NEWTON -- Congressional candidate Jeffrey D. Perry defended his record as a Wareham police officer today, even as he acknowledged some mistakes, during a debate with the three other Republican candidates in the 10th Congressional district.
Perry acknowledged during the fast-moving debate on NECN that he was reprimanded for not reporting the truth about how he broke a radar gun, but denied his former’s chief sworn testimony that he intentionally tripped a traffic light to catch drivers going through it.
Perry said he never played what the chief, Thomas A. Joyce, referred to as "the old red light game," but said that he had "not completely described" to superiors how he had accidentally crushed a radar gun under the wheel of his cruiser.
“I was a young guy,” said Perry, adding that the incidents happened in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when he was in 20s. “I did the best I could. Sure, I made mistakes as a police officer, and I’ve learned from them.”
Perry’s chief rival, former state treasurer Joseph D. Malone, said during the debate that voters deserve more candid answers from Perry, a Republican state representative from Sandwich.
“People are tired of double-speak,” Malone said. “On many occasions, Jeff has not been forthright. He’s been just the opposite.”
Perry pushed back against that charge. "People get to look at all these issues, regarding character, no matter who it is," Perry said. "But I've been open and honest with this. I've been answering these questions…and I’m continuing to do these today."
Joyce’s testimony is from a deposition in lawsuits against the Wareham Police Department brought by the parents of two teenage girls who were illegally strip-searched in the early 1990s by an officer under Perry’s supervision.
Perry’s honesty became an issue in the cases, because he had asserted that the searches never happened and was passed over for promotion because, Joyce testified, “Perry had not been 100 percent truthful to me in the past.”
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