KJ: How long did his ordeal last?
SG: 10 years. That's why I don't feel quite so bad about my own 10 years, because his 10 years were a lot harder and more hopeless than mine, and he still prevailed in the end. You've just got to keep the faith and keep fighting these lying scumbags to your last breath. Never let them take your honor or your hope. He still had to fight to get his job back from these scumbags but he eventually hit them for over a million in back wages and damages. He and I are part of an elite club, The Seven Figure Club, the guys they've spent over a million dollars in taxpayer money trying to wrongfully get rid of.
KJ: Conley must hold the record!
SG: No, that honor belongs to Dave Williams.
KJ: Who is he?
SG: He is one of the other guys from The Fence. To distract people from his mishandling of the Conley case, Commissioner Evans (the first one) decided to compound his error by illegally firing Dave Williams with pretty much no evidence. This broke one of the most important rules of police work - "No matter how much you want to get the guy, you've got to do it the right way." And also "A**hole today, a**hole tomorrow," two of the most important mantras of police work.
KJ: I think I get it but what do they mean?
SG: It means that if someone is an a**hole (in this context, this usually means some kind of predator) and you lack the Probable Cause to arrest them, you don't do anything sketchy to get that Probable Cause, you do it legit or you don't do it at all. They're still going to be an a**hole tomorrow, and you'll get another chance to put him away. And another, and another. And heck, if he suddenly stops being an a**hole, then he's really not much of a problem anymore anyway. Some people do eventually grow up, and if he's no longer the person that does these things, then there is no reason to be targeting him anyway. If you have some junkie breaking into cars today, and he ditches all the evidence before you catch up to him, and you don’t have a reliable witness, then you’ve got to let him go, not “find” evidence that didn’t exist before. He'll still be a junkie tomorrow, he'll still be stealing, and you'll have another chance to get him. And if some day he stops being a junkie and stops stealing, even better. Being an honest cop is sort of like being a batter in the Major Leagues - if you fail less than 2/3rds of the time, they put you in the Hall of Fame. There is no way you're going to catch, convict, or even know about the majority of crime, you've just got to be able to work honestly and effectively with what you do have and do know about.
The Commissioner broke that rule when he illegally fired Dave Williams. By that point, there had been so many lies, frame jobs, bullshit and cover ups, it had been impossible to know who did what that night. And by law, the Commissioner must have cause, and must be able to prove it to fire someone. This is a safeguard that was written into law because they used to fire the entire police force and fire department every time a new mayor got sworn in. This obviously meant you lost a lot of veteran expertise, so they wrote specific laws about what evidence you needed to fire guys, to make sure the job was performed by guys with skills instead of the current Flavor of the Month. The Commissioner needed to fire someone to cover up how badly he handled the Conley case, and Williams was the sacrificial lamb chosen for that. And it's worth noting, that out of everyone allegedly at the scene, Williams was the least likely to do anything bad to Cox - they were classmates in the Academy.
Williams got his day in court, the truth came out, and he was reinstated. The taxpayer was again bent over by Department because they had to pay him $500,000.00 in back pay (and probably expended an at least equal amount in legal fees and investigatory resources used to achieve their unlawful design). And the Department was just getting started on wasting taxpayer money on their illegal vendetta. They kept calling him back to Internal Affairs on another case. Years later, he used slightly different words to describe the same incident. They decided to hang him for Untruthfulness, which is one of their favorite weapons nowadays, because who really knows what the Truth is? Certainly not these guys, they've lied so much and so often, they don't know where the truth ends and the lies begin anymore. And when the other party in Dave's new complaint realized the city was hanging their officer out to dry, his (very sharp) attorney decided to use the opportunity to wack the city for another 1.4 million. That's a major danger when you're trying to "get" an officer you have no real evidence against, you're not just making him look bad, you're making the taxpayer incredibly vulnerable to any shark attorney that smells the blood in the water. You can manufacture enough evidence in a kangaroo court Internal Affairs hearing to make him look bad, but this opens the taxpayer up to immense liability, and when your "facts" get seen where it matters, you get laughed out of court and ordered to reinstate him with back pay anyway.
So he was fired (again), and ordered re-instated (again), this time with $400,000.00 in back pay when the courts heard the real facts. And again, you can probably double all these numbers with the ancillary costs of doing this kind of dirt. The Department appealed, lost, appealed their appeal, lost again, and now they're trying to get one last bite at the apple with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (the same court hearing my case) in a few days. I realize my words won't influence the court, but every time his case comes out, the Department leaks a story to besmirch the name of a good man and a good officer, and I thought I would at least be able to set the record straight in the court of public opinion. Dave Williams is held in high regard by the working cops on the street and the continued vendetta against him is an expensive boondoggle for the taxpayer. It's like when (the slightly less foresightful) George Bush Junior dragged us into a war in Iraq based on stuff Saddam had tried to do to George Bush Senior, except this time it's a sibling instead of a son. There should be no room for family vendettas with taxpayer money.