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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

AG: Chief didn’t perjure himself

BROOKLINE – Police Chief William Quigley III did not perjure himself at his son’s hearing in Milford District Court on July 11, the state attorney general’s office has concluded.

The finding follows an investigation prompted by town selectmen, who asked for it after Judge Martha Crocker wrote earlier this month that cell phone records contradicted the police chief’s testimony at a hearing for Jonathan Quigley, the chief’s 24-year-old son.

The hearing concerned a protective order against Jonathan Quigley by his former girlfriend.

Crocker’s order granted Jonathan Quigley’s former girlfriend Nicole Shank a one-year restraining order, stemming from a May 19 altercation at the couple’s Brookline home. The altercation was reported by Shank about a month later.

Crocker wrote after the hearing that cell phone records contradicted Chief Quigley’s testimony about whether his son called him during the altercation.

Jane Young of the state attorney general’s office said a member of the Board of Selectmen contacted her office July 13, expressing concerns about possible “issues with the chief,” based on Crocker’s comments.

Town officials wanted confirmation that the police chief had not done anything “improper,” Young added.

In addition, according to court records, selectmen’s Chairman Tad Putney made a request to the court in writing, dated July 12, asking for a copy of the judge’s order.

The AG’s office studied cell phone and text message records provided to the court after the hearing, in a July 13 motion to reconsider, and listened to a tape of the hearing before deciding that the records supported the chief’s testimony.

“Based on the review, there’s no evidence he (Chief Quigley) committed perjury,” Young said, referring to the additional motion filed for the public record.

Two sets of cell phone records were turned over to the court. The first one, available and referred to during the hearing, show a May 19 call made on Jonathan Quigley’s cell phone at 2:44 p.m. to a his father’s number; the other, which includes phone calls and text messages, was examined by the AG’s office, and shows a text sent from Jonathan Quigley’s phone to his father on May 19 at 2:43 p.m. and a phone call from the chief to his son at 2:43 p.m. The chief’s phone call to his son lasted three minutes, according to the records.

It is not clear why the two sets of phone records appear to disagree.

In a petition to the court, Shank said that on May 19, Quigley yelled at her, punched her in the stomach and threw her on her bed. She also said she feared for her safety and the safety of her daughter and another child she was baby-sitting.

Shank testified that when she told Quigley she was going to call the police, he told her, “Don’t bother. I’ll call my dad for you right now.”

At the July 11 hearing, the police chief said, “Not only did I not get the phone call, but Jonathan doesn’t call me ‘Dad,’ he calls me ‘Pops.’ ”

“There was no evidence” that Chief Quigley committed perjury, Young said. “There was an initial text, and he made a call back to his son.”

Hattie Bernstein can be reached at 673-3100, ext. 24 or hbernstein@cabinet.com.