Thursday, September 28, 2006

Police IA probe public, court says

Police department records of an internal affairs investigation of alleged cheating on a police promotional exam are public, a Superior Court judge in Boston has ruled. The ruling reversed a decision by the state supervisor of public records, who concluded that the records were personnel files and therefore exempt from disclosure under M.G.L. c. 4, s. 7(26)(c). Superior Court Judge Mitchell J. Sikora Jr. wrote:
The Supervisor and the Department appear to argue that the present subject of alleged cheating on a promotional exam constitutes an intramural departmental matter and not a public one. The competence and integrity of a police force are intrinsically public concerns. That concern endures without regard to the identity of a complainant or inquisitor as either a member of the force or a member of the citizenry. Both groups are entitled to know that the police possess the competence and integrity to police themselves.
The decision is Leeman v. Cote, Docket No. 05-5387-A, decided Sept. 18, 2006.

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