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Mass. Senate receives subpoena in Joyce probe

State Senator Brian A. Joyce.
State Senator Brian A. Joyce.JESSICA RINALDI/GLOBE STAFF

The Massachusetts Senate received a subpoena Wednesday from prosecutors investigating state Senator Brian A. Joyce, the first time the State House has been drawn into the federal inquiry.

The subpoena sought records from a small group of senators, though officials would not say exactly what was requested.

“We did receive the subpoena and intend to fully cooperate,” said Senate counsel Jennifer G. Miller. She said prosecutors have asked that the records be produced in two weeks, but the Senate may request an extension.

Several senators said they were unaware of the subpoena. Other senators suggested prosecutors are looking for records of senators whose committees Joyce might have contacted on behalf of a private legal client.

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News of the subpoena was spreading among senators Wednesday, and lawmakers found it dismaying.

“This is clearly not a positive development,” said one senator who insisted on anonymity. “To have the body as a whole pulled into this case is a problem. I serve with a great group of people who do great work on behalf of their constituents. Now we all have this cloud hanging over our work and actions.”

Since the FBI raided Joyce’s Canton law office in February, several officials in communities Joyce represents, including Milton, Randolph, and Easton, have been subpoenaed, either for records or to appear before a grand jury sitting in Boston.

Prosecutors are taking a sweeping look at Joyce and whether over the course of his 20-year legislative career he used his public office to advance his private business interests.

Prosecutors have been looking at several development projects that Joyce was involved in, including a heavily publicly financed apartment complex in Easton, called the Ames Shovel Works; a private apartment complex in Randolph being built by the Dolben Co.; and a solar project at Stonehill College in Easton.

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They have also questioned current and former Milton town officials about the redevelopment of the former women’s club by a car dealer who has been a frequent Joyce campaign donor.

Joyce, who announced shortly after the raid that he would not seek reelection, has said through his lawyer, Howard M. Cooper, that he’s done nothing wrong. He has denied using his public position for personal gain. His lawyers have accused prosecutors of leaking damaging information and have asserted that Joyce is a victim of a “media circus.”

Despite his legal problems, Joyce has continued to show up for Senate votes.

On Wednesday, he took part in the House-Senate constitutional convention and seemed unfazed by the controversy surrounding him, joking with a reporter as he walked toward the House chamber.

Joyce has repeatedly drawn scrutiny for blurring the lines between his public duties and his private affairs.

This year, Joyce agreed to pay nearly $5,000 to settle issues related to his use of $3,367 in campaign funds to pay for his son’s high school graduation party in 2014.

The state Ethics Commission has repeatedly investigated alleged violations of the state’s conflict of interest law by Joyce but so far has not issued any formal charges.


Joshua Miller of the Globe staff contributed to this report. Andrea Estes can be reached at estes@globe.com.