HomeNewsTown spends $30k (and counting) to investigate while Sgt. Brennan idles on...

Town spends $30k (and counting) to investigate while Sgt. Brennan idles on paid leave

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On May 11, 2023, Hopkinton Police Sergeant Timothy Brennan was placed on paid administrative leave, with the town offering no reason for the action. In a written statement, Chief Joseph Bennett said “The town does not comment on personnel matters.”

>> RELATED: Sergeant Tim Brennan Placed on Administrative Leave

The decision to indefinitely suspend Brennan was made by the Hopkinton Select Board, presumably in Executive Session.

Three months prior to his suspension, the Town’s attorneys, Mirick, O’Connell, DeMaillie & Lougee entered into an agreement of services with Kroll, Inc. which offers “worldwide expert services and tech-enabled advisory through all states of diligence, forensic investigation, litigation, disputes and testimony,” according to its website.

HopNews obtained the Kroll Services Agreement and invoices through a Public Records Request (PRR) to the town. Although the Agreement does not reference individual personnel, the PRR specifically identified Sergeant Brennan. The PRR read in-part:

We are seeking any and all estimates, statements of work, proposals, briefs, invoices, project plans, transcripts of phone calls, or memos that the town has received from Mirick, O’Connell, DeMaillie & Lougee, LLP to conduct an investigation into the Police Sergeant Tim Brennan suspension matter.

Days later the town responded with the Agreement and two invoices.

Section 1 describes the scope of work:

Client has engaged Kroll to conduct a confidential investigation into allegations of possible employee misconduct involving allegations that members of the Hopkinton Police Department may have been aware (of) potential misconduct by other members of the Police Department and did not report it appropriately. (the “Assignment”). Kroll will conduct an independent administrative investigation (“Services”).

The Agreement defines a fee arrangement that is variable depending on the resources assigned, and discounts the fees because the end client (Town of Hopkinton) is a municipality.

  • Managing Director – $650 per hour discounted to $480 per hour.
  • Associate Managing Director -$575 per hour discounted to $430 per hour.
  • Senior Manager – $475 per hour discounted to $355 per hour.
  • Associate Manager $400 per hour discounted to $300 per hour.
  • Investigator $300 per hour discounted to $225 per hour.

Notably absent from the Agreement is a detailed list of deliverables or a timeline of work, implying that the engagement is open-ended. Also missing is a point of contact or project leader from the town’s side. It appears that in this case a subcontractor of the town (Mirick) is managing another subcontractor (Kroll), with apparently little line of sight or accountability from the town’s perspective.

The Agreement was signed on February 1, 2023 by Attorney Nicholas Anastasopoulos on behalf of the firm and the town. 

Although requested by HopNews, an estimate of costs was not provided in the town’s response and it is unknown who, if anyone, received an estimate before the commencement of work.

As of July 31, 2023, the town has spent $30,573 on this project to date. Mirick et al. have billed $13,396 in legal fees and Kroll has charged $17,176 in investigative services. The majority of the work has been performed by Managing Director Daniel Linskey at the highest billable rate.

From the scope of work cited in the Kroll Agreement, and because he has not been charged with a crime, it can be reasonably deduced that Sergeant Brennan is being investigated for violating a Hopkinton Police Department policy. It’s unclear why the town took the extraordinary step to engage outside counsel and outside investigators for what appears to be an internal matter. 

Brennan’s suspension came just two days after former Deputy Chief John Porter was arraigned on rape charges. As reported in HopNews, Brennan cooperated with Middlesex DA investigators and provided testimony against Porter to the grand jury, all while remaining on activity duty.  

Hopkinton PD continues to have several vacancies at the leadership level, including a Deputy Chief, Lieutenant, and because of Brennan’s suspension, a Patrol Sergeant.

Brennan remains suspended with full pay.


  1. Personally, I feel like the central issue is financial accountability. Is there a budget? If so, what is it? And who is in charge of monitoring the budget on the town’s end? This is our money, after all. With taxes heading higher for the new school, it would be nice to know that our money is being spent frugally.

  2. Sergeant Brennan would have been crazy to tell Bennet. He would have been putting his and his family’s welfare at risk.

  3. Our PD has been in shambles for years now!!! Many vacancies, rampant turnover, investigations… what is it gonna take for people to wake up?

