25 Investigates: Attorney says Trooper Proctor ‘steadfast in the integrity’ of Read case

An attorney for State Trooper Michael Proctor has responded to the story 25 Investigates first reported Wednesday about Proctor being the focus of an internal affairs probe. The investigation is looking at a potential violation of department policy, according to the Massachusetts State Police.

In an emailed statement, Todd and Weld Partner Michael R. DiStefano said Trooper Proctor is cooperating fully with the investigation and “remains steadfast in the integrity of the work he performed investigating the death of Mr. John O’Keefe.”

Full Statement:

Trooper Proctor has been fully cooperative in responding to the investigations conducted by the US Attorney’s Office and the Massachusetts State Police Internal Affairs Unit. To be clear, Trooper Proctor remains steadfast in the integrity of the work he performed investigating the death of Mr. John O’Keefe. To the extent that Trooper Proctor’s personal text messages are alluded to in court proceedings regarding Ms. Read, he respectfully submits that the objective investigative steps he and members of his unit took are in no way undermined by the content of the personal messages.

—  -Michael R. DiStefano/Attorney for Trooper Michael Proctor

O’Keefe was a Boston police officer. He was found unresponsive outside of the former home of another Boston officer in January 2022. O’Keefe’s girlfriend Karen Read has been charged with 2nd degree murder. She’s accused of striking him with her SUV and leaving him in a snowstorm after a night of drinking.

A Massachusetts State Police spokesperson would not say what triggered the internal affairs probe. 25 Investigates learned of it one day after a court hearing where Read’s attorneys said a federal investigation found Proctor hid personal ties to people involved in the O’Keefe death investigation.

“We have the benefit of the federal investigation, and the Commonwealth finds itself in the very unenviable position of having to eat some very distasteful words,” defense attorney Alan Jackson said.

In August, Norfolk County DA Michael Morrissey released a video statement where he asserted that Proctor did not have a personal connection to any of the people involved in the case.

“Trooper Proctor had no personal relationship, had no close personal relationship, with any of the parties involved in the investigation and had no conflict,” Morrissey said.

Norfolk County Assistant District Attorney Adam Lally argued in court Tuesday that Read’s defense initiated the federal probe and according to Lally, “none of these, issues or stated malfeasance, actually, occurred.”

Boston 25 News legal analyst and defense attorney Peter Elikann said even the appearance of a conflict could be problematic for law enforcement.

“Perhaps, it was only because the federal investigation revealed even more, evidence of the lack of impartiality that they were triggered to start the state police investigation, but they probably should have done that from the word go,” Elikann said

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