Much Ado About Nothing

The recent news story in the Boston newspapers about Democratic State Senate nominee Joseph Boncore — who is unopposed in the upcoming general election — might make for good reading for those who like to indulge in tabloid-style gossip, but it really has nothing to do with the merits of Mr. Boncore’s candidacy for State Senate.

Five years ago, Mr. Boncore was charged with operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of liquor. And shortly thereafter at his trial, a jury of six persons, consisting of a cross-section of residents from Suffolk County, after hearing all of the evidence, unanimously concluded that he was not guilty of that offense.

In terms of criminal culpability, that was the end of the story for Mr. Boncore, who was treated no better or worse than any other citizen of our Commonwealth who is charged by the police with a criminal offense. The Commonwealth was unable to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt, plain and simple.

However, what still remains is the civil case in which the person involved in the auto accident in which Mr. Boncore was involved — who happened to be an on-duty Boston police officer — is suing for damages for injuries he allegedly suffered.

Generally speaking, the insurance companies typically settle these sorts of cases to avoid costly litigation, which often can cost more (because of the attorney’s fees) than the amount being sought by the plaintiff.

In our view, the fact that this case has not been settled is an indication that Mr. Boncore’s insurer has made its own, independent determination that Mr. Boncore was not at fault for the accident.

In any event, all that remains of this case is a civil lawsuit for an automobile accident of the kind that almost everyone who operates a motor vehicle can understand.

No doubt there are some who will blow this matter out of all proportion — that’s the way it is for those who are in the public eye — but for our part, the “news” of this incident does not in any way change our faith in Mr. Boncore as the Democratic nominee for State Senate to perform his duties to the utmost capability for the citizens of our district.

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