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Police & Fire

Greater Boston Attorney Arrested For Allegedly Bribing Local Police Chief (UPDATE)

O'Donovan Law Office PC located at 741 Broadway in Somerville.
O'Donovan Law Office PC located at 741 Broadway in Somerville. Photo Credit: Google Maps

An attorney from Somerville has been arrested for allegedly bribing a local police chief to get approval for a marijuana dispensary, the US Attorney's Office for Massachusetts said. 

Sean O'Donovan, age 54, allegedly tried bribing Medford's police chief with $25,000 to secure the approval of a recreational marijuana dispensary for one of his clients, the office reports.

The client apparently enlisted O'Donovan to help them obtain a Host Community Agreement (HCA), as required under Massachusetts law, with the City of Medford in 2018.

In addition, the City of Medford established at local Cannabis Advisory Committee (CAC) to approve marijuana retail applicants in 2020. One of the members of this committee included the Medford Chief of Police, the office reports. 

O'Donovan allegedly offered to pay a relative to persuade the Chief to approve the client's HCA application in February 2021. The relative then told the Chief and subsequently alerted federal officials about the bribe. 

O’Donovan was arrested in West Yarmouth on the morning of Friday, June 24 on two counts of honest services wire fraud and one count of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.

He was set to make an initial appearance in federal court in Boston the same day. If convicted, O'Donovan could face up to 50 years in prison and a combined fine of $500,000, the office reports.

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