TRIALS OF TURTLEBOY: Worcester Blog Takes On Boston Newspapers Over Coverage Of Massachusetts State Police Scandals

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The provocative Worcester-based blog Turtleboy Sports, the first to break the story about how a Massachusetts state trooper apparently faced discipline for including incriminating details in his arrest report concerning a judge’s daughter, days ago broke a story regarding a K-9 trooper’s lurid history of drug dealing and money laundering.

Both of Boston’s major newspapers — the Boston Herald and the Boston Globe — recently followed up on the Turtleboy report with stories of their own.

Neither publication cited, however, Turtleboy’s original reporting, triggering a firestorm of criticism in both newspaper’s online comment sections. [Editor’s Note:  The Boston Globe has added a reference to since originally publishing the story.]

State Trooper Leigha Genduso’s history, according to federal court transcripts leaked to Turtleboy, includes a period during the early-to-mid-2000s which she spent living with a since-convicted drug dealer, a former boyfriend against whom she testified — and apparently perjured herself — soon after investigators were drawn to the couple’s  home in North Reading. Her testimony includes admissions of selling marijuana and laundering drug money for her since-convicted boyfriend, who was actively involved in a drug trade featuring kilos of hydroponic — or high-grade — marijuana. 

The Turtleboy account of Genduso’s past, which appeared online Monday, includes a copy of her 100-plus page testimony. Earlier reporting by the blog managed to connect Genduso’s quick rise within the State Police ranks from a civilian dispatcher to K-9 officer to her romantic relationship with Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Risteen.

That story, posted at the beginning of last month, contains details alleging that Risteen was actively involved in the alleged conspiracy surrounding State Trooper Ryan Sceviour, whose federal lawsuit currently wrangling its way through Massachusetts U.S. District Court in Boston claims that Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early’s office was complicit in a scheme to whitewash lurid and incriminating details from the arrest report of Alli Bibaud, daughter of Dudley District Court Judge Timothy Bibaud.

Risteen, according to multiple sources with knowledge of Sceviour’s situation, is now being represented by an attorney but has yet to be named personally in Sceviour’s complaint.

Meanwhile, both the Herald and the Globe have reported that Genduso was placed on paid leave this week. Neither newspaper’s account includes the testimony obtained by Turtleboy Sports. According to the Herald, Genduso was placed on paid leave Monday — the same day the Turtleboy Sports story appeared online.

A search of the federal court docket involving the 2007 conviction of Genduso’s ex-boyfriend, Sean Bucci, includes an entry referring to Genduso’s testimony. The court reporter involved in documenting Genduso’s testimony, when reached by the NewBostonPost on Thursday night, confirmed that copies of Genduso’s testimony are verifiable. The court reporter subsequently shared copies of Genduso’s two days’ worth of testimony with the NewBostonPost — files totaling more than 500 pages, which can be viewed below. 

Turtleboy has indicated that an “anonymous source” sent the author of the story a copy of Genduso’s testimony.

Genduso could not be reached for comment. A search for her formerly active Facebook profile yielded no results. 

In statements provided to both newspapers, State Police spokesman David Procopio confirmed that Genduso was recently placed on paid administrative leave from her $151,000 job and will be subject to a duty status hearing. Procopio would not confirm whether the publication of Genduso’s criminal history played a role in her suspension.   

“The department has opened an internal affairs investigation, the results of which will determine whether further action will be taken,” Procopio noted.

“He [Procopio] would not say why she was placed on leave, adding that state police don’t comment on the reasons behind personnel action,” the Herald’s report states.

Turtleboy reported on Tuesday that Genduso had been placed on leave, a day before the Herald’s report landed and two days ahead of the Globe’s publishing of the story.

The Turtleboy website, which relies on the anonymity of both its sources and its own bloggers, has been critical of news outlets that have picked up on their reporting yet have failed to cite Turtleboy.

“Everyone has been wondering who would be the first mainstream media outlet to steal our story on pot dealing, tax evading, money laundering, perjuring snitch State Trooper Leigha Genduso,” the blog proclaimed in a post published Thursday. “And the answer is…the failing Boston Herald.”


Read the entirety of Leigha Genduso’s testimony, delivered Feb. 22-23, 2007: 

2007-02-22 Genduso Testimony 01 by Evan on Scribd

2007-02-23 Genduso Testimony 02 by Evan on Scribd