decades-old rape case as a crime. Further, you and your colleagues are lost in a clock that does not exist for victims. For victims of sexual assault, that clock ticks or doesn’t tick, regardless of the actual date/time. They are trapped in an infinite time warp of violence and abuse until their offender is brought to justice (which, as I just said, for most, never happens). You might’ve learned more about police departmental pressures and victims’ mentalities had you allowed the sole expert in the room to speak (an expert on both working with the police and working with/for sexual assault victims controlled by a powerful and intimidating person).

    Moreover, you and your fellow Board members have a poor appreciation for the risk of injury. Hell hath no fury like a child-abusing cop scorned. Any cop will tell you that cops don’t fare well in prison.

    Add to that the nature of this crime, and you can bet your bottom dollar that there was a legitimate fear that Porter would hurt or even kill the victim (and maybe Brennan, too) to prevent the victim’s testimony (and Brennan’s testimony) and to protect his (Porter’s) job.

    Society knows that murder-suicide can be appealing to those who are desperate and feel no way out, such as a cop or person of power/authority who’s facing criminal charges. By all accounts, Porter’s reputation in this Town was, well, very concerning. So I think Brennan’s fear and the victim’s fear were more than reasonable under the circumstances.

    So what would this Town have done for them had they gone to the Select Board with the victim’s complaint? As noted above, and as brought to your attention by the several letters/comments from victims here in HopNews, that choice would have been met with A LOT of resistance, from all corners of Town government and police management. I mean, your treatment of this case and this victim, as highlighted above, already has evidenced your lack of an understanding of victims’ dynamics. What does the Town’s witness protection program look like? At best, it would have been a bus ticket.

    So stop kidding yourselves, Shah et al.

    To achieve his oath, and to achieve the public policy behind the police department’s SOPs, Brennan had to follow the path of least resistance. And it was that path that now is forcing Porter to answer for his alleged crimes. So #thankyoutim.

    (As an aside, Brennan’s actions accomplished what the Internal Affairs officers are supposed to accomplish, per HPD Internal Affairs Policy 4.01, and this, despite Brennan NOT being an I.A. officer. That policy asks I.A. officers to work for “protection of the public” (which Brennan did), “protection of [himself as the employee]” (which he did), protection of the department” (which Brennan did, by referring the investigation to the D.A.’s Office), and removal of unfit personnel (which Brennan did, by referring the case to the D.A.’s Office, which led to Porter’s departure from office — albeit when the Chief gave Porter the time, post-indictment, to retire). However, the Department failed to accomplish the final goal of that policy, which is the “correction of procedural training problems” (which the Department did not do because it failed to provide any remedial training to Brennan or any new policies and instead sought Brennan’s termination).

    Brennan basically had no other options other than the path he chose. And, in *this* case, that road to justice was *guaranteed* by only ONE person here: Sgt. Brennan. Bottom line: It is *precisely* because of Brennan’s careful and thoughtful handling of this case (surrounded by biased department management, and saddled with nonexistent and/or flawed policy guidance, and, as we now have seen, at the risk of his job and his pension) that this case has reached indictment. Most don’t.

  13. Dear HopNews Editor, my guess is the Select Board is deliberately not reading the comments that are being left here. My request is that you bundle the comments every few days and send them to the Board as formal communication so that they must be read. Your assistance in elevating these serious and legitimate concerns may be the best and only way to ensure the Board hears directly from the constituents they were elected to serve. Thank you for your consideration.

  14. There have been many valid things pointed out in comments maid by others here that I will not restate. However, a couple of things I do want to comment on. I did attend the hearing the other night. The only thing I agree with from the hearing was Muriel having the sense to postpone the decision and telling the two parties to go off and find an amicable solution with, I believe, 30 days. Amicable being the key word here.

