UPDATE: Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey confirms receipt of FOIA request, Chairman Jim Lyons will address situation during Saturday radio interview
True origin of cease-and-desist order issued to Boston First Responders United over social media activity still unclear
WOBURN — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s office on Friday confirmed it has received Republican Party Chairman Jim Lyons’ Freedom of Information Act request, and Lyons said he plans to share more details about the filing on Saturday morning during a radio interview.
The MassGOP is seeking copies of all correspondence between the attorney general’s office and the law firm that submitted a cease-and-desist demand to a Boston-based first responders organization for sharing a video calling on Healey to address questions about alleged unethical behavior.
Lyons is slated to appear on FM 95.1 WXTX’s The Conversation with Stephen and Grace when the show airs live at 11 a.m. tomorrow.
“We received confirmation that the AG’s office has received our request, and this matter absolutely can’t wait until after the election for clarification,” Lyons said. “Maura Healey owes the public an explanation — did her office direct an outside law firm to threaten Boston First Responders United with a cease-and-desist demand?
“It’s a simple question that warrants an immediate answer from the Democrats’ nominee for governor.”
Lyons said he’s also disappointed but not surprised at the news media’s stubborn refusal to address the issue.
“If a Republican was suspected of this alleged behavior, the news cycle would be nonstop, and that’s a fact,” Lyons said. “The silence right now from the news media is deafening.”
Last week a representative for Boston First Responders United received an intimidating cease-and-desist demand from an attorney representing the State Police Association of Massachusetts threatening legal action:
“You have broadcast a campaign video attacking gubernatorial candidate and Attorney General Maura Healey,” the letter, signed by Butters Brazilian LLP partner Patrick Hanley, states in part.
On Monday, the MassGOP issued a follow-up press release highlighting the connection between the attorney behind the cease-and-desist demand, Patrick Hanley, and Healey’s office.
Hanley spent 11 years working in the attorney general’s office, both when Healey was assistant attorney general and later when she was elected AG.
Hanley’s ties to Healey’s office also include legal work spent defending one of three assistant district attorneys involved in the state drug lab scandal that an assistant counsel for the Massachusetts Board Bar of Overseers described as “one of the most severe cases of conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice that this Commonwealth has ever seen.”