Thomas C. Donovan arraigned in Eastern Hampshire District Court (3/10/14). Your humble reporter standing in background. MassLive photo by Dave Roback
So the hotshot Boston attorney for Mr. Thomas C. Donovan was being a tad coy when he told my friends at MassLive that the reason he took so long to file a lawsuit against Amherst police is because he wanted to wait until the Blarney Blowout criminal case was concluded against his choir boy client.
Thus giving the impression that the criminal case was "dismissed" and his client was totally innocent.
As any of you who have followed my Eastern Hampshire District Court reports over the past year or so know, the usual method of dealing with UMass students arrested for rowdy behavior is a "diversion" from criminal to civil and the dropping of at least one of the charges.
In the case of Mr. Donovan, who was charged with "failure to disperse" and "disorderly conduct", the Judge, as part of his plea deal, dismissed outright the "disorderly conduct" charge but DID NOT DISMISS the "failure to disperse" charge.
Instead he was put on probation for four months, ordered to pay $200 in restitution and write a letter of apology to APD ... only THEN was the charge of "failure to disperse" dismissed.
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And yes, I have confirmed Donovan wrote the letter of apology to APD, but since this now involves a lawsuit the letter is not a public document. I also assume he paid the $200 and did the 20 hours of community service.
If he's so innocent, why write a "letter of apology"?
The fact he was recording on his phone at the time he failed to heed a lawfully given order to disperse is irrelevant. If he were playing a violin, the cops would have told him to stop playing the violin and leave.
"Not talking to reporters now". Gee, I wonder why?