    A couple of the Select board insinuated that their reason for supporting firing Tim Brennan was that Tim was responsible for Porter being promoted to Deputy Chief by not coming forward sooner. That is ridiculous. Tim Brennan was in no way part of the vetting process for porter being promoted. Even though Tim had not come forward at the time of Porter being vetted for the Deputy Chief position, there were plenty of other reasons Porter should have not been promoted that were know at that time. The fact that Porter was known as a bully with a reputation for retribution within the department, the community and Upton should have been a red flag. The fact that many officers have resigned because of Porters vindictive behavior should have been another red flag. How can you promote someone to a position of leadership if people around him and in the community are afraid of him. If the Chief did not know about Porters reputation that was happening right under his nose does not speak well for the Chief. Because of Tim Brennan’s self admitted contentious relationship with Porter, Tim had plenty of reason to want to come forward with the rape allegations, but Tim held back until he had a corroborating victim that was willing to come forward. Otherwise the investigation would have gone nowhere, Porter would have still be recommended for promotion and Tim would have been in Porters sights. The vetting and promotion of Porter lies solely with the Chief and the Select Board. If the Chief or the Select Board knew nothing of Porter’s reputation, where the hell have you been?

    I would like to suggest to Tim, if at all possible, formally add Attorney Keely to his defense team so she would be allowed to speak at the next hearing, if there is one. The Select Boards denial to let an expert in this area provide valuable insight shows the boards unwillingness to make an informed decision. The board did not want some inconvenient truths presented at the hearing for the crowd to hear. This was supposed to be a hearing where facts were presented and a decision made based on those facts. Unfortunately, it appeared that the board came into the hearing with their minds already made up. Nothing made this more apparent than Select Woman Amy Ritterbusch reading a pre-written statement in support of terminating Tim Brennan. It is no wonder the crowd was so irate.

    This situation has uncovered some painful truths about the how the Police department has been run and the current Select Board. Time to clean house.

  15. As reported above, Officer Brennan was accompanied by his attorney and “Attorney Elizabeth Keeley, the former Chief of the Human Trafficking Division at the Office of the Attorney General (AGO) for Massachusetts, and now an attorney in private practice.” Keeley had submitted a statement to the Select Board but was denied the opportunity to read it out loud at the meeting. I would like to know what was in her statement since she seemed to be the only qualified expert in the room in terms of sexual victimization and the relevant legal issues surrounding prosecution of sexual predators. I think if the SB was truly interested in a fair hearing for Officer Brennan, they wound have allowed her to read her statement. Those at the hearing as well as those watching on HCAM were denied the opportunity to hear her expert statement, one that had been made available to the SB. That does not seem appropriate. This seems consistent with their withholding the statement Chief Bennett made to Kroll. This seems to have been a very biased hearing. It also seemed to me that Mary Jo was very confused about the timeline regarding the age of the alleged victim at the time she confided in Brennan or maybe she thought she was currently 14??? Could this confusion have affected her vote?

    The SB seemed resentful that they promoted an alleged sexual predator (Porter) and was determined to make Brennan pay for their embarrassment, regardless of whether his actions actually resulted in Porter being charged, something that would not have happened if he had reported it due to the alleged victim not being ready to report it/her position that she’d deny it if he reported it. They would not have been able to deny Porter’s promotions based on unsubstantiated claims made by Brennan and if Porter was made aware of the allegations, the alleged victim would have been at risk. Chief Bennett would not have been able to do any investigation if Brennan had reported it for the same reason. He might have questioned Porter, who would have denied it, but who would then have been made aware that the alleged victim was talking, which is what she was afraid of. Muriel seems to have been the only one who understood this.

  16. Do we know if Mary and Irfran ever got that precious alcoholic beverage? I know what a huge inconvenience having to deal with this on your Friday night…

  17. The only thing that is crystal clear after Friday night’s hearing is that this is not going to be resolved at the town level. It simply can’t. The select board and the Hopkinton police department are one and the same here. It is no different than your HR department at your work. The HR department’s job is to protect the company, not the employee. “How could you let us continue to promote him, to give him more power.” This was the Select Boards grievance that immediately followed Councilor Fogerty and Sargent Brennan’s nuanced explanation of how an investigation like this needs to take place. How the survivor will give the police bits and pieces over time until they are in a place where they have the strength and wherewithal to come forward and file formal charges. It was like it went in every member of the select board’s collective ears and out the other. Tim Brennan was the only one that was looking out for the survivor every step of the way and he wasn’t going to let her be re-victimized by the HPD.

