I see that Fred Wyshak was promoted to head the Boston U.S. Attorney’s office of public corruption and special investigations. That came as a surprise to me when I read he was replacing the head of it, Brian Kelly, who has gone off to join the Nixon Peabody law firm in Boston. My view of Whitey’s trial was that Freddy Wyshak ran the show and Kelly was his sidekick.
Kelly was interviewed by Howie Carr shortly before last Christmas. It seems he has become one of Howie’s new best friends. I’ve been told Howie is saying that Kelly will be joining him on his book tours. Maybe Howie can bring along his other best friend Murderman John Martorano. That would make quite a show Kelly and Martorano, who murdered 20 people, laughing it up along with Howie.
Kelly didn’t take too long to go over to the other side. Makes you wonder how he can form this alliance with Martorano’s book partner. I would have thought one of the last persons in the world Kelly would want to associate with would be Howie.
My knowledge of Wyshak had me believing he had few restraints upon him in his dealings. Now, it appears, if he had any he now has none. I not sure that’s really good to have a guy in his 60s who has done nothing all his life except prosecute cases in charge of making decisions on what is and what is not public corruption.
An example of Wyshak’s lack of judgment is the case involving John O’Brien and the two other probation officers who are facing charges that could bring over twenty years in prison because they hired some people based upon the recommendations of high-ranking people in the Massachusetts Legislature and judiciary. You’d think if there were a crime here then those that instigated it would also be charged. Yet Wyshak gave all the legislators and the judges a pass but not the people doing their bidding.
The federal crime committed by the probation officers is that even though they hired qualified people they did not hire the most qualified people according to Wyshak’s standards. They then used the mail to tell the more qualified people they were not hired. The criminal gain they achieved was not to put money in their pockets but to have the probation department receive an increase in its budget.
The case arose after the Boston Globe did a Spotlight Report on the probation department. There seems to be a pattern that after the Globe does such a story the U.S. Attorney in Boston takes action. We are in sad times when newspapers become partners with the government.
We heard in the Whitey trial how Globe Spotlight Reporter became upset that the FBI did not find any criminal violation by Billy Bulger in the 75 State Street investigation. He called FBI Supervisor John Morris and urged him to keep the matter alive. We’ve seen the U.S. Attorney’s office leak grand jury minutes to the Boston Globe. Some day a clever defense lawyer will want to learn exactly what the communications are between the Globe and the Boston U.S. Attorney’s office.
Some suggest Wyshak was lured into the case because a Bulger, one of Whitey’s nephew’s, was part of it. Wyshak has said the downfall of FBI Agent John Connolly came about because he got too close to “the Bulgers and Southie,” so there may be validity to that suggestion. Yet despite Wyshak’s valiant efforts he came up with nothing against nephew Bulger. (How entirely innocent he must be!) But he’s stuck with the others and has to try to spin it into something that it isn’t.
George F. Will wrote a column last November 1 about the Carol Bond case. Carol learned her husband had impregnated her best friend and became, as you might expect, a wee bit upset. Carol put toxic chemicals into her friend’s car causing chemical burns on her thumb. She was charged by the federal government pursuant to legislation Congress passed to implement the 1993 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction. Will said: “the federal government did not intervene in the Bond case because her action threatened a distinctly federal interest. It intervened because it thought it could: Government’s will to power is an irresistible force until it meets an immoveable object — a court. Which is why our Constitution requires not judicial deference but active judicial engagement in defense of its liberty-protecting structure. And why the case of the mildly injured thumb matters so much.”
Will also noted a judge who concurred in the decision on her case called it: “a troublesome example of the federal government’s appetite for criminal lawmaking” (the federal criminal code includes more than 4,450 crimes). He hoped the Supreme Court would “clarify (indeed curtail) the contours of federal power” to intrude on local matters.”
The O’Brien case, if it is criminal at all, never should have gone to federal court. When you have to use the mail fraud statute to indict people without criminal records and who put nothing in their own pockets you have gone over the edge. Mail fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice, are charges that can easily be brought. It is hoped in the Carol Bond case the Supreme Court will tell the federal prosecutors to stay out of the state’s business.
According to reports in the O’Brien case, Wyshak is up to his old trick of withholding evidence from the defendants. US District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV who is handling the trial suggested Wyshak was trying “to make the defense scramble in a way on the eve before trial.” Wyshak fired back at him: “It’s the same motion, time and time and time again. The only thing that’s different is the name of the defendant.” In other words he’s usually hiding stuff until the last minute.
Wyshak was hardly bothered that some judge would object to his last minute chicanery of giving defendants documents he had sat on for a over a year despite his continuing obligation to do so. But he knew the judge would not do anything about it. It’d turn out Judge Saylor, another judge who was a former federal prosecutor, fell in line and caved to Wyshak.
Wyshak’s forte is trial by ambush. His act has traditionally been approved by the judges. He’s a good one to put in charge of a unit where others will learn from his example.