NEWBURYPORT — Former Newburyport police officer Daniel S. McCarthy was cleared of a felony perjury charge yesterday after 12 jurors found him not guilty during his trial at Salem Superior Court.
Yesterday’s decision comes after three delays that pushed the trial from its scheduled January start until late August. The delays were prompted by the unavailability of witnesses or the over-scheduling of a judge, according to the Essex County District Attorney’s Office.
McCarthy’s attorney, Douglas Louison, said his client was gratified that the jury ruled quickly and ruled correctly, saying McCarthy did not commit perjury and never wavered on that fact.
“It was the right decision for the right guy,” Louison said.
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. Uhlarik subsequently declared a mistrial in Stack’s case.
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 of 2011 and submitted to Mayor Donna Holaday. McCarthy, who had faced discipline for on-duty conduct in the past, resigned shortly before being indicted.
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.
Louison said the jury began its deliberations around 3:45 p.m. and by 4:10 p.m. the court officer informed the courtroom that the jury would be heading back soon.
“That’s a very quick deliberation,” Louison added.
Asked if the multiple delays played a factor in yesterday’s decision, Louison said the only factor present was the frustration felt by his client as prosecutors repeatedly asked for continuances.