    Another thing that is quite clear is the SB is hoping and praying that both sides can come to an agreement in the next thirty days because they are woefully ill equipped to handle this matter and they know it. Mary Jo couldn’t follow the timeline. Amy felt it was appropriate to read a lengthy pre-written statement in her closing. From the very beginning, Muriel said that it was going to be difficult for people to handle the outcome. It was a dog and pony show. A bag job with a predetermined outcome. If the survivor herself had walked into the middle of the hearing on Tim’s behalf, Irfan wouldn’t have let her speak.

    The HPD / select board has one objective here and that is to get Tim Brennan to give up and lay down. He’s been on an 8 month administrative leave? Can you imagine how emotionally taxing that has been for Tim. That’s not even taking into account the financial impact that he and his family have endured. They are trying to wear him down and put him in a financial and emotional position where he has no fight left in him.

    I really hope that Tim continues to fight this and I hope that this goes to litigation. If the HPD and chief Bennet were to face the scrutiny of a formal discovery process, I believe a lot would come to light. If it comes to that stage, ex Hopkinton cops will be interviewed., subpoenas will be issued. All emails, texts, internal memos will fall under the discovery process. With the mass exodus of good cops leaving HPD, it is necessary and fully warranted and should be demanded by the citizens of Hopkinton. What is happening at HPD is not a normal phenomenon. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

    Stay strong Tim! Good always prevails and the truth always comes to light!

    #I’m with Tim

  18. It would seem to me that if terminated, Sgt. Brennan would have one heck of a wrongful termination lawsuit. He could also set up a Go Fund Me page for his defense, and I would be happy to donate, as would many others.
    As an added benefit, discovery would be a blast!

    • The board knew the next step was suit and this is why the dialogue went in the direction it did. They were coached and are now anticipating and trying to minimize the next bit. Cogs in Bennett’s wheel. He’s one creepy conniving bully. It was odd to see Bennett socializing with the board through the breaks but in many ways it all makes sense. Change is necessary – starting with removal of bully Bennett.

  19. The BOS is completely out of touch. 2 are coming to the end of their terms in the next few months and we can hope they don’t rerun. I hope to see a petition for the other 3 to be kicked off – a table set up in the back of the CVS parking lot where we can easily arrive, sigh, and go. Next we need 5 new people who are vetted for not having the same mindset as the current board. There are some good people out there, and maybe now that party affiliation is off the ballot some of them will have a chance.

    • Don’t you mean that because we live in a democracy, people can run a campaign, and the PEOPLE can decide for themselves who they want to vote for?

  20. Nope. I would want a drink if I were on that board too. We’ve all made comments like that! What a nasty comment to make about people who were elected to the position and receive no pay for their volunteer work! Isn’t that what Tim was talking about?

    • Is the logic that because they sought out these volunteer positions that don’t pay anything, that it’s ok to show up to something of this magnitude totally unprepared, then act defensively and myopically, and also make a decision to terminate in a vacuum before the hearing? That’s all ok just because you are a volunteer and were elected?

      • NOPE! I didn’t say anything of the sort. My comment was about the overreaction to someone in a stressful situation saying, “I could use a drink”. What’s really sad is that some citizens have dug their heels in so far on this issue that you’ve become nasty and lost the ability to think critically.

  21. I attended the Loudermill Hearing on Friday Jan 19, 2023.

    As a result of listening intently to the presentation from Chief Bennett and his representing attorney, the presentation by Sgt. Brennan and his representing attorney, and the questions, discussion, and in some cases prepared statements from the Select Board, I am left very disappointed and my confidence in certain people broken. I am also left wanting more transparency.

    I am disappointed that some elected members of the executive leadership of our town seemingly cannot consider a complicated, nuanced issue and form an objective, appropriate, legal decision based on facts, not emotion. I am disappointed that some members of the Select Board cannot put aside emotions (revulsion of the crime allegedly committed by Porter, anger that they had supported past promotions of Porter, personal relationships with people involved, etc.) and look at the facts and details of the specific matter before them. I am disappointed that some members of the Select Board seem to want to base their decision on the wish of changing the past, the hope that some action in the past could have brought justice sooner for the survivor, the hope that some action in the past would have ensured a person suspected of a crime be removed earlier from roles where he could potentially continue to commit similar crimes versus the actual facts regarding the specific questions of disciplinary action for policy violations. I am disappointed that some members of the Select Board seemingly do not understand the legal actions that the Board can or cannot take if certain information was presented to them in the past (how would they legally leverage an unsubstantiated claim of a crime being committed – with no evidence, with no corroborating testimony from the victim, and presumably a vehement denial of wrongdoing by the accused – in a formal promotion, hiring, or termination process?).

