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Gotta love small town politics..... :roll:


SEEKONK -- Following an investigation, the state District Attorney's office has cleared police officers of allegations of inappropriate conduct this past Christmas Eve that were brought by Selectman David Viera.

Additionally, while the story that the allegations were based on turned out to be untrue, no charges will be filed against Viera relating to the incident, according to Seekonk Police Chief Vito Scotti.

Scotti said he received the response from District Attorney Paul Walsh's Office on Monday. He announced the findings at a press conference held in his office on Tuesday afternoon.

Scotti said that after he informed Viera of the District Attorney's findings, Viera apologized-to him and the officers involved. He added that because Viera's complaint does not meet the criteria under state statute required for filing a false report of a crime, no charges will be filed. "To me, the matter is closed," said Scotti.

Several attempts to reach Viera were unsuccessful.

The issue stems from an incident that was alleged to have occurred on Dec. 24, 2004. According to documents, Viera reported to Seekonk Police at approximately 6 p.m. that he had received information that a uniformed Seekonk police officer had been seen at Seekonk Fine Wine & Spirits placing alcohol into the trunk of a Seekonk Police cruiser.

Viera said he had been told about the incident by his fiancee's 15-year-old son, who works at the liquor store. His fiancee's 18-year-old son was reportedly a witness to the incident as well.

Viera said he did not file an official written complaint, but verbally reported the incident to the police station. He said at the time that he stood by the younger teen's account, and that it was backed up by his older brother.

Viera had said that his original complaint was made in the form of a phone call to the officer in charge that night. He said he had said something to the effect of "Oh, by the way, you might want to check the trunks of the cruisers" in order to send a message that someone knew about the incident and such behavior should stop.

However, according to the May 9 letter from the District Attorney's Office, after State Police interviewed the original complainant and witnesses and reviewed the physical evidence, including photographs of the scene, the allegations proved unfounded.Further, the letter states that the witnesses admitted to state police that their story was fabricated, and physical evidence supported the officer's version of events.

Scotti said that during an internal investigation of the complaint, police uncovered "physical evidence" that led to his original call for State Police to look into whether Viera should be charged with filing a false report. He declined to say what the evidence was, referring further questions to the State Police.

At his press conference, Scotti said, "The findings by the Massachusetts State Police support the findings concluded by the Seekonk Police Department internal affairs investigation.

The review of this matter by both the office of the Attorney General and State Police assigned to the District Attorney's Office further exonerates the officers of the Seekonk Police Department against whom these allegations were made."
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