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Sheriff Coppinger Will Bring up the Rear Rather Than Lead From the Front

By: Bharani Pandamabhan – Oct. 2018

Valley Patriot readers know that in June I had written a plea to Essex County Sheriff Kevin Coppinger to provide medical treatment in-house to inmates who need opioid receptor agonists to remain well. It would have preserved their lives as well as reduced smuggling-related crimes and opportunities for corruption of the jail staff. Coppinger refused to show any leadership or recognize the science.

On September 19, 2018, Coppinger and his department were sued in federal court by the ACLU on behalf of Geoffrey Pesce, a fresh inmate with a suspended driver’s license who was due to be jailed because he had no one to drive him to his methadone appointment. Apparently his methadone clinic did not care about his transport problems and did not let him keep a couple of doses at hand for emergencies. For that reason he is now in jail. Hey, this is Massachusetts. Nothing better may be expected.

You can follow that lawsuit here –

ttps://www.pacermonitor.com/public/case/25684401/Pesce_v_Coppinger_et_al

VP readers also know that similar lawsuits had already been filed in Maine and other states. You can follow the Maine case here –

ttps://www.pacermonitor.com/public/case/25176735/SMITH_v_FITZPATRICK_et_al – but not for long because it has already been settled. The case was handled by the Maine Attorney General at public expense.

Unlike Coppinger, the Mainers chose to follow science and provide medical treatment to the inmate who sued and others like him. This not only preserves the inmates’ Constitutional and human rights, it also vastly reduces the opportunities for corruption and extortion of inmates by jail staff.
One is forced to wonder if Sheriff Coppinger really wants to reduce corruption within his staff.
Unlike in Maine, Coppinger has yet to accept the primacy of science. And instead of choosing to be defended by a public attorney, Coppinger has chosen to fight the case using a private attorney, you know, Jajuga-style. Stephen Pfaff from Louison, Costello, Condon & Pfaff on Summer Street in Boston is defending him and the department. This naturally means that we will spend a lot of tax dollars needlessly fighting established science until an assured eventual defeat in court.

The court has set a date of October 19, 2018 for Coppinger to file his response to Pesce’s request for an injunction and the Hearing is set for November 5, 2018 at 03:00 PM in Courtroom 11 before Judge Denise J. Casper. Instead of a quick settlement without a monetary penalty we are now assured of losing a civil rights lawsuit. And when damages are ordered by the court it is only the tax payers who will get the bill.

But hey, just think of the opportunities for corruption still until that happens, the money made from smuggling suboxone in, the sexual favors extracted from inmates. Like stealing candy from a baby.

ValleyPatriot

ValleyPatriot

The Valley Patriot is a free monthly print newspaper serving Northern Massachusetts, and Southern New Hampshire. The print edition is published by the 10th of each month and is distributed to 51 cities and towns.

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