MEDFORD -- State Senator Anthony D. Galluccio today was found in violation of the terms of his probation and was sentenced to one year in the Middlesex House of Correction. He was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.
Judge Matthew Nestor said from the bench that after listening to a day of testimony, including from Galluccio himself, he was convinced the Cambridge Democrat had been drinking when tested on Dec. 21 -- just three days after Nestor sentenced him to home confinement and ordered alcohol testing.
"I am satisfied the defendant ingested alcohol,'' Nestor said from the bench. "He didn't last a week.''
Galluccio looked stunned when Nestor ordered him to be imprisoned. His mother and sister were in attendance and waved at him as he was being led away by a court officer and were then escorted out of the building by a Galluccio legislative aide.
Nestor ruled after Galluccio swore under oath today that he was not drunk when he failed a Breathalyzer test. Galluccio pointed out that he showered and brushed his teeth two times before the test was administered Dec. 21.
Galluccio testified he does not know why the breath test twice reported that he had alcohol in his system.
"I had no idea what caused that reading,'' Galluccio testified. "All I know is that I had not ingested alcohol.''
On Dec. 18, Galluccio pleaded guilty to leaving the scene of an accident after causing personal injury, charges that stem from an Oct. 4 collision when he rear-ended a minivan in Cambridge and then sped off.
As part of his sentence set by Nestor, Galluccio was ordered into home confinement and required to take breath tests when asked by the probation department. On the day that the equipment was installed by probation official Michael H. Jacobs, Galluccio failed the test.
Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz said called Galluccio's imprisonment an "appropriate decision.'' Cruz, whose office handled the case for Middlesex prosecutors to avoid conflict of interest issues, noted his office had sought imprisonment for Galluccio when he plead guilty.
"To me this is a public safety issue, nothing more,'' Cruz said in a telephone interview. "You have to consider the totality of the circumstances. ... This [case] was leaving the scene where people were hurt, including a 13 year old boy.''
Cruz added that Nestor ruled after giving Galluccio the chance to fully lay out his defense theory, including the senator's claim that sorbitol in his toothpaste was the culprit in the tests.
"I can't imagine there being some form of alcohol in toothpaste that would consistently raise the elevation of a reading on a breath test,'' Cruz said. "I have a hard time believing that. I am glad the judge made a determination today, and hopefully that will be put to rest.''
In a statement this afternoon, Senate President Therese Murray called on Galluccio to "consider what is in the best interests of his constituents and the Senate.'' Murray did not explicitly call for Galluccio to step down, but said when the Senate meets on Wednesday, the topic of what to do with the Cambridge Democrat will be on the agenda.
Separately, Senate Republican Leader Richard Tisei, who said he has not commented publicly on Galluccio's problems before today, called on Galluccio to resign and allow his constituents to choose a replacement in a special election.
"It's a sad situation and personally, I like the senator. He is very personable and I feel terrible that he is in this situation,'' Tisei said in a telephone interview. "But the right thing for him to do is to resign and allow his constituents to elect a replacement. We have a tough year ahead of us. ?He is going to be unable to really represent his constituents this year.''
Tisei is running for lieutenant governor with Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles Baker. But the Wakefield Republican said his views on Galluccio are not about politics. "I think it's more about people's confidence and trust in government than it is a partisan matter,'' he said.
Galluccio, who has publicly contended the breath-testing machine mistakenly read sorbitol -- a sugar alcohol -- in his toothpaste as liquor, also described Dec. 21. in detail. He said he showered and brushed his teeth in the morning, met with a legislative aide in the afternoon, and the shortly before Jacobs' arrival, showered and brushed his teeth again.
"This is a new experience for me,'' Galluccio said of home confinement. "My personal hygiene has improved.''
Three Galluccio associates, including a Beacon Hill aide, testified they were with Galluccio in his Cambridge home during the weekend and on Dec. 21. No one saw him drink, nor did they see any bottles of alcohol inside the house, they testified.
Galluccio also called on a forensic toxicology expert from Texas, Ernest D. Lykissa. Galluccio provided a urine sample to an independent laboratory on Dec. 23. Lykissa testified he examined the results and concluded that Galluccio was alcohol-free from Dec. 20 and for the rest of the week.
In earlier testimony, Jacobs described how he arrived at Galluccio's home and installed the voice-activated machine. He testified that after the installation was over, he asked Galluccio to perform a practice test.
He then asked Galluccio to perform a test for real -- and an alarm sounded. Jacobs testified that the alarm sounds for only two reasons: The machine detected alcohol or the voice-activated mechanism had malfunctioned.
Jacobs testified that he told Galluccio he had to re-test. Jacobs said he also asked the senator if he had used mouthwash, and Galluccio said he had not. But the senator said he did use toothpaste and he brought a tube from his bathroom, Jacobs testified.
Jacobs said the second test was conducted, and once again, an alarm sounded. Jacobs, who was on the phone with probation officials in Boston, was told Galluccio failed the second test.
But under questioning by Galluccio's defense attorney, George Hassett, Jacobs acknowledged that he saw no sign in Galluccio's behavior that he was inebriated. Jacobs also said he did not see any liquor bottles or beer bottles inside Galluccio's home.
The probation surrender hearing before Nestor is continuing.
Galluccio has twice been convicted of driving under the influence; he was pardoned for one of the convictions. In a third incident, a clerk-magistrate ruled that he had been drinking before causing a four-car accident in Boston, but that there was not enough evidence to warrant a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol.
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