A clerk magistrate hearing tied to a police chief’s three-vehicle crash will be opened to the public, following a successful legal argument by the NBC10 Investigators.
Michelle Kelley, the clerk magistrate in Wrentham District Court, made that decision after reviewing the circumstances around the case involving Brockton’s former police chief, Emanuel Gomes. The proceeding is slated for July 18.
Clerk magistrate hearings are typically held behind closed doors. They only become public if it’s determined there is probable cause to issue a criminal complaint.
However, NBC10 argued accountability and transparency of a public official outweighed privacy in the case, especially given the station’s previous media coverage.
Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.
The case centers around a serious highway wreck in May 2021 that Gomes caused in his department vehicle, according to the crash report.
State Police did not cite Gomes for the crash, which legal experts described as “shocking.” The incident flew under the radar for almost a year until an NBC10 Boston investigation.
Brockton’s mayor defended the city’s handling of the crash, saying it “followed all appropriate procedures.”
Gomes retired in January after a 36-year year career with the police department and is now collecting a pension of $156,130.
According to the state police crash report, Gomes’ vehicle was traveling on the on-ramp from 495 to get onto Route 24 northbound.
For an unknown reason, the report said the chief veered off the ramp and struck a vehicle in the breakdown lane before side-swiping another car and causing it to flip on its side.
Three adults and a toddler went to the hospital after the wreck. The police chief refused medical treatment and got a ride home with a tow truck driver. The crash does not appear on his RMV driving record.
A private citizen, who has no connection to the crash, applied for the clerk magistrate hearing and will present evidence to see if the former chief should be charged.
It’s expected witnesses will also be asked to testify, including the other drivers and state troopers who responded to the scene.
Ryan Kath can be reached at email@example.com. You can follow him on Twitter or connect on Facebook.
Have a tip for the NBC10 Boston Investigators? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.