    Maybe they should stop spending our money on investigating a GOOD officer who did the right thing, and start looking into the problems in our police department!

    Hire an outside investigator to talk to ALL the department members, not just the chief!!

  4. This is just payback for telling the truth to the Grand Jury. A good cop, Sgt. Brennan, gets screwed because the Town ends up looking bad when Porter got charged. Here’s a few questions:
    Why did the Town not notify Blackstone Valley Tech HS that it’s deputy chief, who was coaching a girls soccer team at Blackstone, was under investigation for allegedly raping a student?
    Are the most senior Town of Hopkinton officials not mandatory reporters under the laws of Massachusetts?
    Is it not a total abdication of duty among those senior Town officials to not notify Blackstone to ensure even more young girls were not put at risk until the investigation was complete?
    You want to investigate Sgt. Brennan when you, the Town, also ignored your responsibilities — with the potential for even worse harm being done to young people?
    Is anybody investigating the Town for their even worse violation of common human decency?
    Shame on you all.

    • So well said Tim. Shame on the town leaders for failing so miserably. As we’ve seen, it takes time sometimes for details of horrible abuse to come out. I pray another little girl wasn’t assaulted. Who’s investigating these town leaders???

      • It’s the hypocrisy that is so galling. You violated our policy, so you need to go sit in the corner, Sgt. Brennan. But oh, the Town knew about the ongoing investigation for almost a year and yet when the news of the indictment broke, the top official at Blackstone said the first news he heard about it was from the media when they called to ask for comment that morning. The Town should have included in Porter’s suspension that he was not to have any interactions with underaged individuals. That should be the absolute lowest bar in a situation like this. They had to know he was the coach on a high school girls soccer team in a neighboring community. Yet they played see/hear/speak no evil with those students’ lives. It’s really an extraordinary, total failure on the town’s part to, I don’t know, maybe “serve and protect” those that were still the most vulnerable. And yet meanwhile , they penalize a good cop for trying to do right by the person bringing the complaint, all while sitting atop their mighty high horses. Should take down the Town Hall and just but up a glass house. The hypocrisy and hubris is sickening. Reinstate Sgt. Brennan NOW with full apologies to him and his family. This continued persecution is nothing more than revenge on the Town leaders’ part. Do you realize how absolutely petty and small-minded you are coming off as in what is already a horrible stain on this community?

  5. Once again the Hopkinton Town leadership is clueless, displays their unending ability to spend taxpayer money on mindless studies, now with attorneys and investigators “feeding at the trough” to the tune of $30,000 (and growing) while simultaneously paying a police officer’s salary and benefits to not work for 3 months (and continuing).

    The officer testified under oath as to what he knew and this should be a fairly simple case. If believed guilty of a CRIME and the evidence supports it, the District Attorney needs to charge him and he should be placed on UNPAID LEAVE pending the outcome of his trial.

    If the District Attorney cannot or will not charge the officer, the Police Department needs to be determined if he is guilty of violating a Police Department POLICY. If this is the case, whatever action the policy dicates should be imposed; whether that be dIsmissal, unpaid leave, fine or whatever the POLICY details. This should not be allowed to continually hang over the officer’s head. He either needs to get back to work at the Police Department or move on with his life.

    What cannot be allowed to continue is for the Town to blindly pay an attorney and investigative firm to literaly steal from the Town with OUTRAGEOUS hourly billing and for the Town to continue paying an officer not to work.

    An opinion on my part, but as other residents have recently pointed out, Hopkinton has grown to the point that a Town Meeting form of government does not effectively serve the Town or it’s residents. The Selectmen and Town Manager have given us nothing but continued debacles such as Legacy Farms, the recent Town construction/bike-lane fiasco, trail fiasco, looming Town financial crisis and the soon to be $170,000,000 Elmwood School replacement project (aka Taj Mahal) which is shaping up to be another debacle.

    Enough is enough!!

    • You must not know Sergeant Brennan! Tim is the poster child for a community police officer knows everyone engages on and for duty with any and all he has contact with. Involved in the community along with his wife while on duty and off. If all law enforcement conducted their duties like Sergeant Brennan we would all be in a better place.

