In the early hours of Wednesday morning, at 12:23 am to be exact, the official Twitter page of the MBTA Transit Police seemed to go off the rails. Within minutes, our office had received numerous screenshots of a public tweet from the official MBTA Transit Police account in which the newly elected incumbent, District Attorney for Suffolk County Kevin Hayden, was called “inept” and lacking the “integrity to serve”.
The tweet was in reply to election coverage by Bill Forry the Editor/Publisher of the Dorchester Reporter, a well respected local newspaper, in which Forry was focusing on the heated race for Suffolk County District Attorney. His tweet is still available to be seen below:
The full tweet not only attacked Hayden but also the Dorchester Reporter integrity, and put the blame for Boston City Councilor and D.A. Candidate Ricardo Arroyo’s loss in an article by the Boston Globe. The Globe article in question had exposed Arroyo as being accused of sexual assault and rape in two different incidents during his teens.
This bizarre tweet, which was thankfully captured, can be seen above. It was quickly deleted this morning. We reached out to Mr. Forry to validate the tweet, however he deferred comment so we then began our research into if the tweet was real, who sent the tweet and why. Additionally, we began to explore the implications it would have on not just the relationship between the Transit Police and the District Attorney’s Office, but also the Transit Police and the general public.
Multiple Sources at the Transit Police confirmed to us that the person behind the tweet is actually second in command, Superintendent Richard Sullivan, a longtime Transit Police veteran who rakes in nearly $200,000 a year to act as the organization’s media representative. Those with knowledge of Superintendent Sullivan’s position tell us he is the only person responsible for Twitter and therefore the early morning diatribe on the official account. Our staff have reached out to Transit Police Chief Green for comment but at the time of publication, no comment has been provided.
On the other hand, we reached out to Director of Communications at the MBTA, Joe Pesaturo who quickly responded to our inquiry. Although Pesaturo would not confirm who sent the tweet and what if any repercussions would follow, he did confirm that the tweet was in fact real. In a short statement, Pesaturo stated, “ It was an inappropriate and unintentional use of the police department’s official social media account, and it will not be repeated.”
This is not the first time that Superintendent Sullivan, or the Transit Police’s professionalism has been called into question, in 2021 the Cambridge Day published an article titled ‘While people keep dying on MBTA property, force pays official $178,190 for ‘easier’ work’ which was directed at a “notoriously lazy agency” where the Superintendent did “not take questions from the media, even as people keep dying on MBTA property”.
As for District Attorney Hayden, his focus seems to be on moving forward with his future in office now secured, acknowledging the questionable tweet but not taking any shots at the embattled agency and Superintendent. In a short statement from his campaign they told us, “We believe the tweet in question was distasteful and inappropriate. It would seem the MBTA Police agree with us in that assessment judging by how quickly they deleted it after the fact.”
As it stands today, time will only tell what impact this seemingly one sided battle between Transit Police Command and the District Attorney’s Office will have. For now, the only clear fact remains that the Transit Police have not lost any animosity, and Sullivan will continue to remain in his position as face of the Transit Police.