innocence blog

A Web log for the Innocence Institute of Point Park University

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Deval L. Patrick Apologizes for Disclosure Missteps

This article appeared in the Boston Globe on October 6, 2006:

Patrick apologizes for disclosure missteps
Cites lack of research on his ties to inmate


By Andrea Estes
Globe Staff

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Deval L. Patrick yesterday apologized for not fully disclosing the extent of his advocacy on behalf of convicted rapist Benjamin LaGuer, as he struggled to move past the biggest controversy of his campaign.

``I apologize to anyone who feels we didn't come forward with all the facts," Patrick said at a campaign event in Worcester.

Patrick told reporters he should have researched his involvement in the case before offering statements over the past week that minimized his role. ``We screwed up in terms of how we have handled doing the homework before we answered questions about this issue, no question about that," he said. ``And I take the responsibility for that."

He provided no new details about his involvement in the case. Patrick said that he was not trying to mislead the public about his ties to the man convicted of raping a 59-year-old neighbor for eight hours in 1983, but that he simply did not remember that he had written two letters to the Parole Board seeking his release or that he donated money to help pay for DNA testing of LaGuer in 2001.

Patrick spoke to reporters after the Globe disclosed that he had contributed to the DNA test. Yesterday, asked to explain why he is unable to verify the donation, Patrick said he does not keep canceled checks that are more than three years old and said he donated more than $100,000 to a variety of causes in 2001. LaGuer said Patrick donated $5,000 toward the DNA test.

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