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Lawyers demand cop's medical records
By Carolyn Kessel Stewart / Daily News Staff
Thursday, May 12, 2005

HUDSON -- Town lawyers are demanding the medical records of a cop who has alleged in a federal lawsuit that harassment and coercion by superiors "strained" his family and caused him "sleep depravation, weight loss and anxiety."

In his lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Boston in 2003, Patrolman Joseph Kerrigan claims his free speech was violated, he was threatened and intimidated, he was caused "severe emotional distress," his contract was interfered with and he was slandered and defamed.

In response to the claim that Kerrigan suffered sleep deprivation, weight loss and anxiety because of how he is treated at work, attorneys for the town have requested medical records from Kerrigan's doctor, R.T. Moody.

Kerrigan had refused to answer the request, and Moody had refused to release records without Kerrigan's OK. The town has made a motion to compel Moody to give a deposition or release records.

Kerrigan, who is suing Police Chief Richard Braga, Capt. David Stephens, Lt. David French and the town, detailed the allegations against his bosses in recently filed court documents related to the suit. Kerrigan, Braga and French could not be reached late yesterday for comment.

Kerrigan claimed officers tried to break up his marriage by delivering internal police and private documents to his wife.

The eight-year veteran also asserted in court documents that French convinced two women to make untrue complaints against him. Kerrigan claimed French's girlfriend falsely accused him of wiretapping and that French pressured another woman to seek a restraining order against him.

According to the court records, French called Kerrigan's home incessantly while investigating him in 2000 and once "lost control" over the phone. French allegedly called Kerrigan's wife "over 30 times" and during one call, threatened and swore.

When the phone call was reported to Braga, Kerrigan claimed Braga refused to document it. Former patrolman Dan Sheehan then filled out an incident report, for which Sheehan was later disciplined, and the report was removed from the police files, Kerrigan said.

Kerrigan said the alleged harassment did not end there.

"I am routinely followed and monitored on detail assignments, shifts posts and cruiser operation. I have also received numerous, baseless letters of reprimand," Kerrigan wrote in court documents.

Kerrigan claimed he is doled out the worst shifts and assignments, such as always being assigned foot patrol, even during bad weather and despite the fact that he is the senior patrolman on his shift.

He also has twice been passed over for the job of sergeant. He won a ruling from the Civil Service Commission that said Braga was "biased" and had unfairly bypassed him for the job when Kerrigan received the top exam score.

The town appealed that decision last summer and is waiting for a Middlesex Superior Court judge to make a ruling.

Kerrigan said he has been denied "numerous times" the position of officer in charge and the job of detective, photo fingerprint position and police prosecutor.

Kerrigan claimed the harassment is retaliation for his work in convincing the town to adopt the hotly debated Quinn Bill in 2000, which awards additional pay to officers, and for criticizing the department. Kerrigan said in the court documents that he was punished "maliciously and deliberately" by management in an attempt to silence him.

( Carolyn Kessel Stewart can be reached at 508-490-7475 or [email protected] ) MetroWest Daily News
 
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