Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone is not pleased that a repeat drunk driver who was the subject of a Fox Undercover investigation has been released from jail early.
In July, a district court judge locked up Scott Green for one year, but just one month later Green is now back home in Wakefield.
Green lost his license for life in 2005, but that didn't stop him from getting behind the wheel.
Police arrested him for driving without a license in March, and then Fox Undercover caught him driving, yet again, a few weeks later.
Last month, Green pleaded guilty to the driving without a license charge and the judge sentenced him to a year in jail.
But now Green is benefitting from a jail program that allows inmates to go home early.
’Scott Green shouldn't be on the street,’ said Middlesex District Attorney Leone. ’He shouldn't have been on the street one day earlier than what the court sentenced him to, which was a year in jail.’
Leone says he considers Green a violent offender since he's been arrested for drunk driving five times.
’When someone like a Scott Green, with his profile as a violent offender, and one who has frankly shown a reckless disregard for the court's orders, when they told him not to drive previously,’ said Leone. ’When you get that kind of a profile, in my mind that's not someone who's earned the right to premature early release.’
Fox Undercover exposed Green's reckless disregard for the court's order in May after we found him back behind the wheel just 16 days after police arrested him for driving without a license.
When questioned, Green flatly denied ever driving to Investigative Reporter Mike Beaudet:
Green: ’I have not been driving.’
Beaudet: ’Well we have you on video driving sir.’
Green: ’I have not been driving. I have a driver right here.’
Beaudet: ’Well I'd like to show you the video tape because you have been driving. Do you think you're above the law?’
Green: ’No sir.’
And neither did Woburn District Court Judge Timothy Gailey who, after watching the Fox Undercover investigation in court in May, revoked Green's bail.
After pleading guilty last month, Green received credit for the two months he served when his bail was revoked and then spent another month in jail.
The Middlesex Sheriff's Office placed Green on house arrest earlier this month and gave him a GPS monitoring bracelet.
He's allowed to leave almost everyday of the week for reasons ranging from community service to classes, which include Anger Management and Relapse Prevention.
’Green certainly is on the street before he should be,’ said Leone. ’And with his profile he's very fortunate to have been afforded the opportunity to have GPS take the place of incarceration, which is where he should be.’
Middlesex Sheriff James DiPaola defended the arrangement.
’He's under house arrest. He's under constant surveillance. He's not allowed to leave his home. It's prison without walls,’ said DiPaola. ’I can sympathize with the district attorney for feeling that way and sometimes the general public feels that way and if I had my way Scott Green would be in jail right now. I wouldn't have been making this kind of a decision this early in his sentence.’
Sheriff DiPaola blames budget cuts and overcrowding which he says have forced him to release inmates early.
Green is currently one of 22 inmates in Middlesex County out of jail before their sentences are completed.
They're all under house arrest and monitored by GPS.
Sheriff DiPaola says only non-violent offenders are eligible and only after they've served their minimum mandatory sentences, which in Green's case was 60 days.
’Drunk driving is a very serious crime and it's something we take very seriously at the sheriff's office when someone's incarcerated for it,’ said DiPaola. ’His actual crime that he's sentenced for though is driving without a license, not drunk driving. So that's what we're punishing him for now and that's what we're rehabilitating him for now.’
Sheriff DiPaola says Green has a driver, but acknowledged there’s really nothing stopping him from driving again.
’Well right now if he was to get behind the wheel, if we're not there watching it or you're not there watching it, I guess that could happen,’ said DiPaola.
The sheriff’s office is randomly testing Green to make sure he's not drinking, and so far his tests have come back clean.
Green did not respond to a request to comment on this story, but the sheriff says Green told him he's now learned his lesson.
A spokesman for Judge Gailey, who sentenced Green to the year in jail, said he can't talk about the case.