EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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October 26, 2012

Officers' secret defense

Closed-door discipline hearings continue on handling of crashes involving ex-state troopers


Late yesterday afternoon, Cox said the parties concluded the portion of the hearing involving the officers’ handing of the Noyes crash. Another session will be scheduled to consider Miller’s handling of the incident involving Regan, Cox said. He said no decisions have been made because all lawyers involved will be given time to file written arguments.

Earlier yesterday, the officers huddled with their lawyers and union representatives outside the hearing room for about a half-hour before the session began around 10:30 a.m. Inside, DeNaro, Deputy Chief Donald Thompson and hearing officer Michael Ward, a Boston lawyer hired by the city, waited for them. Ward immediately told a reporter who entered the room that the hearing was closed to the public and media.

The mayor will ultimately decide the officers’ punishments, after he receives a report and recommendation from Ward.

A police investigation earlier this year concluded that Miller conducted a questionable investigation and violated several Police Department rules in his handling of a February 2005 incident in which Regan crashed his white Mercury into another vehicle at the intersection of Route 110 and Forest Street and then fled the scene.

Police found that Miller changed the nature of Regan’s crash on police paperwork from a hit-and-run to a “regular” motor vehicle accident. The investigative report said Miller declined to charge Regan with a crime after meeting with an unidentified state trooper less than one hour after the crash.

The meeting took place in a Haverhill shopping mall, according to the police report, which also stresses that Regan was no longer a trooper at the time.

Police investigators said Miller told them he could not recall the name of the trooper who came to meet him and that he did not write it down anywhere or document the meeting in any way. Police said they do not believe Miller ever spoke to Regan about the crash.

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