Another Dem in Congress implodes (updated)

Clarice Feldman and Rosslyn Smith
Saturday's Boston Globe reported that Congressman William Delahunt may not run for reelection.
US Representative William Delahunt said yesterday that he is considering retiring from his congressional seat representing the South Shore and Cape Cod, although he portrayed his deliberations as routine and said they are not related to challenges from Republicans who are energized by Scott Brown's upset victory in last month's special Senate election.

"Every election cycle, I take my time, I think it through, and I think, not about whether I can win or lose, but: ‘Am I in a position to make a difference?' '' Delahunt, a Quincy Democrat, said in a telephone interview. "Can I achieve what I want to achieve outside of public life?''

The timing of this story is interesting because yesterday the Boston media was also full of stories of one of Delahunt's more dubious achievements in public office, his role in the 1986 decision classify the shotgun death of Amy Bishop's 18 year old brother, Seth, as an accident.  Bishop, 43, is accused of murdering three colleagues at the University of Alabama, Huntsville on Friday after she learned she had been denied tenure.  Filing criminal charges against Bishop for her first shooting fatality certainly might have made a difference in the lives of three people last Friday.  

The file in the Braintree, Massachusetts police department has oddly gone missing, but as is often the case in such circumstances, the officers involved remember the case well.  Violent crime is uncommon in Braintree and then 19 year old Amy had to be arrested at gunpoint outside the house as she was brandishing the shotgun and seemed to be attempting to flee the scene. Then there were the discrepancies in the witnesses' statements as to what exactly had happened inside the house.  Supposedly Amy had asked for help to learn how to unload the gun and it went off -- some three times.  The final factors that made the incident memorable was that the mother was on the town's Board of Personnel and that no charges were ever filed because detectives were dismissed from the case.   Cops can have long memories about cases that give off the stench of a cover up.

Braintree officers who remember the 1986 shooting said that former police Chief John Polio dismissed detectives from the case and ordered the department to release Amy Bishop after a telephone conversation with former district attorney William Delahunt, who is currently a U.S. congressman from Massachusetts.


"The police officers here were very upset about that," said Frazier, who was a patrolman at the time and spoke to officers who remembered the incident that day, including one who filed a report on it.

Amy was released into her mother's custody.

The shooting of the brother, Seth Bishop, an 18-year-old accomplished violinist, was logged that day as a "sudden death" and later considered accidental, but detailed records of the shooting have disappeared, Frazier said.

Getting off three shots is one way to unload a shotgun while a blast to the midsection can certainly be called sudden death.  

Massachusetts in the 1980s was not a bright spot in American criminal justice. Misguided compassion resulted in the infamous Willy Horton case.  Delahuunt himself faced questions about his role in another murder by a furloughed prisoner during his first Congressional race in 1996.  There was also the witch hunt of  he Fells Acre Day Care case, in which innocent people were convicted of child molestation as well as numerable controversies over decisions to parole felons and of course summering under it all the decades long history of the Boston Archdiocese covering up incidents of priests molesting children and adolescents

But justice delayed is not always justice denied. Stories about Martha Coakley's prosecutorial overreach in continuing the unjust treatment of those convicted in Fells Acres as well as her seeming reluctance to prosecute a local policeman accused of a chilling brutal child rape were part of the local background against which the Brown campaign played out. 

Whether this 1986 incident is a one of misguided compassion towards a family that had suffered one tragedy and hoped private counseling would suffice with a serious behavior problem or just a crass cover up among members of the local power structure, renewed interest in the case comes at a bad time for the multi term Congressman. 

Richard Baehr adds:

Delahunt is one of the most far left members of Congress, a shill for Hugo Chavez and his allies in Latin America. His district went 61% for Scott Brown, and he is out of tune with the voters.

Update from Rosslyn Smith:

Through Richard Fernandez at Pajamas Media came this link to a statement by Braintree Police Chief Paul Frazier.


The first bad news for then District Attorney Delahunt is the 1986 incident looks increasingly like a violent rage than some kind of accident. Firing off three rounds by accident from a pump action shotgun would be a rare feat indeed. 


"Officer Solimini recalled the incident as follows:  He said he remembers that Ms. Bishop fired a round from a pump action shotgun into the wall of her bedroom.  She had a fight with her brother and shot him, which caused his death.  She fired a third round from the shotgun into the ceiling as she exited the home.  She fled down the street with the shotgun in her hand.  At one point she allegedly pointed the shotgun at a motor vehicle in an attempt to get the driver to stop.  Officer Solimini found her behind a business on Washington Street.  Officer Timothy Murphy was able to take control of the suspect at gunpoint and seized the shotgun.  Ms. Bishop was subsequently handcuffed and transported to the police station under arrest.”
“Officer Solimini informed me that before the booking process was completed Ms. Bishop was released from custody without being charged.”


Thesecond piece of bad news is that an investigation is being opened into what happened to the official record of the incident, which seem to have disappered soon afterwards.



