Earlier we reported on the Boston FBI's rollout of a new anti-corruption program. The FBI cited public cooperation as an asset to discover public officials who are abusing the public's trust. However, for a former Massachusetts prosecutor, it was his drug dealer who led officials to discover the prosecutor's corruption related activities.
Stephen Gilpatric, 35, has been indicted on corruption-related charges for allegedly exchanging sensitive law enforcement information for drugs and cash. Attorney General Martha Coakley announced that a grand jury indicted Gilpatric on charges of unlawful gratuity, unlawfully communicating criminal offender record information, and receiving unlawful compensation.
Before Gilpatric was suspended, he worked in the Middlesex District Attorney's Office, handling major crimes, including corruption cases as part of the Public Protection, Anti-Terrorism, Corruption and Technology Unit. Gilpatric has allegedly used his position to gain and pass on confidential information including a secret Board of Probation record, a police report and photograph, and an organizational chart of a drug ring.
Gilpatric is alleged to have given the insider information to his drug dealer in exchange for oxycodone, suboxone, and money. In 2012, Gilpatric allegedly called Lexington police to ask for favorable bail treatment for another suspected drug dealer. This suspicious activity was reported to the DA's office, but he apparently explained away the call. After his drug dealer was arrested in 2013, officials began investigating Gilpatric.
It was not only Gilpatric's drug dealer who benefited from the allegedly corrupted former assistant district attorney. He is also suspected of accepting $1,500 from a woman who was trying to get her son's commercial driver's license reinstated. The license had been revoked after the son had pleaded guilty in a criminal case.
WCVB 5 quoted a retired judge and law professor at Suffolk University Law School who found the indictment against a high-level prosecutor extremely troubling. "Public safety, to begin with, counts on fully committed, fully on-board prosecutors and police that are going to get the right people, do it fairly, that are going to do it ethically and that are not going to cross inappropriate lines," said retired Judge Isaac Borenstein.
So far, the District Attorney's office does not suspect that any of the cases handled by Gilpatric were in any way compromised. However, it is unclear for how long the former prosecutor wastrading information. He was with the DA's office from November 2007 until October of last year. Anthony Benedetti, chief counsel for the Committee for Public Counsel Services said that the public defenders whose clients were prosecuted by Gilpatric would be notified of the charges.
His Oxycodone addiction was apparently costing him hundreds of dollars a week. According to his lawyer, Melinda Thompson, Gilpatric overcame his addiction to the pain pills, and calls the case a tragedy. "He's just such a good, good human being," said Thompson. "Everyone always says something like that when something like this happens, but in this case, it's really true." Gilpatric has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him, and has been released on personal recognizance.