I don’t have much to say about Reed Hillman’s record as head of the State Police. The facts are pretty much laid out on the table: the policies against pregnant women doing much of anything were blatantly sexist and discriminatory. It is alleged that he referred to women as “broads”.
But since this has been and will be compared to Tom Reilly’s choice of Marie St. Fleur, who had trouble paying her taxes, or Deval Patrick, who had trouble paying his in 1996, let’s be sure to draw a bright line between the three cases: The Hillman controversy involves the man’s on-the-job, administrative record. St. Fleur’s and Patrick’s involve their own personal business.
Now, that doesn’t mean that St. Fleur’s problems aren’t important, or that they didn’t reflect badly on her and on Reilly, who didn’t vet her carefully enough; or that Patrick shouldn’t have been more careful ten years ago. It’s not good for any of them.
But with Hillman, we’re talking about his record as a public servant, as an administrator, as a boss. So to my mind, the scrutiny he’s receiving is even more justified. Glen Johnson’s AP report yesterday says that Hillman did indeed clean up the Police’s act, and that the new policy “stands as a model for law enforcement agencies across the country.” That’s good, but we should continue to examine whether he’s really a different fellow than eight years ago.