Ex-Juror convicted of bribery during Demoulas trial is fined

Judy Rakowsky, The Boston Globe, Tuesday, February 6, 1996

A Woburn teacher convicted of soliciting a bribe while serving on the jury for a multi-million-dollar lawsuit involving the Demoulas family was fined $15,000, sentenced to two months of home confinement and ordered to serve three years of probation yesterday. US District Court Judge Reginald C. Lindsay granted a joint request for leniency in sentencing James M. Sullivan, 46, of Arlington. The judge found that Sullivan's medical and psychiatric problems had affected his judgment.

Sullivan told Lindsay that his actions caused him to lose the respect of his family and students. "I don't think I could ever make up for what happened," Sullivan said. "I lost face in front of my children and I lost face in front of my students."

Lindsay said that as part of his probation, Sullivan must take medication for temporal lobe epilepsy, meningitis, and bipolar disorder.

Assistant US Attorney Amy Lederer had recommended a $40,000 to $50,000 fine, saying that the lack of jail time took into account Sullivan's extenuating circumstances. She said the fine should be punitive.

Sullivan pleaded guilty to bribery and obstruction of justice for attempting to solicit $220,000 from the Demoulas family to sway the jury during the trial involving their Market Basket supermarket chain.

Sullivan sought an intermediary to set up a meeting with a member of the Demoulas family to solicit the bribe. But the intermediary set up a meeting with an undercover FBI agent.

Defense retained Harold J. Bursztajn, MD, to perform a forensic psychiatric examination of the defendant in support of the motion for sentence reduction based on diminished capacity. Among the clinical considerations offered was that, at the time of the offense, Mr. Sullivan was suffering from: AXIS I: (a) Mood Disorder due to a poorly controlled seizure disorder, with mixed depressive and psychotic features (Diagnostical and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association, IV edition (DSM IV 293.83)); (b) Medication Induced Disorder (Dilantin and barbiturate) (DSM IV 995.20); (c) Dissociative Disorder (DSM IV 300.15). AXIS II: Personality Change (Disinhibition) due to a poorly controlled seizure disorder (310.10). AXIS III: Temporal Lobe Epilepsy; severe, poorly controlled, exacerbated by situational stressors, medication toxicity, alcohol, excessive (15+ cups) caffeine intake. The case emphasizes the integrated nature of the forensic neuropsychiatric examination utilizing of emerging neuroimaging and neurophysiology technologies and to address brain and behavior questions.