Former prosecutor’s behavior was ‘troubling’ but not criminal, investigation finds
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An investigation into a former Suffolk County, Massachusetts, prosecutor has found that his behavior with female interns was “troubling” and violated the expectations of his office but didn’t break the law.
In November, several women alleged that Adam Foss, who worked in the Suffolk County district attorney’s office in Boston from 2008 to 2016, engaged in behavior that “ranged from inappropriate and an abuse of his authority, to unethical and criminal,” according to a statement from the office of Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins on Thursday.
Rollins hired law firm Goodwin Procter to investigate the allegations to determine whether there was evidence that Foss engaged in misconduct during his tenure with the office and whether the office had policies and procedures in place to protect interns and staff from sexual harassment and misconduct.
“In sum, our investigation did not reveal evidence of any per se violation of any law, formal SCDAO policy, or ethical rules by Mr. Foss during his tenure as an ADA,” wrote attorneys Roberto M. Braceras and Jennifer L. Chunias, who led the investigation, in a letter to Rollins on Wednesday. “That being said, our review identified evidence that Mr. Foss engaged in concerning conduct with at least two adult female office interns and students that violated informal SCDAO expectations and norms.”
Foss declined to be interviewed or respond to written questions, according to the attorneys’ letter. Their investigation included interviews with 28 people and searches of electronic documents, and their final report includes recommendations for changes to office policies, reporting procedures and employee training.
The attorneys said they did not “identify any evidence that past or present SCDAO leadership was ever aware of Mr. Foss’ misconduct pertaining to women inside or outside the office, prior to the allegations in late 2020 that led to our retention to conduct this review.”
“Victims always have a right to tell their own stories and should be given the opportunity, empowerment, and respect to control their narrative,” said Rollins in the statement, who also pointed out that much of the alleged misconduct happened outside Suffolk County. “This is not SCDAO’s story to tell.”
“I want to explain the process and scope of the investigation, that we took the allegations very seriously and that we have already, or are now putting in place policies, protocols and procedures to ensure that the troubling behavior reported cannot happen again,” she said.