Patrick fires two who wanted his convicted rapist brother-in-law to register as a sex offender

A major flaw of the Deval Patrick governorship has been his stubborn defense of his appointees in the face of overwhelming evidence that they were incapable of leading.  The most recent example is Jean Yang, the head of the beleaguered Health Connector Authority.  Yesterday we learned that the Governor can act decisively when he wants.  Especially when the action is in part based on familial revenge.

In a bizarre set of firings at the Sex Offender Registry Board, Patrick made it known that you “never go against the family.”  The Boston Herald has the story:

Gov. Deval Patrick said he fired the chairwoman of the state’s Sex Offender Registry Board and put its executive director on leave last week, in part, because they tried to pressure a hearing officer to change a decision involving Patrick’s brother-in-law.

The case “involved some inappropriate at least, maybe unlawful pressuring by the chair and the executive director of a hearing fficer to change an outcome of a case” and resulted in a lawsuit, which the state settled last year – and was the “final straw,” Patrick told reporters today,

The brother-in-law, Bernard Sigh, was convicted in 1993 of raping his wife, who is Patrick’s sister. The Herald first reported Sigh’s failure to register as a sex offender in Massachusetts in 2006, during Patrick’s first campaign for governor, setting off a firestorm that Patrick said today “nearly destroyed” his sister and brother-in-law’s lives.

Yes you read that right, Patrick fired two people who wanted to ensure a convicted rapist registered as a sex offender.  That convicted rapist, just happens to be Patrick’s brother-in-law who raped his sister.  The family has made amends, and Patrick doesn’t believe his family member should have to register.  

More after the jump

Even the Boston Globe sees the reasoning as a bit out of the ordinary.

It was one of the most brutal hits of the 2006 governor’s race: A month before the election, the Boston Herald reported that Deval Patrick’s brother-in-law was a convicted rapist who had failed to register as a sex offender.

Patrick, who had been battling accusations that he was soft on crime, was infuriated. He accused his Republican opponent of playing “dirty politics” by planting the story in the press. Then Patrick won the election, and the story became a forgotten footnote in the annals of bare-knuckled politics.

But not for Patrick. On Monday, Patrick, still seething over the story eight years later, explained his recent decision to remove the top two officials at the state Sex Offender Registry Board, saying they improperly tried to force his brother-in-law to register as a sex offender.

In his first public comments on the shakeup at the agency, Patrick blamed the officials, his own appointees, for a number of other problems, including failing to update regulations and fostering an unproductive work environment. But he made it clear, as he prepares to leave office, that he is still nursing wounds from his first political campaign.

These two officials violated the sacred law of the family.  That is you don’t go against the family.

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