25 Investigates

25 Investigates: More fallout from court officer academy hazing probe

The Deputy Director of Security for the Massachusetts Trial Court has stepped down more than a year after she was placed on paid administrative leave. Deputy Director of Security Heather Brouillette resigned, effective September 2nd, according to the Executive Office of the Trial Court.

Brouillette ran the academy that trains court officers in Massachusetts. In December 2021, an independent team of investigators released a blistering report that described a culture of fear, intimidation, and retaliation at the 8-week program, formerly housed on the grounds of Westover Air Force Base in Chicopee.

The report said academy administrators implemented a “paramilitary” training model in 2014 which the investigators characterized as “flawed and ill-advised”. According to the report, the model is more applicable to law enforcement officers and lead to deep dissatisfaction among recruits.

Brouillette was suspended with pay in September 2021 when the hazing allegations first surfaced. State payroll records reviewed by 25 Investigates show she collected $148,100 in 2022 while on leave including a $37,417 “buyout”.

Brouillette is the 2nd person to resign in the wake of the academy investigation. Trial Court Security Director Jeffrey Morrow left in January. He denied having any knowledge of the psychical and mental abuse former academy recruits detailed at the program.

25 Investigates asked the Trial Court for the status of the Trial Court’s Assistant Director of Security Nicholas DeAngelis. DeAngelis was also placed on paid leave in September 2021 for his alleged involvement in the hazing scandal. A spokesperson for the trial court did not release his work status.

State payroll records show DeAngelis was last paid on October 8th of this year.

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