    I’ve lost confidence in our police chief to handle a complex, nuanced situation in a professional, objective manner. I don’t see complete transparency from him with regard to his actions/lack of action and his choices throughout the process. I am shocked that a recommendation of termination was put forward by the chief based on criteria that were so easily dismantled by another attorney. I am disturbed by the character assassination attempts that were embedded in the chief’s and his attorney’s statements. I personally do not have confidence that the chief would have ‘done the right thing’ if an unsubstantiated claim of Porter committing a crime were presented to him in the past by another member of his department.

    As a citizen of this town, I want more transparency. I want to better understand the actions and motivations of Chief Bennett and the Select Board throughout this process. I want to have a clear understanding of what actions were taken by the Chief and the Board and when. I want to know what information has been provided to whom and when and what information has yet to be shared. I want to know the Board’s plan to move forward to a resolution in an objective, fact-based, legal way. I want to know how the Chief plans to fix the issues within the police department.

    To the Select Board: Step up to the task of being an objective decision maker for this town or step aside.

    To the Police Chief: Step up to be an objective, professional leader of a key town function or step aside.

    To both the Select Board and the Police Chief: you have lost the confidence and trust of many town residents. What are you going to do to rebuild that trust?

    • This is the most accurate representation of exactly where the Town of Hopkinton is after Friday night’s hearing. There are other despicable underhanded action that have occurred that reflect poorly on the intentions of Town officials, elected and salaried, through this entire process. Hopefully at some point they will come out and things will change for the better for the Town.
      This entire affair has not only put a dark stain on this Town’s reputation, it has also ruined the career of the only person in Town government who acted with any sense of integrity, character and honor, Tim Brennan.
      Most importantly, and something we all should never lose sight of, a survivor is out there who along with her family continues to struggle and suffer in silence while she awaits her day in court to make her case against Porter. The comment made at the hearing about her parents by one Select Board member in particular was nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt at victim-shaming.
      I really can’t fathom how the Select Board members and Town officials involved in this show trial that would make Putin proud can live with themselves after Friday night. Yes, it is a tough job, but you have all failed miserably in your haste to scapegoat Tim Brennan and cover your asses.
      And most importantly, on Friday night you all failed the survivor — a courageous young mother who bravely took the steps necessary to keep an alleged predator from ruining any other young person’s life. She has demonstrated so much more courage than any of our elected officials and police chief.
      I for one am in total awe of this young woman. I salute her for her brave stand to defend those who may not have been able to defend themselves if they had the misfortune to experience a similar horrific event to the one that she has lived with for so long, and indeed will live with for the rest of her life.
      The fact that the Select Board and Police Chief have lost sight of what is really important here and seem to only be concerned with their own reputations is disgusting.

  22. Whatever was done at that “hearing” was neither honorable nor restorative justice. What the Chief of Police is doing to Sgt. Brennan is wrong and the Select Board members are making themselves complicit. The Chief and SB made this about themselves, their embarrassment over Porter, covering themselves and protecting their futures. Sgt. Brennan is the ONLY one who put the victim first but that is no surprise.

    I know from personal experience that Officer Brennan does anything in his power to help a victim. He does not “fail to report” or support, stay silent or fail to take action. But the solutions some want were not IN his power this time with Porter being the accused. He navigated an impossible position while supporting the victim until she was willing. The wrongful blaming of Brennan and the false equivalency in the media linking Brennan and Porter’s names are abhorrent. The only thing they have in common is they were both her SRO, but one allegedly raped her, while the other was a role model who earned her trust to the point that she felt safe confiding in him years later. If not for that, Porter would still be next in line to be Chief. Now Brennan is being forced out and defamed for testifying against his direct superior. That is corrupt and morally wrong.

