Mass. AG backs POST Commission appointee after Boston police demotion

Eddy Chrispin, Campbell's recent addition to the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission, had been a member of the Boston Police Department's command staff until the change in his role

NBC10 Boston

Attorney General Andrea Campbell on Wednesday disagreed with Boston's mayor and police department over the demotion from a command staff role of her appointee to the commission that sets standards for law enforcement following his appointment to the state board.

Eddy Chrispin, Campbell's recent addition to the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission, had been a member of the Boston Police Department's command staff until the change in his role. The POST Commission was created in a 2020 criminal justice reform law that followed the murder of George Floyd, and is implementing accountability measures and certification for law enforcement officers across Massachusetts.



Watch NBC10 Boston news for free, 24/7, wherever you are.


Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.

Chrispin was nominated by the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers and selected by Campbell to join the commission.

"His application was astounding," Campbell said Wednesday on GBH's "Boston Public Radio" program. "I've known him because of my work on the city council and the work he did in the community. But the number of letters of support and recommendations -- it was incredible. Including support from folks who served within the BPD."

POST Executive Director Enrique Zuniga released a statement Monday saying he was "deeply disappointed" that Chrispin was demoted from deputy superintendent at the BPD to sergeant detective due to his appointment to the statewide commission.

"As a result, we urge BPD to reverse its decision and immediately reinstate Commissioner Chrispin to his prior rank. We see no legitimate reason why Commissioner Chrispin’s appointment to the POST Commission should result in his demotion," the statement said.

Zuniga continued, "We understand BPD demoted Commissioner Chrispin claiming to have concerns about conflicts of interest due to his position on the command staff. Like any other state agency, the POST Commission has procedures to deal with conflicts of interest that may arise. Commissioners routinely disclose or recuse themselves from a particular matter that presents a conflict of interest. Additionally, current and past commissioners have held positions on an agency’s command staff, such as the position of police chief, while also serving as commissioners."

When the GBH radio show had Mayor Michelle Wu on as a guest Tuesday, co-hosts Jim Braude and Margery Eagan asked the mayor about the topic.

Wu defended BPD Commissioner Michael Cox's right to choose his command staff, adding that she wasn't involved in individual conversations about Chrispin's role.

"The commissioner really believes that the best interest of the department and POST to function well, and to each do their job -- POST as an oversight agency, regulating Boston and police departments around the commonwealth, and the command staff as an internal policymaking and supervisory entity focused only on the city of Boston -- that to keep those independent would be in the best interest of how he wants to choose and set up his command staff," Wu said.

A Boston deputy police superintendent was demoted after joining the POST Commission, Massachusetts' police oversight board. Mayor Michelle Wu and the Boston Police Department commented on the issue Tuesday amid some controversy.

Campbell said on "Boston Public Radio" Wednesday that she hasn't heard a compelling reason why Chrispin was demoted, adding that it's actually a positive to have active duty members with important posts on the board.

"If anything, it actually encourages -- the POST statute, and every policy practice -- encourages folks to be active law enforcement, and also to serve in some meaningful role to serve on POST, because there's a perspective they bring. And I was confident, as was my team, that he would not have violated any secrets of Commissioner Cox or anyone else serving in that role," the attorney general said.

Campbell said she communicated her concerns to the city of Boston, arguing that Cox needs to "be crystal clear on the rationale and reasoning."

"And you haven't heard such a reason yet?" Braude asked.

"No," Campbell quickly replied.

The Boston Globe reported that Chrispin was given the choice to either remain on Cox's command staff and resign from the state panel, or keep his position on the POST Commission. He chose to stay on the state oversight board, a move that cost him a roughly $40,000 pay cut.

Copyright State House News Service
Contact Us