WEST VALLEY NEWS – AN UPPER ECHELON NEWS, INC, COMPANY
DATELINE: JANUARY 2, 2017. Dry Creek, AZ.
Article by William J. Krug, Reporter-At-Large.
Dry Creek – The Dry Creek Town Council has today announced it has offered the long-open Chief’s position to an outsider, Joseph Robert Minogue. Although not present for the press conference himself, Town Council members stated to this reporter today that Minogue has accepted their offer and will report for duty on February 1.
The press packet released by Dry Creek Town Council to coincide with this announcement listed Minogue’s accolades and general employment history:
–Retired at the rank of Major after 25 years with the Massachusetts State Police (MSP)
–Worked in Narcotics, Field Training, Patrol, Fraud, Homicide, and Organized Crime
–Native of Peabody, Massachusetts, and graduate of U-Mass and Boston College
–Twice named Patrolman of the Year; once named Supervisor of the Year
–Donates more than 500 volunteer hours per year to his community
While this seems impressive and a huge coup for the growing farming community of Dry Creek, this reporter has uncovered additional information that should give all of us pause about Minogue and his ascension to the highest law enforcement role in the Town. These are the summaries of my investigative research:
–Twice investigated for “Racial Bias in Policing”
–Once accused of fistfighting a colleague in a State Police parking lot
–Called as a defense witness during a drug trafficking case
–Once investigated for initiating an “Inappropriate Relationship with a Police Informant”
Further investigation by this reporter through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) filings with the MSP uncovered what Minogue reported to police authorities and investigators regarding these scandalous incidents. Internal police investigators who looked into complaints of Minogue’s alleged racism reportedly found no basis for the claims. The later incident, from 2003, found that the original complainant, identified only as “William P.,” didn’t actually exist. The detective responsible for that investigation actually went so far as to arrest another man, “William James McDermitt,” a Peabody resident, for filing a false police report.
The investigation into the alleged fistfight in 1996 ended after Minogue and another MSP Sergeant both refused to speak with criminal investigators and no other witnesses could be found. The MSP never even bothered to conduct an internal investigation to determine if their own employees had physically assaulted each other. A spokesman for MSP responded by email to explain that they only investigate matters after a complaint is filed. As no one filed a complaint in 1996, MSP conducted no internal review of the original allegation. The other involved MSP employee resigned two months later and went to work for Peabody Waste Management, a private trash collection service. No further information was available at this deadline.
In 2002, the drug trafficking case that subpoenaed Minogue for the defense required him to testify about his knowledge of mismanagement and inappropriate investigation methods at a drug task force to which he had been assigned. Transcripts of Minogue’s testimony revealed that he claimed to have reported all apparent misconduct to his supervisors, both at the task force and through his chain of command at MSP. The task force was disbanded, but the defendant in this case was ultimately convicted and lost all subsequent appeals. This reporter, for one, is appalled that Dry Creek’s next Chief of Police would have ever put himself in a position to have witnessed police misconduct. Unfortunately, publication deadlines prevented my objective confirmation of the statements Minogue made under oath at that trial.
In 2005, the most recent mark on Minogue’s employment record, involved investigation into his relationship with a police narcotics informant. Records uncovered through FOIA filings revealed that Minogue was then a Lieutenant in charge of a state-wide narcotics task force. Another police informant came forward to investigators after learning that Minogue had made personal cash payments to an informant in another case. Investigators questioned both Minogue and the female informant in question, suspiciously identified only as “Jane D.,” and both separately stated she needed to buy $20 of groceries to feed her two children until payday. Minogue admitted to giving the woman $50 from his own wallet in clear violation of department policy and standard ethical practices of managing police informants. Minogue stated he knew he could not use public funds for that purpose and felt giving the woman his “…own cash would ensure her kids didn’t go hungry. That clearly seemed like the lesser evil.”
It is this reporter’s position that smoke does not generate itself, it is created by an underlying fire. The number and extent of such grievous complaints about Joseph Minogue’s violent, racist, and unethical past give me tremendous pause about having such a man in charge of an entire law enforcement agency. I fear the Dry Creek Town Council has hired a fox to watch over its chicken coop.