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Galluccio wins parole, must undergo testing

By Jonathan Saltzman
Globe Staff / July 3, 2010

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Former state senator Anthony D. Galluccio has taken steps to “address alcohol issues’’ and will be freed from jail this month after serving six months of a yearlong sentence for violating the terms of his house arrest by drinking alcohol, the state Parole Board has ruled.

A single board member decided Thursday that Galluccio, who has been repeatedly convicted of drunken driving, should be freed from the Middlesex House of Correction on July 14 because he has participated in Alcoholics Anonymous, expressed remorse, and caused no disciplinary problems.

In a one-sentence decision, board member Cesar Archilla wrote that the 43-year-old former Democratic lawmaker and onetime mayor of Cambridge has a “positive attitude’’ about his need for ongoing treatment and counseling and would benefit from supervised release.

Terrel Harris, a spokesman for the state Execu tive Office of Public Safety and Security, said parole officials will test Galluccio for alcohol and drugs regularly with a portable alcohol-screening device and urinalysis after he is freed. Galluccio must attend AA meetings at least three times a week and undergo counseling for substance abuse.

On May 14, Archilla denied a prior request for parole by Galluccio, who resigned from the Senate in disgrace after he was jailed. Although Galluccio had participated in programs at jail, Archilla wrote, “there remains a public safety concern’’ because of his drunken driving convictions and because Galluccio admitted to alcohol abuse “yet distinguishes that from ‘alcoholism.’ ’’

George Hassett, a Quincy lawyer who defended Galluccio before he was jailed, said he did not represent him before the Parole Board but sounded pleased.

“I think he should have gotten paroled earlier,’’ he said in a brief telephone interview.

Governor Deval Patrick, who picked Archilla last fall to join the Parole Board, had a muted reaction.

“The authorities have the authority to do what they do, and I assume they reviewed the record and they felt this was right,’’ he said at a ceremony where he signed into law a ban on texting while driving. “I hope, personally, that he’s getting the support that he needs and that the restrictions are such that it protects the public safety.’’

Sal DiDomenico, Galluccio’s chief of staff for more than two years, won a special election to fill the seat vacated by his former boss. He said yesterday that Galluccio’s parole is “an opportunity for him to get his life back together.’’

Individual members of the seven-member Parole Board hold hearings at county jails across the state for people serving relatively short sentences.

Galluccio, who was twice convicted of driving under the influence but pardoned for one of the convictions, pleaded guilty Dec. 18 to fleeing the scene of a car crash and was sentenced to six months’ home confinement. A father and his 13-year-old son were injured in the Oct. 4 accident.

Authorities did not pursue alcohol-related charges in the accident, in which Galluccio sped away after rear-ending a minivan carrying a family of four. But a police report revealed that Cambridge police gave Galluccio a ride home 13 hours before the crash because officers believed he was too drunk to drive.

Under the conditions of his home confinement, Galluccio was barred from drinking alcohol and agreed to undergo random tests involving a Sobrietor, an alcohol breath-screening machine installed on his home phone line.

On Dec. 21, immediately after a program manager for the office of the commissioner of probation installed the device, Galluccio was told to blow into it. It tested positive for alcohol. On Jan. 4, a district court judge sitting in Medford held a hearing and found that Galluccio had violated the terms of his probation and sent him to jail.

Galluccio resigned from the Senate the next day, but he insisted he had abstained from alcohol since he pleaded guilty in the car accident. He initially attributed the positive test reading on toothpaste, saying the ingredients could have caused a faulty result.

Jonathan Saltzman can be reached at jsaltzman@globe.com.

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