Gov. Charlie Baker said his public safety secretary "incontrovertibly" had nothing to do with giving an order to scrub a State Police arrest report of embarrassing details and references to the suspect's father, a state Trial Court judge.
The administration has launched an internal investigation into allegations made by a trooper that his State Police superiors disciplined him and made him revise an arrest report for Alli Bibaud, who was found in possession of a heroin kit and charged with operating under the influence of drugs.
Bibaud is the daughter of Judge Timothy Bibaud.
The details that were reportedly removed from the arrest report include the daughter's reference to her father's profession as well as claims that she would perform sexual acts for leniency, and had performed such acts to obtain drugs.
The trooper – Ryan Sceviour – has filed a lawsuit over the episode alleging that a supervisor told him the order to revise the report had come directly from Public Safety Secretary Daniel Bennett through State Police Superintendent Col. Richard McKeon and down the ranks.
"Those are serious allegations. It's very important that the facts associated with them be properly vetted. For example, one of the facts in there was that Dan Bennett was involved, secretary of public safety. He wasn't. Incontrovertibly was not," Baker told reporters on Thursday after attending a police awards ceremony with McKeon at the State House.
The governor did not say who was leading the investigation for his office, but said he expected it to be completed quickly. Because of that, Baker said he would not be putting anyone on leave pending the outcome of the review.
"I don't think it's going to take a long time to complete, but it's a serious set of allegations. It's a significant set of issues, and I don't believe in making decisions on stuff like this without having had a chance to fully vet everything that's in front of us, which we're going to do and we're going to do it quickly," Baker said.
McKeon left the State House without commenting to reporters on the situation, but the State Police has acknowledged that the report was revised to remove details they considered to be sensational and not germane to proving the state's case against Bibaud.
Baker said he has spoken with McKeon about the lawsuit.
"People want us to take these things seriously. You don't take something seriously in 24 hours. You take something seriously by actually making sure you work your way through all of the information that's in front of you, all the information that's not, and then once you have all that information you make decisions," Baker said.
The Boston Globe published a detailed accounting of the situation this week after questions were raised about the arrest report by a local blog.
The Boston Herald reported Thursday that Attorney General Maura Healey's office is also investigating.
Sceviour arrested Bibaud, 30, on Oct. 16 after responding to a car crash on Interstate 190 in Worcester. The charges were not changed after the report was amended.
This report was originally published by the State House News Service.