  6. Good day: The spending in town is out of control however remember the select-board doesn’t spend a dime they only recommend town meeting spends ALL the money. The select-board never says no to any spending proposal its pricing people out of their homes. A moratorium on spending is needed starting with any new school idea, use existing buildings.
    As for the police department I feel they are doing an excellent job. The days of the gustato agency are over thanks to Chief Joe Bennett. Officers stopping every other car for minor infractions is long gone or dreaming up violations is over. The aura of the department has vastly improved, in the past some people were afraid to drive through town for fear of being targeted. That’s all in the past thank goodness. Chief Bennett has turned the agency around.
    Stop the spending in town…please.

    Ed Thompson


  7. Sgt Brennan is a great officer, he’s a man with a huge heart and he does his job with its responsibilities with a great passion. I’m tired of seeing him and his family dragged threw the mud. This all hurts his kids and wife as much as Timmy. Let’s get Tim back in the job where he belongs!!!

    • I hate to break it to you but he broke the law and in doing so put other children at risk. He is a mandated reporter and even worse, a police officer. I love all the people on here talking about what an honorable man he is and even blaming the victim for confiding in him. Really?

  8. Unfortunately, Sergeant Brennan was put in a terrible position when the victim confided in him and asked him not to tell anyone. As a mandated reporter, he was legally obligated to provide this information to his superiors when he learned it. That’s how mandated reporting works, it does not give you a choice to wait until you are subpoenaed before a grand jury. And yes, legal fees here are climbing, but that’s the way the system works. There isn’t any mention of police union involvement in this investigation, but I would be very surprised if there wasn’t any. Also, I would be equally surprised if the town didn’t have insurance to cover situations like these.
    And while we are on the subject, why doesn’t the town hire a general counsel full-time to deal with legal matters? If we take a look at how much we spend by contracting out this work and compare it to a decent yearly salary for an attorney I think we find we could save a lot of money by returning to this model.

    • Kelly, I then go back to the Town’s responsibility in doing everything it could to prevent any additional harm being done to young people while the investigation was going on. At the least, they should have insisted that Porter not work with underaged children as a condition of his continued employment with the Town during the investigation. They did not do that so they are just as guilty in the spirit if not the letter of their responsibility to the community. If the Town suspends and investigates Brennan, why isn’t the Town also responsible for their own inaction. The Town’s responsibility first and foremost should have been to protect other young people. It was a total, abject failure of Town leadership. They’re just making a scapegoat of Sgt. Brennan. It’s disgusting.

    • No that mandatory reporting laws have changed in recent years. Policy is not law. Porter is accused of breaking the law. Sergeant Brennan is accused of violating policy. Two completely different things. You could be accused of breaking the law but as a civilian non employee you could never be accused of violating HPD policy

  9. This just screams corruption. How would Town leadership believe taxpayers would think anything legitimate is going on here? Sounds like someone has a personal vendetta against a good PO, would did nothing legally wrong. Unreal.
    Maybe we should all band together and boycott our town leadership and ALL REFUSE TO PAY OUR PROPERTY TAXES until we get answers and accountability. They just keep spending and spending and spending, expecting us to pay, without asking where/why our money is going. I guess…since it happens at a federal level, they believe it is ok for them too.

