A prominent Massachusetts lawyer could face criminal charges after hosting what police records describe as an alcohol-fueled New Year’s Eve party for her teenage daughter at their Scituate home.
Scituate police accused Tracy A. Miner, 54, who has been deemed one of the best white-collar criminal defense lawyers in the country by her peers, of furnishing alcohol to minors, a violation of the state’s social host law, and of keeping a disorderly house. Miner, her 17-year-old daughter, and seven others ages 17 to 19 were summoned to appear before a clerk magistrate in Hingham District Court to determine if charges should be filed.
The clerk’s office said the hearings would take place within the next two weeks.
If prosecuted, Miner could face a $2,000 fine, up to one year in prison, or both. She could not be reached for comment.
Under the state’s social host law, it is illegal for adults or minors to furnish alcohol or allow it to be consumed in their home by underage drinkers.
Campaign finance records and public databases show that the Tracy Miner living at the Scituate address is a lawyer with Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky, and Popeo. A spokeswoman for the law firm declined to comment.
Miner is well-known in Boston, where she has represented corporations, financial institutions, and public officials. In 2002, she represented former FBI agent John Connolly Jr. in a federal racketeering trial in which he was convicted of warning gangster James “Whitey” Bulger to flee to avoid prosecution.
Miner was appointed by Senator Edward M. Kennedy to the selection committee that made recommendations for the US attorney and US marshal in Boston in 2009.
Scituate police arrived at Miner’s Gannett Road house on New Year’s just after the ball dropped and 2013 began. Someone had called police, said there was an unconscious male at a party, and then hung up. Arriving officers were met by a stream of up to 30 teenagers running from the house, the police report said. Officers tried to stop the teenagers and ask about the passed-out youth, but were met with mute responses.
Officers pulled into the driveway, got out of their police cars, and started searching the property. The front and side doors were locked, but officers saw partygoers scattering inside the house, some gathering up liquor bottles and cans.
One officer knocked on every possible door and window but said in the report: “My attempts failed.”
But one of his colleagues who was also looking through the windows spotted the unconscious teen in a basement chair “slouched over not moving,” the report said. Firefighters opened the sliding glass door and started treating the boy, who eventually regained consciousness. According to the report, he told paramedics that he had a lot to drink and did not know what was going on.
Scattered through the first floor and basement were about 50 beer cans, pizza boxes, and two 55-gallon trash cans full of empty beer, wine, and liquor bottles, the report said. The house had the “strong odor of freshly burnt marijuana,” the police report said.
As firefighters treated the teenager, the report said, Miner, who had been asleep, came downstairs wondering what the emergency crews were doing in her house. According to the police report, Miner told investigators that she was throwing a party for her daughter and her daughter’s friends.
She had collected the teenagers’ keys with the intention of having them stay the night and did not know someone needed help, the report said. An officer noted in his report that Miner smelled of alcohol, and “she was also unsteady on her feet.”
Paramedics took the sick teenager to a hospital for treatment. Seven other teenagers, including Miner’s daughter, were found in the house. Officers issued each a summons to appear on charges of possession of alcohol by a minor.Akilah Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.