There is no immediate ruling after a session today to discuss the T&G’s ongoing case against Chief Gary Gemme, the City of Worcester, and the Worcester Police Department.
The newspaper had sought to have four of the released Officer Mark Rojas complaints, virtually entirely redacted, released again with fewer redactions or entirely unredacted.
Early this morning, an intervening motion was filed by Attorney Gary Nolan from the Police Benevolant Association on behalf of Officer Rojas, saying Rojas deserved to be represented individually in the case.
While there is no ruling at this time on the T&G‘s motion to have some of the records unredacted, the judge did hint at one point that he felt an interim, halfway step might be the best solution. “I have to grant some form of relief…so the privacy [exemption claimed by the city] can be explored.”
At another point, the judge asked, “How will everybody ever know if the chief made the right decision?”
And earlier in the hearing he remarked, “It appears [the police] used a pretty heavy club…I don’t think there’s any subtelty [in their redactions].”
At this point, one of the city’s and PBA’s main claims is that Rojas’ privacy must be protected, though City Solicitor David Moore also said complainants privacy was at the heart of the case.
The city is arguing that at least two of the four heavily redacted complaints should not be unredacted, as they in some way involve Rojas’ relationships with other individuals.
T&G Attorney Vincent O’Rourke allowed that he would be ok with “Redaction in a way that allows both [privacy and public information] to be possible.”
But, he said, waving a copy of a blacked out report, “What he have now is a joke.”
“The problem is we have someone who is putting themselves above the court and above the law.”
For his part, Moore called the T&G position on the case “extreme,” and Nolan reiterated the importance of maintaining a degree of privacy for Rojas.