Opinion: Time to elect a law-abiding sheriff

Jan 21, 2022

To the editor:

First and foremost the Department of Homeland Security cancelled both contracts with Sheriff Thomas Hodgson regarding his detention and processing of undocumented immigrants.

Second, Attorney General Maura Healey issued a sixty page report declaring that Sheriff Hodgson violated the civil rights of a group of detained undocumented immigrants and urged a cancellation of all contracts between Hodgson and ICE.

Third, a federal court judge also declared that Sheriff Hodgson’s pandemic response regarding the undocumented immigrants appeared to be violative of their constitutional rights and indifferent to their health risks. 

Fourth, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, after an inspection of the Ash Street Jail, issued a report indicating over eighty health code violations.  And this after years of reported repeated violations. 

Fifth, two national committees issued a report indicating that various American sheriffs have taken campaign donations from vendors they have contracted with in a seeming conflict of interest. Prominently listed was Sheriff Thomas Hodgson.

When the state attorney general, a federal court judge, a federal agency, a state agency, and two independent committees, are critical of the actions of Sheriff Hodgson and these “indictments” are added to a long history of law suits pursued, or lost, at great cost to taxpayers, accounting irregularities reported by the state auditor and continuous health code violations listed in the Department of Health investigations, it is time for the final arbiters of ethical, constitutional and decent behavior to resoundingly vote him out of office.

Betty Ussach,