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Hampden DA press release on William Moran criminal complaint

Hampden DA press release on William Moran criminal complaint

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Published by: Greg Saulmon on Nov 23, 2011
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11/23/2011

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COMMONWEALTH HAMPDEN

OF MASSACHUSETTS DISTRICT

SUPERIOR

COURT

OFRCE

T£L:413-747-1000 FAX:413-781-4745
SPRINGFIELD

HALL OF JUSTICE
50
SPRINGFIELD, STATE STREET

DISTRICT COURT

OmCE

T£L:413-747-1001 FAX:413-747-5628

MASSACHUSETTS

at 102-0559

MARK G. MASTROIANNI
DISTRICT ATIORNEY

OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY

For Immediate Press Release
From: Date: Hampden County District Attorney Mark G. Mastroianni November 23, 2011

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On November 23,2011 Hampden County District Attorney Mark G. Mastroianni announces the Springfield District Court Clerk's Office has found probable cause for the issuance of the complaints sought against William Moran, the former interim Fire Chief of Holyoke. The District Attorney's Office made application for a two-count criminal complaint against William Moran alleging (1) disorderly conduct and (2) willful and malicious communication of false information of an emergency. release from District Attorney dated June 27,2011.) The determination of probable cause was detailed in a twenty (20) page decision by Assistant Clerk Magistrate of the Springfield District Court, Barbara Y. Burton. The decision included finding that "the evidence establishes probable cause to believe that Chief Moran created a hazardous condition ... either intended to cause or recklessly created a risk of public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm." (pages 16-17, Clerk's opinion)
1

(See press

"Chief Moran's know ledge and experience placed him in a special position to appreciate the hazards inherent in dispatching firefighters and firefighting equipment to the streets ... " (page 17, Clerk's opinion). The findings of the Clerk further noted "the Chief has suggested that his actions were in furtherance of his legitimate purposes to train, informally discipline, and/or teach a lesson to his men ... the Commonwealth produced evidence which tends to suggest that his motives or purposes might have included pranking and/or "f' ing with" the firefighters." This decision by the Clerk amounts to a finding of probable cause, which will support the issuance of a formal complaint to which William Moran will have the right to dispute and defend against the allegations. The matter is scheduled to be in Springfield District Court for an arraignment on December 7, 2010. No further information will be released.

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COMMONWEALTH

OF MASSACHUSETTS

HAMPDEN DISTRICT HALL OF JUSTICE
50 STATE
SPRINGFieLD. STREET

SU~E1liORCOUIlT OrncE TEL:413·747·1000 F;.x: 413·781·4745
SPflINGFlELD

D!Sml~'T COURT Ow",,, Ta: 413·747·1001 FlVc 413·747·5628

MASSACHUSETTS

01102·0559 ATTORNEY

MARK G. MASTROIANNI
DISTRICT ATTORNEY

OFFICE

OF THE DISTRICT

PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release From: Date: Hampden County District Attorney Mark G. Mastroianni June 27, 2011

Today, Hampden County District Attorney Mark O. Mastroianni releases the following information regarding the recent Massachusetts State Police investigation into a complaint regarding the Holyoke Fire Department's Interim Fire Chief William Moran: On Wednesday, June 15,2011, at approximately l2:20PM, Chief William Moran, the Interim Fire Chief of the Holyoke Fire Department was at a local restaurant in the City of Holyoke. Chief Moran was having lunch with the Holyoke Fire Department Deputy Chief and another Holyoke Fire firefighter. While having lunch, two firefighters from the nearby fire station walked by the restaurant and went into another establishment that is located in close proximity to where the men were congregated. The firefighters that were working at the nearby fire station were in uniform and had walked to get lunch. They were equipped with a Holyoke Fire Department portable radio which was on and presumably working. Shortly after the firefighters walked into the establishment, Chief Moran got up, went outside, at approximately J 2:25PM and used

