(The following was originally published on Jeff McCormick’s campaign website.)
Quincy MA – Responding to the latest fallout from the Bridgewater State Hospital scandal, Jeff McCormick, independent candidate for governor, today called on his opponents to state where they stand on the appointment of a special prosecutor in the Joshua Messier case.
Joshua Messier was a 23-year-old mental patient who died while correction officers were placing him in restraints. Mr. Messier’s autopsy revealed injuries that are consistent with a beating.
McCormick said, “It was announced last Thursday that State Corrections Commissioner Luis Spencer was forced to resign because of ‘foot-dragging’ on an investigation of a recent case of alleged patient abuse at Bridgewater State Hospital. This confirms what so many of us already knew- – the culture at Bridgewater State Hospital needs a major overhaul.”
McCormick added, “The political insiders, starting with Attorney General Coakley and Plymouth County District Attorney Cruz, have set the wrong example because they have shown through their actions, more concern for defending the system than reforming it. That is why four different prominent patient advocacy groups have called the Messier case a ‘government whitewash’ and have also called on Coakley to appoint a special prosecutor. In addition, three families of patients have launched a class action suit to force reforms at Bridgewater State Hospital.
McCormick said, “Since March, I have been calling on Attorney General Coakley to appoint a special prosecutor in this case. Now I am calling on the Republicans, Mark Fisher and Charlie Baker, as well as the other Democrats, Steve Grossman and Don Berwick, to join with me and take a stand for justice by calling for a special prosecutor. The Messier case was called a homicide by the medical examiner yet no guard has ever spent one day in a courtroom. In fact, Attorney General Coakley originally had her staff defending the guards in question which now prevents her from pursuing the case.”
McCormick stated, “Reform will only occur when an open and honest review of the facts takes place. That can only happen with the appointment of a special prosecutor. We owe that to all of our citizens, especially our most vulnerable, the mentally ill.”