  10. The Police Department has become void of leadership and direction.

    Chief Bennett gets hired.
    The Chief promotes Jay Porter to Deputy Chief (a poor choice for Deputy — a weak leader with tendencies toward being a bully — just ask those who worked with and near him). Many in the Town and in the Department knew (or should have known) it was a terrible choice that would result in dire consequences…including the Chief. And if Kroll is worth its salt (and, btw, worth $500/hr., too!), it, too, will reveal that fact to the Town Select Board. The choice of Porter for Deputy sent a clear message to the good cops in the Department: fall in line with our way of thinking, or feel the lash. And it put some members of this community in fear…because there are several – and not just this victim – who knew/know what Porter is capable of. The promotion of Jay Porter should have been an immediate red flag to the Town that Joe Bennett was not the right man for the job as Chief.
    The reaction of the good cops? Well it’s no surprise that there was a sudden exodus (over one-third of the department!) of good cops out of the Hopkinton Police Department (some, even, to lower-paying more-challenging environments). This community should be a desirable place to be a police officer, with a waiting line of quality applicants. Red flag number two.
    Sgt. Brennan was placed in the unenviable position of having to report the sexual assault of a minor to his direct report (Porter), who allegedly was the perpetrator of the crimes, or report the matter to Porter’s best pal and supporter (Chief Bennett). As an experienced detective and investigator, Brennan had only one option — the right one — to make his report to the District Attorney’s Office (which, by the way, came with a seasoned, experienced, and objective third-party detective unit…exactly what every scared victim and scared witness deserve).
    The Chief doesn’t want to be known as the Chief who promoted the child rapist. So he deflects. He finds a scapegoat. He also protects his pal, Jay Porter, by trying to muddy-up the witness who will have to testify for the prosecution at trial. The Town and Chief Bennett hired Kroll nearly 6 months ago! This, ostensibly for a policy violation that easily could have been resolved quietly with a letter of reprimand for failing to report though channels – even though Brennan’s choice to violate policy and go directly to the D.A. is a completely understandable choice of action, given the facts of this case. Instead, we’re now faced with a costly, unprecedented, and wasteful use of town resources that could have been resolved with a one-page report identifying a minor administrative violation of policy, but noting, too, the circumstances and the involvement of a victim worried about retaliation of both Porter and Bennett. Chief Bennett has spent more time and Town resources on a minor policy violation investigation than on any of the matters associated with the alleged criminal actions of his Deputy Chief. This whole thing smacks of textbook scapegoating. Sgt. Brennan is being railroaded for the Department’s obvious leadership inadequacies.

  11. What’s the Town’s answer to a lame duck Chief? Enable him more.
    Crime is up. Crime prevention and detective work is down.
    Someone break into your home? Don’t expect real detective work right now (e.g., no dusting for fingerprints, no follow-through, lack of an interest in doing the work, etc.) because the Town’s very best detective/supervisor isn’t working. He’d love to work. But the Chief would rather keep Sgt. Brennan suspended with pay on an unexplained policy violation, hoping that the Porter matter somehow will go away.
    It won’t.

  12. This from the Chief who didn’t even have the common sense couth to deliver a death notification in person to a local teenager’s family that lived a few short blocks from the station (he thought a phone call would do), just adding insult to injury in the worst possible way. This Town should be ashamed of itself for allowing Bennett (and his supposed best buddy, Porter) to be running that Department for as long as it has. If the Town were smart, it would apologize to Sgt. Brennan, and to the taxpayers, and then would make Sgt. Brennan the new Chief!

  13. If you are the victim would you feel more comfortable with the only Police Officer you trust going to the DA’s office (with an objective state police detective unit) or going to the Chief who is besties with the officer who violated you?

  14. If anyone wondered if Sgt. Brennan’s instinct was correct in thinking that the Chief might cover up the case in order to protect himself and his buddy, Jay Porter, their speculation was laid to rest when the Chief turned and made Sgt. Brennan his scapegoat, promoting more media over a minor policy violation than he did for a Department member committing an alleged child rape…all to save his own face. My how thou doth protest, Chief! With this response by the Chief (to suspend Brennan for doing the *only* thing truly possible in order to ensure that the victim *appropriately* would be heard), then perhaps the Chief (not Brennan) is the one who should be getting investigated. Who’s looking at the history of the Chief’s responses to policy violations (even his own!) to see if there is a history of selective and/or disparate treatment? And is the Town in bed with the Chief? Why so quiet at command central? What does the Chief, the Town, (and now) Kroll and Daniel Linskey have to hide? Are they all attempting to cover up their tracks and mitigate their liability in maintaining Bennett and Porter at the helm (even after sooo many red flags, had the Town done even a lackluster background investigation into them, especially Porter). I suspect they are developing a pretty good list of pretextual reasons to place the blame on Brennan for their own mistakes and unprofessional decision making. The public hasn’t seen any formal/official accusations against Brennan (or that Kroll report), and if Brennan himself has been kept in the dark, too, on that matter, then it’s a shameful and insulting violation of Brennan’s due process. (As an aside…Where’s the Union and why aren’t they up-in-arms at all of this?!) In a police department desperate to hire new cops and desperate to tourniquet the bleeding arm of attrition, they rely heavily on the overtime commitments of current staff; I wonder how much OT Sgt. Brennan has missed out on since his suspension. I’m guessing the DA isn’t all that happy with the Chief’s choice to punish Brennan — and the victim — for doing the right thing.


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