The leader of the State Police has formally cleared a trooper who said he was forced to falsify records to protect a judge’s daughter in 2017, the first in a series of scandals that have rocked Massachusetts’ largest law enforcement agency.
Colonel Kerry Gilpin wrote to Trooper Ryan Sceviour that he “acted appropriately at all times during the arrest and investigation” of Alli Bibaud on charges of drunken driving and driving under the influence of drugs. Her father, Timothy Bibaud, is the first justice of Dudley District Court.
Gilpin’s June 26 letter, made public Thursday, was part of a settlement of Sceviour’s lawsuit alleging he was ordered to delete embarrassing information about Alli Bibaud after her arrest on Oct. 16, 2017. Under the settlement, the State Police paid Sceviour $35,000, while the Worcester district attorney paid him another $5,000.
“I look forward to your continued commitment to the Department of State Police and the valuable public safety mission you perform on a daily basis. I wish you success and safety as you serve the citizens of the Commonwealth,” Gilpin wrote in her letter to Sceviour.
Sceviour initially filed suit in federal court, alleging that he was reprimanded for the details he included in his arrest report about Bibaud. He has said multiple officials ordered him to remove Alli Bibaud’s admission that she has traded sex for heroin as well as her rant that her father was a judge who would be furious about her arrest.
The discipline was later rescinded.
Three days after Sceviour detailed in the suit what happened, then-State Police superintendent Colonel Richard McKeon, along with the second in command, Francis Hughes, abruptly resigned. Within the next few months, two other top State Police officials followed.
Gilpin was named McKeon’s successor within a week after his resignation in November 2017.
The incident, dubbed “Troopergate,” was the first in a series of scandals that have engulfed the State Police ever since.
A federal judge dismissed Sceviour’s original lawsuit, but he filed a second suit in state court in June 2018, adding Worcester District Attorney Joseph Early as a defendant.
Sceviour alleged that Early, who once worked with Timothy Bibaud in the prosecutor’s office, “initiated and directed” the plan to have the remarks about Alli Bibaud removed from the report.
The lawsuit alleged that Early tried to remove Sceviour’s police report from the court files and replace it with a sanitized one. Early said he frequently redacted police reports.
His lawyer, Thomas Kiley, said Early was just doing his job.
“Ryan Sceviour exemplifies everything that is good and honest about the Massachusetts State Police,” said Sceviour’s lawyer, Lenny Kesten. “It is unfortunate that he had to file a suit to vindicate his reputation. He did his job, and all he ever asked for was to have the State Police and the district attorney . . . acknowledge that fact.”
Since the Bibaud incident, dozens of troopers have been accused of breaking the law by inflating their overtime, the department has lost track of records that could have exposed wrongdoing, and the head of the State Police union, as well as the union’s lobbyist, are facing federal corruption charges.
Another trooper, Ali Rei, who was also ordered to change her report, also sued, but her case was dismissed because she had not been disciplined.
Andrea Estes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.