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December 3, 2008

Police panel to probe radio threat

Gloucester department to look into how tape reached TV

Click here to read the breaking story from December 2 

A Gloucester police lieutenant facing possible disciplinary action for allegedly making a threat captured on police radio last week will be investigated by a regional law enforcement agency before the city places any sanctions on him.

Yesterday, police released a recording of a radio transmission from last Wednesday — apparently broadcast accidentally — that includes audio of a police officer telling a third party about his dislike for an unnamed woman and his intention to hire a man to "bust all her windows."

On Monday, city officials confirmed to the Times that Lt, Michael O'Hanley was the officer being investigated for making the threat while on duty. He apparently was speaking on a cell phone, unaware that his cruiser's radio was transmitting at the time.

Mayor Carolyn Kirk said yesterday that, in addition to the external investigation, the city Police Department has begun looking at how a recording of the threat wound up in the hands of a Boston television station before any investigation into the matter was launched by the city.

According to WBZ, the threat was spurred by a contentious divorce between O'Hanley's son and daughter-in-law, the unnamed woman who was the target of the threat heard on the tape.

In the recording, the officer — in a calm voice — names a man he intends to hire to carry out the damage to the woman's property, although the quality of the recording partially obscures the name.

"When this is all over I will call her and have several words with her and tell her exactly what I think of her," the voice in the recording says. "I am going to call (unintelligible) and hire him to go over there and bust all her windows."

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