A state trooper was ordered to alter the arrest report of a judge’s daughter. Now he’s suing.
Alli Bibaud had just crashed her car on Route I-190 in Worcester on the evening of Oct. 16. She reeked of alcohol and had what state Trooper Ryan Sceviour described as a “heroin kit,” including a dozen needles and a spoon. She admitted performing sex acts on men to support her heroin addiction, according to Sceviour’s official report, and offered him sex as well in return for leniency.
And she started ranting that her father was a judge.
“He’s going to kill me,” screamed Bibaud, the trooper reported.
Two days later, Sceviour was awakened by a state trooper at the door of his home, who ordered Sceviour to drive 90 miles to the State Police barracks in Holden. There, he said he was disciplined and told to remove Bibaud’s references to sex and her father, Judge Timothy Bibaud,who is first justice of Dudley District Court and presides over its drug court.
Now, Sceviour is suing top commanders of the State Police, including Colonel Richard D. McKeon, charging that they punished him and forced him to falsify records to avoid embarrassing the judge and his daughter, who faces several charges, including driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
“We expect the State Police administration to enforce the law, not break it,” said Sceviour’s lawyer, Lenny Kesten. “What they did to Trooper Sceviour is shameful.”
A State Police spokesman admitted that the order to change the report came directly from McKeon, commander of the 2,200-member State Police. However, the spokesman, David Procopio, said it’s perfectly acceptable for a supervisor to edit a police report. He also said that Sceviour was wrong to include comments in his report that were not relevant to Bibaud’s arrest.
“The revision consisted of removal of what the Colonel and senior commanders felt was a sensationalistic and inflammatory directly-quoted statement that made no contribution to proving the elements of the crimes with which she was charged,” Procopio explained in a statement.
Procopio declined to say how McKeon learned about the contents of Bibaud’s police report. He also said Sceviour’s punishment was not technically discipline, but “an observation report for corrective action.”
Judge Bibaud declined to comment for this story, but the controversy has been brewing since a blog called Turtle Boy Sports alleged that Bibaud’s arrest report had been altered. In a statement to Worcester Magazine, which reported on the blog post, he denied any involvement in changing his daughter’s arrest report.
“I absolutely, vehemently deny making any contact with anybody” about the report, according to the magazine. He admitted that his daughter is sick and needs treatment. The lawsuit does not say the judge requested special treatment for his daughter.
Bibaud’s arrest report has become a flash point between State Police leadership and the union that represents troopers. Sergeant Jason Conant, who approved Sceviour’s initial report, also was reprimanded for not editing the report sufficiently himself, according to the lawsuit. In addition, troopers shredded notes about Bibaud made by a third trooper, Ali Rei, who administered drug tests to Bibaud and wrote that Bibaud admitted to performing oral sex to pay for drugs, according to the lawsuit.
“I am deeply troubled by the serious breach of ethics perpetrated by the colonel and his leadership team,” Dana Pullman, president of the State Police Association of Massachusetts, said in a written statement. “For State Police leadership to demand falsification of official police reports and deletion of the daily administrative record is criminal.”
The Bibaud incident seemed routine to Sceviour when he first responded to a call for a car accident at 7:35 p.m. on Oct. 16. When he arrived, he found a heavily damaged 2000 Toyota Corolla and a 30-year-old woman outside the car.
She appeared “lethargic and groggy” and her eyes were “nearly completely closed,” according to the police report. She emitted an “immensely strong odor of alcohol,” the report said, and she failed several field sobriety tests.
Sceviour checked her criminal record: she had an open case for possession of heroin.
“Bibaud then began hysterically crying and screaming that she was ‘sick’ and ‘a heroin addict,’ ” the police report said.
As he drove her to the Holden police barracks, she said her father was a judge and that he was going to be furious. “Sceviour did not believe her,” according to Sceviour’s lawsuit, which is scheduled to be filed today in federal court in Boston.
At the station, Bibaud registered nearly three times the legal blood-alcohol limit in two breathalyzer tests.
“I was unable to take Bibaud’s fingerprints as she was in and out of consciousness, trying not to vomit, and making lewd comments throughout booking,” Sceviour wrote in the police report.
Based on Sceviour’s original report, Bibaud was charged with operating under the influence of narcotics, operating under the influence of liquor, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, marked lanes violation, and failure to have a valid inspection sticker. She was released and picked up by her father.
Two days later — and a day after Sceviour filed his report on Bibaud — a trooper came to his house to summon him to Holden, while a supervisor, Lieutenant James Fogarty, left two voicemails on his phone, according to the suit.
The first voicemail, reviewed by the Globe, indicated that Sceviour was to immediately report to the barracks as a result of an order directly from the colonel regarding the arrest of “a judge’s daughter.”
At the barracks, Fogarty told Sceviour and Conant, who were accompanied by their union representative, Jeffrey Gilbert, that he had been ordered to issue negative “supervisory observation reports” to the two troopers to reprimand them for including certain statements made by Bibaud.
Supervisory observation reports, both positive and negative, go into troopers’ personnel files and can be used, for example, if they are looking for an assignment to an elite unit.
But Fogarty made it clear he thought Sceviour had done nothing wrong and said he would have done the same thing, according to the suit.
Then Sceviour and Gilbert met with Major Susan Anderson. She, too, said she didn’t think Sceviour had done anything wrong, but it “was ordered by the colonel,” Sceviour quoted her as saying.
According to the suit, she produced a marked-up copy of Sceviour’s report, with the proposed deletions in ink, and ordered him to make these changes: remove her offer of sex for leniency as well as her claims to having performed sex acts for heroin. In addition, the marked-up report eliminated Bibaud’s quote: “My dad is a [expletive] judge, he’s going to kill me.”
“This is an order, Jeff, we all have bosses,” Anderson said, according to the lawsuit.
Sceviour told Anderson that he was uncomfortable making the changes and called the order “morally vacant,” according to the lawsuit. He said if this was “some random person and not a judge’s kid” this wouldn’t be happening. According to Sceviour, Anderson agreed.
Both Anderson and Fogarty declined to comment.
Sceviour said he felt he had no choice but to comply. He was instructed to deliver the edited report to the prosecutor while Anderson said she would give a copy to Bibaud’s defense lawyer.
The lawsuit alleges that State Police officials wanted to quietly replace the original report at the courthouse with the revised one without seeking formal court approval. But they scrapped the plan after they realized they would probably be discovered, the suit alleges.
Instead, Jeff Travers, a top lieutenant to the Worcester County assistant district attorney, made an oral motion to redact the original report — removing almost all of the sentences State Police officials wanted out. That motion was allowed. The new report also does not contain her mug shot.
The lawsuit also contends that it wasn’t until the police report was redacted that the case was transferred out of Worcester County, where Bibaud presides as first justice of the Dudley District Court and where he worked as a prosecutor in the district attorney’s office for many years. The case was ultimately moved to the Framingham District Court on Oct. 23, a week after the accident, by the chief justice of the district court system, Paul Dawley.
A spokesman for Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. couldn’t say why Early hadn’t requested the case be moved out of Worcester himself.
Judge Bibaud, in his remarks to Worcester Magazine, said his daughter was not being treated leniently.
“She’s going to taste her medicine like she deserves,” he said.
Bibaud herself didn’t appear for her arraignment in Framingham District Court last month. Court papers show that she was admitted on Oct.17 to a rehab facility in Worcester, where she was reported to be “participating in all the assigned groups, educational sessions, and individual counseling.”
“A discharge date is yet to be determined,” officials of the rehab facility wrote to the court.