A federal judge today denied a request from from former BPDA manager John Lynch that he be allowed to finish his 40-month sentence at home because of the medical risks he would face should he contract Covid-19 behind bars.
On Nov. 30, Lynch filed a request for compassionate release, from his bed at a minimum-security federal prison at Devens to his bed at home, as well as a reduction in his sentence. He said he was particularly at risk for severe complications from Covid-19 should he contract it because of his age - he is 68 - and because he suffers from several medical conditions: Coronary artery disease, circulation problems, high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
But in a ruling posted today, US District Court Judge Patti Saris said no inmates at Devens currently have Covid-19 and that he needs to do more time to reflect the seriousness of his crime. Still, she said Lynch is free to try again, should Covid-19 appear at Devens:
The motion for compassionate release is denied. While defendant is at higher risk for COVID due to pre-existing conditions (hypertension, chronic kidney disease and coronary artery disease), no inmates at Devens have the disease. Moreover, Mr. Lynch has done a small fraction of his sentence so that release now would not reflect the seriousness of the crime. That said, if conditions change at Devens, the court might reconsider.
Lynch was sentenced in January after he admitted he let a developer pay him off to arrange a zoning vote the developer needed to sell off the rights to a South Boston condo project.
Nobody else has ever been charged in the case, although a zoning-board member linked to Lynch resigned and a Walsh-administration official with ties to Lynch took a leave of absence last fall from which he never returned.