Hodgson also tangling with Chang-Diaz
She calls for prosecution; he calls her most ‘pro-illegal rep”
BRISTOL COUNTY Sheriff Thomas Hodgson, already in a war of words with Attorney General Maura Healey, is now in a fight with a state senator.
Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz of Jamaica Plain showed up at the Bristol County Jail on May 2, the day after a melee involving immigration detainees, and was not allowed in. Under state law, lawmakers are entitled to enter any prison facility, so the Senate Post Audit and Oversight Committee launched an investigation.
At a press conference at the jail on Wednesday, Hodgson slammed Chang-Diaz for grandstanding on immigration – showing up during a lockdown with no identification to prove she was a state senator and then never calling him later or returning for a visit.
“She went back, complained to the Senate president, who’s no fan of mine, I don’t really know the lady. The next thing I know, I get a letter from the post audit committee,” Hodgson said.
Healey issued a report on Tuesday concluding that the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office violated the civil rights of immigrant detainees on May 1 when it engaged in an “unnecessary use of force” that left three of the detainees hospitalized and several others in solitary confinement when they should have received medical treatment.
Chang-Diaz, in an email, said the report was disturbing. “This isn’t about my agenda or Sheriff Hodgson’s. People in politics disagree with one another all the time—that’s healthy democracy,” Chang-Diaz wrote. “But the sheriff’s contempt for the rule of law, for legitimate and necessary legislative oversight, and, most importantly, for the lives of the people in his custody is sickening …. The behavior documented in the Attorney General’s report is criminal, and he should face charges.”Healey’s office included 17 recommendations in its report and urged Hodgson to follow through on them. The attorney general suggested litigation of some sort might be possible if the sheriff doesn’t comply with the report’s recommendations.
It is doubtful he will, judging by what he said on Wednesday. “It’s about halfway down the sewer pipe,” Hodgson said of the attorney general’s report.