Methuen Police Captain Greg Gallant
May 24, 2020
M ETHUEN, MA - On April 29th we were getting ready to fly our drone over Valley Towing when someone called the Methuen police on us. A Detective and Patrolman arrived and asked that we not fly the drone.
The next day we filed a public records request by emailing Captain Greg Gallant, who is the Methuen Police (RAO) or Records Access Officer. You can view the request we sent HERE.
They had 10 buisness days to respond, so on May 14th, we sent a follow up email reminding them to provide the records or provide a reason why they would not. We got an email back from Captain Gallant stating the following:
Due to the ongoing worldwide COVID-19 Pandemic, Methuen's Mayor Neil Perry declared a "State of Emergency" on March 20th. In keeping with the directives of the State of Emergency, Methuen City Offices are closed to the public for the time being. It has not yet been determined when offices will open. In accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 66, Section 10, municipalities have ten (10) business days in which they must respond to a public records request. Pursuant to 950 CMR 32.02, 'business day' is defined as Monday through Friday. Business day does not include Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, or other weekdays where a custodian's office is closed unexpectedly." As such, the business day clock in Methuen legally stopped on March 20, 2020 and will not begin again until such time as the COVID-19 States of Emergency are lifted and City Hall is re-opened to the public. For this reason, all new and pending public records requests are on hold until that time.
On May 15th, we filed an appeal with the Secretary of State because we believe there is no reason Captain Gallant should be withholding public records. You can see the progress of that appeal HERE.
The Records Got LeakedOn May 1st, we did a live protest at Valley Towing, and the Police were again called on us. You can see the video's from that day on our fan page. On May 5, 2020, Ron Parrino, owner of Valley Towing and former Chairman of Methuen's licensing Board, filed for a No Harrasment Order which can be viewed HERE.
A hearing date was scheduled for May 19th. On May 18th, Mr. Parrino hired an attorney and the following day, the Lawrence District Court granted a 3-day extension for the attorney to prepare. Prior to our next hearing, Mr. Parrino's lawyer filed several exhibits with the Court.
Well son of a bitch, there was the April 29th Police Report (Exhibit 4) that we requested and were denied, as well as other reports from April and May of this year.
Plaintiff Exhibit 4.
Plaintiff Exhibit 5.
Plaintiff Exhibit 14.
Plaintiff Exhibit 15.
More Requests ComingWe are expecting the Secretary of State to order Metheun PD to comply with our future records requests. But as of now, the only way to get records in Methuen is to call up Ron Parrino and fork over some cash.
We think he know's a guy at the PD who gets paid really well.
LIVE at Methuen PD on 5/23/20