“It is troubling that this incident has come to light.  I can assure you that the members of the Braintree Police Department maintain the highest of integrity.  Since it was discovered this morning that the report is missing, I have been in contact with Mayor Joseph Sullivan.  Mayor Sullivan and I have spoken with District Attorney William Keating and we will be meeting with him next week to discuss this situation.   The Mayor supports a full review of this matter and agrees that we want to know where the records are.”
Saturday's Boston Globe reported that Congressman William Delahunt may not run for reelection.
US Representative William Delahunt said yesterday that he is considering retiring from his congressional seat representing the South Shore and Cape Cod, although he portrayed his deliberations as routine and said they are not related to challenges from Republicans who are energized by Scott Brown's upset victory in last month's special Senate election.

"Every election cycle, I take my time, I think it through, and I think, not about whether I can win or lose, but: ‘Am I in a position to make a difference?' '' Delahunt, a Quincy Democrat, said in a telephone interview. "Can I achieve what I want to achieve outside of public life?''

The timing of this story is interesting because yesterday the Boston media was also full of stories of one of Delahunt's more dubious achievements in public office, his role in the 1986 decision classify the shotgun death of Amy Bishop's 18 year old brother, Seth, as an accident.  Bishop, 43, is accused of murdering three colleagues at the University of Alabama, Huntsville on Friday after she learned she had been denied tenure.  Filing criminal charges against Bishop for her first shooting fatality certainly might have made a difference in the lives of three people last Friday.  

The file in the Braintree, Massachusetts police department has oddly gone missing, but as is often the case in such circumstances, the officers involved remember the case well.  Violent crime is uncommon in Braintree and then 19 year old Amy had to be arrested at gunpoint outside the house as she was brandishing the shotgun and seemed to be attempting to flee the scene. Then there were the discrepancies in the witnesses' statements as to what exactly had happened inside the house.  Supposedly Amy had asked for help to learn how to unload the gun and it went off -- some three times.  The final factors that made the incident memorable was that the mother was on the town's Board of Personnel and that no charges were ever filed because detectives were dismissed from the case.   Cops can have long memories about cases that give off the stench of a cover up.

Braintree officers who remember the 1986 shooting said that former police Chief John Polio dismissed detectives from the case and ordered the department to release Amy Bishop after a telephone conversation with former district attorney William Delahunt, who is currently a U.S. congressman from Massachusetts.


"The police officers here were very upset about that," said Frazier, who was a patrolman at the time and spoke to officers who remembered the incident that day, including one who filed a report on it.

Amy was released into her mother's custody.

The shooting of the brother, Seth Bishop, an 18-year-old accomplished violinist, was logged that day as a "sudden death" and later considered accidental, but detailed records of the shooting have disappeared, Frazier said.

Getting off three shots is one way to unload a shotgun while a blast to the midsection can certainly be called sudden death.  

Massachusetts in the 1980s was not a bright spot in American criminal justice. Misguided compassion resulted in the infamous Willy Horton case.  Delahuunt himself faced questions about his role in another murder by a furloughed prisoner during his first Congressional race in 1996.  There was also the witch hunt of  he Fells Acre Day Care case, in which innocent people were convicted of child molestation as well as numerable controversies over decisions to parole felons and of course summering under it all the decades long history of the Boston Archdiocese covering up incidents of priests molesting children and adolescents

But justice delayed is not always justice denied. Stories about Martha Coakley's prosecutorial overreach in continuing the unjust treatment of those convicted in Fells Acres as well as her seeming reluctance to prosecute a local policeman accused of a chilling brutal child rape were part of the local background against which the Brown campaign played out. 

Whether this 1986 incident is a one of misguided compassion towards a family that had suffered one tragedy and hoped private counseling would suffice with a serious behavior problem or just a crass cover up among members of the local power structure, renewed interest in the case comes at a bad time for the multi term Congressman. 

Richard Baehr adds:

Delahunt is one of the most far left members of Congress, a shill for Hugo Chavez and his allies in Latin America. His district went 61% for Scott Brown, and he is out of tune with the voters.

Update from Rosslyn Smith:

Through Richard Fernandez at Pajamas Media came this link to a statement by Braintree Police Chief Paul Frazier.


The first bad news for then District Attorney Delahunt is the 1986 incident looks increasingly like a violent rage than some kind of accident. Firing off three rounds by accident from a pump action shotgun would be a rare feat indeed. 


"Officer Solimini recalled the incident as follows:  He said he remembers that Ms. Bishop fired a round from a pump action shotgun into the wall of her bedroom.  She had a fight with her brother and shot him, which caused his death.  She fired a third round from the shotgun into the ceiling as she exited the home.  She fled down the street with the shotgun in her hand.  At one point she allegedly pointed the shotgun at a motor vehicle in an attempt to get the driver to stop.  Officer Solimini found her behind a business on Washington Street.  Officer Timothy Murphy was able to take control of the suspect at gunpoint and seized the shotgun.  Ms. Bishop was subsequently handcuffed and transported to the police station under arrest.”
“Officer Solimini informed me that before the booking process was completed Ms. Bishop was released from custody without being charged.”


Thesecond piece of bad news is that an investigation is being opened into what happened to the official record of the incident, which seem to have disappered soon afterwards.



“It is troubling that this incident has come to light.  I can assure you that the members of the Braintree Police Department maintain the highest of integrity.  Since it was discovered this morning that the report is missing, I have been in contact with Mayor Joseph Sullivan.  Mayor Sullivan and I have spoken with District Attorney William Keating and we will be meeting with him next week to discuss this situation.   The Mayor supports a full review of this matter and agrees that we want to know where the records are.”