Boston Globe Interviews MRW Partner Ellen Messing about Mass. State Police Failure to Limit Role of Biased Investigator
Boston Globe reporter, Victoria McGrane, recently interviewed MRW partner Ellen Messing regarding its decision to make Mass. State Police Trooper Robert Lima a full-time background investigator. Last December, in a case tried by MRW partners Ellen Messing and James Weliky, a jury found that Lima had conducted a racially biased background investigation of MRW client New Bedford police officer Orlando Riley, which kept him out of the State Police training academy. In Lima’s new role, he is now responsible for conducting background investigations of many more State Police recruits.In a controversial move, the State Police have taken no action against Lima, saying he has done nothing wrong.
In response to the State Police’s decision not to reconsider Lima’s position in light of the jury verdict, Attorney Messing was quoted in the Boston Globe: “They’re supposed to believe in the law and following the law, and here is … the pinnacle of the legal system – the jury trial – and they’re just … thumbing their nose at it.” Earlier this month, MRW was awarded over $1 million in attorneys’ fees for its successful pursuit of Riley’s case. Messing pointed out that because the Mass. State Police aggressively opposed Officer Riley and supported Trooper Lima at every turn in the litigation, the State Police imposed this financial burden on Massachusetts taxpayers as the “price of racism”.