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“Probe: Mitt missed chance to keep Tavares jailed”

By Michelle Malkin  •  December 28, 2007 05:14 PM

Following up on previous posts about ex-con killer Daniel Tavares (see here and here), who was released by a Mitt Romney-appointed judge, here’s the Boston Herald’s latest story on the case:

Former Gov. Mitt Romney’s administration failed to act on disciplinary recommendations that would have kept ex-con killer Daniel Tavares locked up another year – and behind bars at the time he was accused of killing a newlywed couple in Washington state.

Despite Tavares’ long history of violence, the Romney-led Department of Correction took no action on recommendations that he be stripped of “good time” because of assaults on prison guards in 2003 and 2005, said sources familiar with a state probe into the case.

Instead, Tavares was allowed to cash in on those 360 days of “good time” to get out of prison July 16, 2007, sources said. It was just 123 days later that newlyweds Brian and Beverly Mauck were slaughtered in Graham, Wash.

“If that time had been (served), he would still be incarcerated and would not have killed those two individuals,” said one source familiar with the probe launched by the Patrick administration. “Tavares’ pattern of behavior before and during incarceration pointed to a person who was going to do this.”

The revelations come one week before the Jan. 3 caucuses in Iowa, where Romney is counting on a strong showing to propel his GOP candidacy for president.

Romney has decried the early release of Tavares by a judge, but the “good time” could have been revoked administratively while he was governor under the state prison disciplinary process, sources said.

…The investigation into the Tavares case found that the Romney administration mistakes were part of a broader pattern of lapses that stretched back to 1993. Overall, the probe uncovered six disciplinary complaints against Tavares between 1993 and 2005 that should have kept him in prison a total of 720 days, nearly two years beyond his release in July.

The DOC’s failure to act on the recommendations stretched over the administrations of Republican Govs. William Weld, Jane Swift and Romney.

But sources said the single most egregious breakdown came under Romney in 2003, when administration officials missed a 60-day deadline for filing paperwork to strip Tavares of 300 days of previously awarded “good time.”

Mike Huckabee has far bigger lapses in this area, of course, but the Tavares case is still a significant problem for Romney.

Putting aside election-year politics, I find it highly ironic that soft-on-crime far left Democrat Gov. Deval Patrick is now outraged about the criminal revolving door.

Posted in: Mitt Romney