The latest in ConleyGate:
Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis gave Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley detailed reasons yesterday for why his department should retain control of all Boston homicide investigations and suggested that Conley should focus on the safety of the public…. Davis said the prosecutor’s plans to have State Police investigate killings on MBTA and state property will create confusion.
In his letter to Conley, Davis persuasively argues that Conley’s move will only create problems.
“You state ‘in the event of an apparent homicide or sudden death that occurs on or near a train or trolley track’ State Police shall be the investigative body,” Davis replies to Conley. “As you are aware, there are train and trolley tracks on many major thoroughfares throughout the city of Boston.” … “What do you define as ‘near’ a train or trolley track?”
In a curious wrinkle, Conley has finally got someone backing him: the outgoing chief of the MBTA Police, Joseph Carter, who will shortly take over as Governor Patrick’s new head of the MA National Guard.
[I]t is especially disappointing that Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley is escalating his feud with Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis…. Conley was livid when Davis replaced a supervisor of the Boston homicide unit in July without consulting the district attorney’s office. Davis should have shown more respect for a traditional agreement that brings DAs in on such decisions. But it was an understandable oversight by a relatively new commissioner who was making major personnel decisions. Conley overreacted, and he continues to do so…. The safety of Bostonians depends on the ability of police and prosecutors to create the right balance leading to timely arrests that also stand up in court. Interdepartmental feuds don’t lead to such a result. The state Executive Office of Public Safety needs to step in and mediate this situation before it escalates any further.
Oooh, yes, tut tut. Seriously, I had sort of hoped for a stronger statement than “disappointment” and that Conley “overreacted,” and that EOPS should “mediate” the situation. But it’s better than nothing, I guess.
As to the suggestion that EOPS should mediate, however, I disagree. I think it should be the Governor. I frankly don’t see why he’s not on the phone to these guys telling them he wants them both in his office in half an hour. This kind of thing is an embarrassment, and someone needs to step in, calm everyone down, get them out of their turf war mentality, and find a way forward. That’s what Deval said he did when he ran the church-burning task force at DoJ (“I think the church arson work was important and very successful. It was unusual in a lot of ways that couldn’t be appreciated outside the government because these are agencies that don’t usually cooperate.”). Why not put those skills to work here?