By Dave Rogers
---- — NEWBURYPORT — The perjury trial of former Newburyport police officer Daniel S. McCarthy, scheduled to begin earlier this week in Lawrence Superior Court, has been pushed back until March, according to an Essex County District Attorney spokeswoman.
Carrie Kimball-Monahan said a witness to the case was not available, prompting prosecutors to ask for an extension. The new start date for the trial is March 12 in a courthouse to be determined, Kimball-Monahan added.
McCarthy was charged with perjury following the May 2011 road-rage trial of Robyn Stack of Newburyport. McCarthy, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for mayor in 2005, was charged with coaching a witness during the Stack trial and then lying to Newburyport District Court Judge Michael Uhlarik when questioned. A mistrial in Stack’s case was subsequently declared by Uhlarik. Prior to the conversation, Uhlarik ordered witnesses and jurors not to discuss the case with anyone.
Stack died in December of heart failure at the age of 47.
“We’re obviously still proceeding,” Kimball-Monahan said, when asked if her death would impact the state’s case against McCarthy.
In January 2012, McCarthy’s attorney, Douglas A. Louison, attempted to have his perjury case thrown out. He filed a motion to dismiss the perjury charge, stating the grand jury that indicted him in July 2011 did so in error. Louison argued that McCarthy’s action during the Stack trial had no bearing on the case. The next month, a Salem Superior Court judge disagreed and denied Louison’s motion.
Four days after the Stack mistrial in May 2011, city Marshal Thomas Howard placed McCarthy on paid administrative leave, pending completion of an internal investigation. The report was completed in late June and submitted to Mayor Donna Holaday. An attempt by The Daily News to obtain a copy of Howard’s report under the Freedom of Information Act was turned down by city attorneys.
McCarthy resigned from the Newburyport Police Department on July 19, 2011, after almost 14 years of service. His resignation came days before he was indicted. McCarthy earned about $70,000 in 2010.
Days after resigning, McCarthy filed for retirement benefits from the city’s retirement board. Last August, the retirement board unanimously approved his request, saying it had no choice, since although McCarthy was charged with perjury, a felony, he had not been convicted of anything. Had McCarthy been convicted of a felony before his hearing, the retirement board could have rejected McCarthy’s request.
McCarthy’s tenure with the Newburyport Police Department was marked by several internal confrontations with co-workers and supervisors.
Since 2001, McCarthy had been disciplined on a few occasions by his superiors. In 2007, he filed suit against the city and several former and current officers claiming he was unfairly disciplined. He also claimed to be harassed and intimidated by other police officers, who, he said, also filed false charges against him relating to his suspensions.
His civil suit eventually was thrown out by a U.S. District Court senior judge and then again by an appeals court judge. His appeal regarding his suspensions also was quashed by the state Civil Service Commission.