A Flare-Up in the Fire Department Fight

Many people greeted Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis’ assertion that the department could launch a fair investigation into the death of David Woodman with skepticism. How can officers investigate their own without some kind of bias?

1215611361Boston’s Fire Commissioner is dealing with a similar issue. Months after Roderick Fraser demanded the Board of Inquiry, which is comprised of fire department union members, consider the autopsy reports in the August 2007 deaths of Warren Payne and Paul Cahill, the board has done nothing. The Globe reports that Fraser is so frustrated that he may launch an independent review.

The Board’s inaction certainly isn’t due to a lack of access to the reports.

District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office said Conley has tried without success to provide the board with the reports, at one point leaving copies in an envelope at the front desk of his downtown office, where they sat for days before one of Conley’s employees retrieved them and put them back in prosecutors’ files.

The Globe’s report doesn’t mention Local 718 President Ed Kelly, but Kelly told Boston magazine this month that the board was rushed to complete its inquiry before Conley completed his criminal investigation.

“That was another fucking media frenzy which was complete bullshit,” Kelly says. “The commissioner basically put the families through hell. I’m sure the commissioner was acting on orders from the mayor.”

It’s your move, Ed.

The Firebrand