City and state officials are looking into accusations that a Waltham Police Officer and City Council President Paul Brasco tried to evict a Waltham resident from his apartment without a court order.
The matter is under review by the state’s attorney general office, according to spokesman Grant Woodman, but he declined to comment further.
Mayor Jeanette McCarthy told Patch in an e-mail Friday, “Going forward, I have directed that an independent hearing officer be appointed for any departmental matters. The tenant has legal counsel. As such, I cannot comment further.”
The tenant had been withholding rent claiming his heating system was not working, according to a June 14 letter from the police department to McCarthy detailing their investigation into the matter.
The tenant’s name is redacted from the letter, but it indicates he filed a complaint with the police on March 10.
The name of the officer involved is also redacted, but his name is Paul Tracey, according to the Globe and News Tribune. The letter states the officer was in uniform at the time of the Feb. 17 incident.
While the letter never mentions any threats of deportation, both the Tribune and FOX 25 have reported that Gonzalez was threatened with deportation if he did not move with 24 hours.
The tenant had been renting his unit from another person in the building, without the owner’s knowledge, according to the letter. When the heat issue arose, the tenant stopped paying rent to the unit two occupant.
Brasco has told FOX 25 in a report that aired Thursday, “There was never any intent to intimidate. It was to identify and determine the situation and that was it.”
Brasco also denied to FOX 25 that he had threatened Gonzalez with deportation.
Attorney Tyler Fox, who represents Gonzalez, could not be reached for comment Friday. Several attempts to reach Brasco were also unsuccessful.
The issue started on Feb. 17 when the building owner contacted the officer for assistance in identifying who lived in the unit one of the building, according to the letter. The owner considered the unit’s occupants trespassers, according to the letter.
The tenant was told by the officer and building owner to vacate his unit, according to the letter. Gonzalez told FOX 25 that he refused to leave.
That night, the tenant went to the police station where officers were unable to determine if any officer had been dispatched to the apartment, according to letter. The police logs indicated nobody had been ordered there, according to the letter.
During the course of their investigation, police “consulted,” with the Middlesex County District Attorney’s office.
“It was referred to our office, and it was investigated by our PACT (Public Protection, Anti-terrorism, Corruption and Technology) unit. They looked into the complaint, but there was not enough evidence to sustain a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt,” DA spokesman Cara O’Brien told Patch Friday.
“It was a thorough investigation. Because it didn’t result in criminal charges I am precluded from saying anything more.”
The Waltham Police Department could not be reached for comment Friday.
Patch editors Meghan Kelly and Charlie Breitrose contributed to this report.