Feds raid Joyce’s law office
Embattled Milton senator's problems multiply with presence of FBI, IRS agents
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
THE FBI AND IRS raided the Canton law offices of state Sen. Brian Joyce on Wednesday in the first indication of criminal problems for the Milton Democrat accused of ethical missteps.
Joyce, who has been the subject of several media reports questioning his use of campaign funds and influence as a state politician to benefit his legal practice, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, and last month entered a settlement to resolve questions raised by state campaign finance officials.
A spokeswoman for the FBI Boston office confirmed Wednesday that the law enforcement agency, along with the Internal Revenue Service, were “conducting court-authorized activity” at Joyce’s Canton law offices, but declined further comment due to the nature of the ongoing investigation.
“It is unfortunate that recent stories in the media appear to have sparked an investigation. Senator Joyce has been cooperating with each inquiry that has taken place to date resulting from those stories and believes that he has done absolutely nothing wrong,” Cooper said in a statement provided to the News Service by Joyce’s public relations firm.
Staff in Joyce’s State House office referred all questions to the Goodwin Group.
In January, the Boston Globe reported allegations from a Randolph dry cleaner who said Joyce had taken advantage for years of an offer for free dry cleaning. Gov. Charlie Baker was among those who called for an ethics investigation into the allegations.
Joyce called the accusations false and said he had provided legal services that “far exceeded any dry cleaning offered” as part of a “barter arrangement.”
Also last month, Joyce made charitable donations to resolve campaign finance issues, including the use of money from his political account to help cover costs of his son’s graduation party and several other reporting inconsistencies.
The Ethics Commission previously investigated whether Joyce had used his position as a state senator to receive a discount on designer sunglasses that he purchased from a business in his district as gifts for fellow senators, but declined to take any action.
Joyce in May stepped down from two Senate leadership posts pending the outcome of an Ethics Commission investigation that he asked Senate President Stanley Rosenberg to request amidst the swirl of controversy resulting from Globe reports. A spokesman for Rosenberg issued a brief statement promising cooperation.
The state GOP called on Joyce to immediately step down.“With federal investigators raiding his office after a series of deeply troubling corruption reports, it is time for Senator Brian Joyce to resign from office immediately,” executive director Kristen Hughes said in a statement. “Joyce’s remarkable disregard for the law is a byproduct of the Democratic culture of corruption on Beacon Hill, where abuse of power appears to be a fringe benefit.”
Katie Lannan contributed reporting