The feds are moving to drop the charges in the case against Newton
Judge Shelley Joseph, saying they’ve reached an agreement with the judge
accused of letting an illegal immigrant out the back door to avoid ICE.
Federal prosecutors on Thursday filed a motion to dismiss the three
charges against Joseph and defer prosecution of court officer Wesley
MacGregor, who was charged alongside her. In exchange, they wrote,
Joseph has “agreed to refer herself to the Massachusetts Commission on
“Judge Joseph’s actions on April 2, 2018, needlessly obscured the
events surrounding the release of a Massachusetts state court defendant
who was also the subject of an ICE civil detainer,” wrote Rhode Island
U.S. Attorney Zachary Cunha, who’s handling the case as Massachusetts
U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins is recused.
“Those actions contributed to the ambiguity of the factual record.
But that ambiguity, any potential violations of Massachusetts state
court policies, and the question of whether Judge Joseph’s actions
potentially undermined public confidence in the integrity and
impartiality of a state court proceeding, are, in this case, best
addressed by state judicial oversight, rather than federal criminal
prosecution,” Cunha added.
Joseph was charged by the office of former U.S. Attorney Andrew
Lelling, a Trump appointee, of helping a twice-deported illegal
immigrant evade federal immigrations officials. The case was highly
publicized at the time and was a local flashpoint for the immigration
debates of the past several years.
She is charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, obstruction of
justice and aiding and abetting and obstruction of a federal proceeding
and aiding and abetting. The motion to dismiss will need a federal
judge’s approval to go into effect to drop those charges.
MacGregor, who was charged with perjury, already has resigned his job
and has faced discipline, so, Cunha wrote, “that the deferred
prosecution agreement entered with Mr. MacGregor represents a fair and
balanced resolution of this matter and is likewise in the interest of
Joseph has been suspended while still being paid $184,000 a year.