Second Round of Mediation Freezes Massachusetts Civil Rights Lawsuit
Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz and former county prosecutor John Bradley had agreed to freeze a federal civil rights lawsuit in order to give mediation a second chance.
Bradley filed suit against Cruz and the DA’s office in 2013, claiming he was fired because he criticized Cruz, his actions while in office, and then refused to contribute to Cruz’s reelection campaign. The lawsuit was filed under so-called “Whistleblower” laws, and is seeking $1.5 million in damages. Cruz and his office have denied the allegations and asserted that Bradley was fired for insubordination alone.
Bradley and Cruz attempted mediation in August of 2013, but the prior attempt went nowhere and the two sides have been preparing for trial. Despite this lackluster track record, Cruz may be motivated to settle the case due to the leaking of several emails from another former prosecutor. The emails reference a homicide trial and are embarrassing to the District Attorney’s office due to their tone and content. That prosecutor has filed affidavits in support of Bradley as well, which might begin to support a portrait of the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office as a place where prosecutors are cajoled into supporting the DA against their principles.
Filing under the Whistleblower law is significant as it automatically protects Bradley from retaliatory actions by Cruz and his office, and amplifies the damages.
The judge in the case ordered a stay of just thirty days, leaving the two sides very little time to arrange a mediation and make some progress.