An Open Letter to Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley


COAKLEYBy: Dr. Bharani Padmanabhan

Dear Madam,

For a year now I have been waiting, living off my savings, to hear from you and your office about my written criminal complaint regarding Dr Julian Harris at Mass DPH and his controllers at Cambridge Health Alliance. Despite numerous pleas there has been absolute silence from you.

Recently I understood why, when I read, thanks to the State House News Service, that Dr Julian Harris had been selected by President Obama to work inside the White House. After a written criminal complaint to an Attorney General, a complaint that was legally signed for.

Since you do not have the spine to go after politically connected criminals, I figured I should now seek your assistance with something more at your level.

This is a simple case involving a parking ticket and the Town of Brookline. Since your office has already helped the Cambridge Chronicle newspaper with a brave ruling that public records are indeed public (and I know, trust me, how much even that ruling cost you) I assume you will be equally brave in this matter.

I was parked at a meter. I paid for 30 minutes at 1154h. The stub was within the car and visible when I left it. I returned within 11 minutes and found a ticket for $25 on the windshield. The ticket had been issued at 1201h. I immediately drove to Brookline Police Station and explained the situation. The lady at the counter informed me that she was powerless to remedy this and that I needed to send in a written appeal to the Parking Clerk, even though I was in her presence before my paid time had run out. I did so. There was no response from the Clerk. A few weeks later a reminder showed up demanding higher fees. I wrote again to the Parking Clerk. This was followed by a notice that I had been reported to the Registry of Motor Vehicles and that my license and registrations would not be renewed unless I gave the Town of Brookline $65.

I wrote to Town Counsel and the Parking Clerk. The Town Counsel claimed in an email that the street officer did not see my stub on the dashboard. I had already made it clear that I had no problem with the individual officer and that it was the Parking Clerk’s responsibility to look at the evidence and dismiss the ticket.

I finally heard from the Parking Clerk for the first time. A page arrived simply stating Appeal denied. No explanations.

Naturally this is bad governance. It is also undeniably coercive.

The evidence has been sent to you via certified letter.

I would be grateful for a letter from you to the Town of Brookline stating that this was bad governance and dereliction of duty on the part of the Parking Clerk, who despite being salaried by the public clearly did not serve the public in this case. Unlike a tough heavy like Dr Julian Harris, surely the Parking Clerk is well within your capabilities.


Yours sincerely,

Bharani Padmanabhan MD PhD