MA: High court takes up whistleblower claim that Sex Offender Registry Board violated law

[ – 5/4/21]

SALEM — Lawyers for the state will be back in front of the state’s highest court this week, this time trying to convince the court to find that the state’s whistleblower protection law does not apply in the case of the former sex offender board chairwoman ousted by then-Governor Deval Patrick over her handling of his brother-in-law’s case.

The hearing Wednesday before the Supreme Judicial Court stems from the long-running lawsuit brought by the former head of the Sex Offender Registry Board, who sued Patrick and the state in 2014 alleging defamation and violation of the whistleblower law. The SJC dismissed the defamation claim against Patrick in 2017.

The remaining whistleblower counts are still pending in Salem Superior Court.  In January, 2020, a judge denied a request by the state to dismiss those remaining counts. The state, represented by the attorney general’s office, has appealed, leading to Wednesday’s hearing.

Saundra Edwards of Lawrence, a veteran sex crimes prosecutor, was chosen to head the Sex Offender Registry Board in 2007. It was located in Salem at the time.

Her lawyer says she walked into an agency beset by controversy over a hearing officer’s decision that Patrick’s brother-in-law, Bernard Sigh, did not have to register as a sex offender despite a 1993 spousal rape conviction in California.

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I had to deal with someone from the board in Massachusetts when I lived in Florida. Went to Boston for less than 3 days and came home within my allotted time. A month later I got a call from one of these people ripping me a new one because Florida didn’t let them know I was back. I sent them proof that I came back and to get off my nuts.

Every time I went into register or tell her I was leaving Florida I’d play the guy’s voicemail. Just the look on her face was priceless, she could of been one of Jeff Dunham’s dummies. I nominate her for being Bubba J because she had a Ph.D in stupidity.