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Give it up for the special grand jury

A judge will routinely thank a petit jury for its service. Now, a Norfolk judge has gone on record with his gratitude to a special grand jury at the end of their months-long term.

Last March 14, the Norfolk Circuit Court convened a special grand jury to investigate possible criminal activity within the Norfolk Community Services Board related to the case of Jill McGlone. McGlone was a former board employee who continued to be paid for years after she stopped showing up for work.

Last December, the special grand jury recommended an indictment for a Community Services Board official who oversaw the salary paid out to McGlone after she was suspended for bringing a weapon to work.

The grand jury met 16 times, questioned 18 witnesses under oath and “dedicated countless hours” to their task, according to Norfolk Circuit Judge Charles Poston, who posted his remarks on the court’s website. With 24,000 pages of evidence provided in response to subpoenas, the members of the grand jury spent an additional 240 hours on “homework,” Poston said.

The court also thanked by name Dr. John O. Simpson, chair of the special grand jury, its special counsel, John R. Fletcher and Bob Walsh, the investigator from the sheriff’s office who spent over 350 hours on the case.

To the citizens who “responded to the call of public service without hesitation or complaint,” and ensured that our system of justice “continues as a bulwark for the freedoms we cherish,” the court offered its thanks for their “essential service” to the commonwealth and to the city.
–Deborah Elkins

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