    I commented previously on the Babbins’ letter that “Officer Brennan has earned the trust of the Hopkinton community. He certainly earned mine long before this and will have it long after this is settled.” The hearing only leaves me with more respect for him. The chief and SB failed to earn the community’s trust and respect. Officer Brennan spent his career serving and protecting the town of Hopkinton, but when it mattered 4 of 5 members failed to step up for him. I hope that this somehow works out for Officer Brennan and his family after what they have been through. He has earned that.

  23. Bless you, Tim, for choosing to have your Loudermill Hearing in open session. 

    Residents should be grateful for the immense spotlight that lit up certain individuals’ actions, behaviors, and attitudes during the hearing that otherwise might never become known if the hearing were held in executive session.

    I have no crystal ball, so I have no way to know what the end result will be, but I do know this: your choice for an open hearing was quite a gift to the residents and other members of the public.  I just hope others realize it and are able to make good use of it.

  24. I would like to know if Attorney Nicholas Anastasopoulos will be held accountable for his actions. Using documents that were not to be used at the town meeting. A police officers livelihood and retirement are on the line and this man uses reports that were agreed upon contractually to not be used for such, in a public forum. Seems pretty shady to me. Maybe Mirick O’Connell, his law firm should talk with this employee as to why he would do such a thing. Personal gain? professional gain? It doesn’t seem very professional to me. Pretty shady stuff indeed.

    Time for the Chief and several select board members to resign. Your failures at due diligence and negligence in this situation are undeniable. The way in which you neglected your duty (nusralah, Mary Jo, ritterbusch) by not even reading the documents. The prepared statements before the hearing was finished. And the sharing of the documents without reviewing them (ritterbusch- instagram) with the Survivors name included.

    This is a mess. The chief. Deputy Chief. Nicholas Anastasopoulos, several select board members. Embarrassing and neglectful. The Chief needs to go.

  25. I offer a Q&A on the Loudermill hearing which might be helpful for the SB to review before the negotiations conclude and the hearing resumes.

    1. Under the Town Charter and regulations, who has the responsibility and authority to promote officers within the Hopkinton police department?
    a. Police Chief
    b. Select Board
    c. Police Chief and Select Board together
    d. Sergeant Brennan

    2. Should Sergeant Brennan have come forward with an unsubstantiated claim of abuse?
    a. Yes, the party receiving the report would have acted on the claim and would have conducted or commissioned a private investigation protecting the confidentiality of all parties involved.
    b. Yes, and bar the door on the tension and chaos that would have developed within the PD with the accused and accuser working side by side.
    c. No, Sergeant Brennan should have waited until the victim was comfortable and willing to substantiate the claim.

    3. Should Sergeant Brennan’s private counsel have been allowed to present expert testimony at the hearing?
    a. No, because the parties agreed on the ground rules before hand that only specific individuals would be allowed to speak. After all, it is paramount to protect the process.
    b. Yes, because the purpose of the hearing is to gain the maximum possible information to make informed judgments.

    4. Should SB members have understood the timeline of events (outlined in the Hopnews post of the 23rd)?
    a. Yes, you would think it would be critical to the decision making process.
    b. No, this information was only received shortly before the hearing.

    5. Should SB members have read prepared statements as part of their deliberations?
    a. Yes, to be sure they clearly expressed all of their thoughts
    b. No, as impartial adjudicators, they should have approached the hearing with minds open to persuasion. Having a prepared statement indicates that decisions were made prior to hearing, rendering the hearing process itself irrelevant.

    Would you like my answer key?

    • Well said Tom. I might add one additional question for them to ponder:

      How as a Board do we best protect the victim (not survivor, a survivor is one who has gone through the process and come out the other side; we won’t be there until after the trial)?
      A. Attempt to fire the one person she trusted enough to share her horrible situation with, so that the alleged perpetrator could be brought to justice
      B. Releasing her name to the public
      C. Both
      D. Listen thoughtfully to the testimony given, take the action required by this thoughtful listening to restore Sgt. Brennan to active duty, and using his knowledge from this tragedy to see if changes might be made to policy to better serve victims and the town.

  26. It’s time for Muriel Kramer and Amy Ritterbusch to step down. It is embarrassing wha they have done to this incredible town by turning it into Wokeinton. Officer Brennan is one of the finest people I have ever met. Removing him from the force would be a travesty. Removing Muriel and Amy would be pure justice. Get out and vote people! Take back Hopkinton!

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