Gants’ response to Speaker’s request a misstep

Mass. Lawyers Weekly, November 19, 2015

To the editor:
When The Boston Globe Spotlight team published a series of articles revealing, to no one’s surprise, that there was political patronage hiring in the Probation Department, the Supreme Judicial Court hired attorney Paul F. Ware Jr. and armed him with subpoena power to conduct an investigation.
When the Spotlight team published another series suggesting the premise that the percentage of acquittals in bench trials of OUI cases was too high, the SJC, to its eternal shame, accepted the premise at least as a hypothesis and hired an attorney to investigate.
When House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo complained to Chief Justice Ralph D. Gants about the illegal leaking to The Globe of his sealed deposition in the Ware investigation, Gants, rather than conduct an investigation, informed the speaker that he would refer the matter to the U.S. attorney, the attorney general and the Ethics Commission.
I don’t know which is worse: that the chief justice would intentionally and gratuitously insult the speaker, who has a great deal to say about the court budget, or that he actually believes or thinks the speaker would believe that any of those three worthies would conduct an actual investigation that must start at the doors of The Boston Globe.
Brian R. Merrick
West Barnstable
The writer is a retired District Court judge.

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