Mass GOP Attacks AG Healey’s Office About Judge’s ‘Misconduct’ Finding in Drug Lab Review

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Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman Kirsten Hughes pounced Thursday on a Boston Herald report linking Attorney General Maura Healey’s office with a criminal drug lab review that a state judge labeled as acting in “gross misconduct,” according to the newspaper.

Superior Court Judge Richard J. Carey, according to the Herald, “skewered” two of Healey’s former assistant attorneys general — Anne Kaczmarek and Kris Foster — over a May 2016 review prepared by Healey along with a duo of retired judges and two state troopers that concluded that “no merit in any of the allegations of prosecutorial misconduct or obstruction of justice” existed against the two assistant AGs, despite allegations they failed to provide defense attorneys with medical records related to state chemist Sonja Farak, who was later proven to have been using drugs prior to her January 2013 arrest.

Carey on Monday overturned seven drug convictions that involved Farak’s handiwork, according to the Herald.

Carey concluded that Kaczmarek and Foster misled the court.

Hughes on Thursday interpreted the news, in a press release issued by MassGOP, as an example of “concealing evidence” and a “cover up” of mistakes in the drug lab scandal, the consequences of which, she said, “could lead ‘thousands’ of convicted drug dealers being freed.”

Said Hughes:

“The only thing worse than the gross incompetence of Maura Healey’s office during this case is her office’s effort to deceive the public and cover up mistakes. With thousands more drug cases now tainted due to the AGO’s inability to own up to its errors, Healey should apologize for her office’s misconduct that could have lasting and dangerous consequences for our state’s criminal justice system.”

A 2016 report prepared for Healey, according to the Herald, indicated prosecutors were aware of Farak’s own drug use as early as 2011.

A Healey spokeswoman, according to the newspaper, “acknowledged shortcomings” in how Farak’s case was handled, but “stood by” the Healey report. She added that the two judges — retired Superior Court Judge Peter Velis and retired Orange District Court Judge Thomas Merrigan — “issued a report to Judge Carey finding no evidence of prosecutorial misconduct by attorneys in the Attorney General’s Office.”