HomeOpinionLetter to the SB: Police, Politics, and Power

Letter to the SB: Police, Politics, and Power

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To the Select Board:

Police, politics, power, and a bit of good old corruption. You don’t need to turn on Netflix or look very far because it’s happening right here in your own back yard.

I don’t think Hopkinton residents realize the impact of the decision our Select Board is about to make regarding the fate of Sgt. Timothy Brennan in its Executive Session on Thursday, Feb. 8th at 5pm at Town Hall.

If the Select Board uses its broad discretion to terminate Sgt. Timothy Brennan, it clearly will suggest that this Town has much bigger issues, issues that should concern all residents.

There were a lot of things I found while researching this case that concern me; however, as to where we are right now with tomorrow’s “Executive Session”, there are a few FACTS that every Hopkinton resident should know.

FIRST: We have been misled to believe that the victim’s report to Sgt. Brennan about Deputy Chief John “Jay” Porter’s rape of her went unreported by Sgt. Timothy Brennan. 

This simply did not happen.

Here’s what really happened, per the Kroll Report (the town’s hired gun for the Chief’s investigation), in its lengthy interview of Sgt. Brennan:

  • On 8/21/22, a 32-year-old woman (who was no longer living in Hopkinton) revealed sufficient facts to Sgt. Brennan to convince him that she had, in fact, been raped, per Massachusetts’ legal definition of rape. Sgt. Brennan confirmed that the victim was ready to report those facts to a professional SANE interviewer on the following day.
  • Less than 24 hours after learning those facts, Sgt. Brennan also confirmed that the victim had, in fact, participated in a SANE interview at the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.
  • On 8/23/22, the Middlesex D.A.’s Office called Sgt. Brennan to tell him that the D.A.’s office would be calling the Hopkinton Chief [about the victim’s allegations], and it would be best if Sgt. Brennan kept [the allegations] to himself, since the D.A.’s Office now was conducting an investigation.
  • On 8/25/22, Chief Bennett called Sgt. Brennan and told Sgt. Brennan that he (Chief Bennett) was going to be placing Jay Porter on administrative leave, and added, further, that “[Sgt. Brennan] knew more than others[,] why [the Chief was placing Porter on leave],” clearly intimating that Chief Bennett, at that time, knew Sgt. Brennan had advocated for the victim’s report of the crime to the D.A’s Office.

    So that’s the time frame. Sgt. Brennan did not wait years, or months, or even days.

    In fact, the very next day after Sgt. Brennan learned of the fact (that the woman had been raped, per Massachusetts’ legal definition of rape), Sgt. Brennan confirmed that the victim had succeeded in telling her story to a skilled and trained SANE interviewer at the Middlesex D.A.’s Office, ensuring the best possible outcome for the criminal prosecution of her abuser.

SECOND: Chief Bennett spent more time, and a minimum of $30,000, to look into a potential “policy violation,” rather than look into figuring out why nearly 40% of the Hopkinton Police Department has left under his command.

THIRD: On February 6th, 2024, the Select Board heard from an expert working with women victimized by sexual violence, rape, exploitation, and sex trafficking. That expert confirmed that Sgt. Timothy Brennan’s role in this case was, in fact, the “best practice” he could have followed in this extremely nuanced and unanticipated situation – an unforeseeable one certainly not contemplated by the HPD policies – in the area of victim rights related to the crime of sexual violence.

FINALLY: Likely one of the more questionable things I’ve found doing my own reading of all of the documents that the Select Board and the Police Chief released is that the investigative report by Kroll cannot be used for the exact way the town is using it. 

Kroll’s report states that it is intended for use by the client “only in connection with a business, investment or other commercial purpose. Any other use (including for employment purposes, credit evaluations or insurance underwriting purposes) is strictly prohibited and client has agreed that no such use will occur.

After tomorrow, our Town will bear immense liability to the victim, and possibly even Sgt. Brennan, should they unfairly discipline him. This cost is now a burden strapped to all of our backs, simply because our Chief and our Select Board had too much hubris to admit that their policies were inadequate and their hiring practices had been reckless.

Are you wondering why so many residents have been unaware of the facts surrounding this case? Well, the facts are a bit buried. I do not think the Select Board expected that residents would read through 94 pages of Kroll’s interview with Sgt. Brennan. They didn’t expect residents to read another 35 pages of the Kroll Report, or to put them side-by-side to compare what was that was missing from the full report. They didn’t expect Sgt. Brennan’s Loudermill Hearing to be reviewed multiple times, along with the transcript, or for us to dig through the Massachusetts General Laws, or to read through Hopkinton’s 22-page Town Charter. They certainly didn’t expect us to to talk to experts in the field of internal investigations specific to police departments in Massachusetts or to attend the Select Board’s meeting and speak up against their actions.

But I did all of those things, as did others.

Should we even have to do all of this research? We trusted that our Select Board members were taking the time to be sure they studied the reports, but there are many documented indications that they did not.

I sometimes even wondered why I was so entrenched in studying these documents. I didn’t even know anyone involved in this case. I wasn’t looking to fill hours of time each day. I just followed along with articles in major newspapers, local newspapers, online news, and things shared on social media like many residents probably did; however, when I started to get a feeling that things weren’t adding up, well, suffice to say that I just don’t like an injustice.

Karen Crum, Hopkinton

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you Karen for helping to expose such gross corruption in Hopkinton. The Chief and the select board have stained our town. They should be ashamed but of course they are not. They need to be investigated, terminated and prosecuted

  2. When will Chief Bennett be held accountable? He broke the law and likely HPD policies by releasing the Kroll report and identifying the victim. He also caused the victim personal trauma. It is outrageous that the SB hasn’t addressed this. What he did is far worse than what he wants to fire Brennan for.

    • Maybe they are waiting to hire another consultant to do a pricy study paid for by the townspeople about it since they don’t have enough evidence. Remember consultants sway the results of their work toward those that are paying them.

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