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Hayden under fire over T cop case allegations

Arroyo, supporters calling for his resignation

Yawu Miller
Yawu Miller is the former senior editor of the Bay State Banner. He has written for the Banner since 1988.... VIEW BIO
Hayden under fire over T cop case allegations
District Attorney Kevin Hayden PHOTO: Courtesy GBH News

In the wake of a Boston Globe investigation that suggested that interim District Attorney Kevin Hayden’s office declined to prosecute an MBTA police officer accused of misconduct, then received donations from the officer and his attorney, several local elected officials are calling on him to resign.

The allegations stem from a 2021 traffic encounter during which an MBTA Transit Police officer, Jacob Green, allegedly pointed his gun at another motorist. Green and another off-duty officer filed false police reports in connection to the incident, according to MBTA police. The two were subsequently investigated and placed on leave by the agency. Former Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins initiated an investigation.

Green’s attorney, Robert Griffin, said that Hayden’s first Assistant District Attorney, Kevin Mullen, told him in April the DA’s office would not press charges in his case, days before he says Hayden solicited a donation from him.

Hayden’s office initially told the Globe that Mullen never told Griffin the office wouldn’t pursue charges, then later said that Griffin misunderstood Mullen. The DA’s office maintains that the investigation into Green remains open, despite texts from Mullen that Griffin shared with the Globe, in which the former indicated the office would not prosecute.

Following the publication of the Globe story, which appeared online Saturday, state Reps. Nika Elugardo and John Santiago, Boston City Councilors Tania Fernandes Anderson, Kendra Lara and Ricardo Arroyo, and Chelsea City Councilor Damali Vidot have called on Hayden to resign.

“It was bad enough that Hayden brought no clear vision to the office after being appointed to replace groundbreaking justice visionary [Rachael Rollins], now U.S. attorney,” Elugardo said in a tweet. “Violating the primary objective of the office — truth and fairness in prosecution — he went too far and covered up his wrong.”

Arroyo, who is running against Hayden for the district attorney’s office, also issued a statement.

“Accepting money from the officer under investigation and his attorney … is deeply unethical and offering ‘a series of shifting and contradictory explanations’ to cover up his actions is a betrayal of the public trust,” Arroyo wrote.

In a statement sent to reporters, Hayden’s office characterized the calls for his resignation as “political theatrics.”

“The investigation into MTBA Police Officer Jacob Green remains open and active,” the statement reads. “Any suggestion that the investigation has concluded is false. As is always the case, the investigation itself will determine any future action. DA Hayden has no intention of allowing this false narrative to distract him or his office from the important work they do every day for the residents of Suffolk County.”

Hayden so far has had few, if any, supporters come to his defense on the matter. The MBTA Transit Police Twitter account re-tweeted the Sunday Boston Globe article along with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr., “The time is always right to do what is right.”

Defense attorney Carlton Williams called the Transit Police tweet a “rare case of law enforcement versus law enforcement.”

“By any reading of this, the MBTA superintendent is trying to clean house,” Williams said. “The district attorney’s office is doing little to nothing to help this. The district attorney could have had an indictment in a day and a half.”

Since being suspended, Green has retired from the MBTA police. His colleague, who falsified a report in Green’s defense, was fired.

In another development, the news website Universal Hub reported on Saturday that Hayden’s office in July reached a plea deal with an MBTA Police officer who admitted he beat a homeless man in Ashmont Station and then arrested the man on a false charge of assault and battery on a police officer.

Under former District Attorney Rollins, the DA’s office had indicted the officer, Dorston Bartlett, on charges of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (a police baton), witness intimidation, violating the civil rights of the victim and filing a false police report. Hayden’s office dropped the dangerous weapon from the assault charge, allowing Bartlett to avoid a felony charge, and dropped all other charges in exchange for a guilty plea. Bartlett was sentenced to two years of probation.