his Holyoke Fire Department issued cell phone to call the Holyoke Fire Department Dispatch emergency Line.A dispatcher received the call and was instructed by Chief Moran to dispatch a truck from the nearby fire station to a call at the Holyoke Mall. After some discussion, during which the dispatcher queried the nature of the call, Chief Moran instructed the dispatcher to send a fire truck to an "investigation" at Macy's located on the Holyoke Mall's first floor. An investigation call of a general nature is known to include any wide range of need for services from medical issues to building and/or public safety matters; such dispatched calls are responded to in an emergency manner by the Fire Department by using emergency lights and sirens to facilitate the quickest arrival. There was no need for investigation services at the Holyoke Mall and Chief Moran's call was completely fictitious in nature. After placing the dispatch call, Chief Moran returned to the restaurant and the people he was having lunch with, and continued general conversation with them. Shortly thereafter, a call came over the radio dispatching a fire truck to the Holyoke Mall, as per Chief Moran's call. Chief Moran then told those he was having lunch with to come to the window of the restaurant in order to see the firefighters, who had walked to lunch previously, run back to their station. Within minutes, not having seen the two firefighters running from the establishment in response to the call, Chief Moran directed the Deputy Chief to go to the restaurant and ask the firefighters why they did not respond to the calL The firefighters said they did not hear anything on their radio. The Deputy Chief then told the firefighters to disregard the call, giving them an indication of the false nature of it. The firefighters returned to pick up their lunch and the Deputy Chief rejoined Chief Moran. After the firefighters picked up their lunch order, they began to leave the

establishment when they noticed a fire truck enter the parking lot of the mini mall with its emergency lights on. The fire engine was responding to the dispatch initiated by Chief Moran, and it was picking up the two firefighters, who were known to be getting lunch there. The two firefighters, thinking they had missed another call, ran to the truck, got on.and asked the driver where they were going. The driver indicated that they would be responding to the mall for an investigation. When the truck left the mini mali, it had its emergency lights on and used its siren to get through the roadway's intersection. At this time, the firefighters believed they were responding to an emergency call at the Holyoke Mall because the driver said this dispatch was via their "regular system". The firefighters on the truck could not discern if the response at the HoIyoke Mall was Chief Moran' s false call, or a new separate dispatch. The call from Chief Moran was found to have been the complete and sale reason for going to the Holyoke Mall. The fire truck traveled past where Chief Moran was located. Upon seeing it, Chief Moran used a radio, at approximately 12:31PM1 to call the Holyoke Fire Department dispatch to cancel his previous call. Shortly thereafter, the fire truck was told by dispatch to return to their station, in effect canceling the call. A motor vehicle on the route being traveled by the fire truck, and witnessed by those firefighters responding to the Holyoke Mall, became involved in a collision. The Holyoke Police Department's initial motor vehicle accident report indicated that the operator of the first of four vehicles stopped her vehicle, not only because of the fire truck with its lights and siren was passing by, but also because she was going to make a left turn. The next two vehicles, who were in line behind her, were able to bring their

vehicles to a complete stop. The fourth vehicle was unable to stop in time, rear ending the third vehicle which was pushed into the second vehicle which in turn struck the first vehicle. The operator of the fourth vehicle sustained injuries resulting in her transportation to the Holyoke Medical Center for treatment. Chief Moran caused a dispatch of emergency

As a result of his false communication, services to a non-existent

call. The public was put at risk caused by the unnecessary

emergency operation of a fire truck on public roads and by the fire station being made unavailable, with no planned backup.coverage received. An application for a two-count criminal complaint against William Moran, of Holyoke, has been filed with the Clerk's Office at the Holyoke District Court. The charges sought are: 1) Massachusetts General Law Chapter 269, Section 14B, which addresses the of false information of an emergency to a

if a legitimate call for services was

willful and malicious communication dispatching type facility; and 2) Massachusetts

General Law Chapter 272, Section 53, alleging disorderly conduct,

addresses the creation of a hazardous condition or causing public inconvenience, annoyance. or alarm.

No further information will be released at this time.

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