Canton police officer at center of Karen Read case on paid leave

A Canton police officer whose brother owned the home where Boston Police officer John O’Keefe was found dead on Jan. 29, 2022, was placed on paid administrative leave last month pending the result of an investigation into his conduct during the investigation into Karen Read, who was charged with killing O’Keefe.

In a brief statement read during a meeting Tuesday evening, the Canton Select Board said Kevin Albert was placed on leave on June 13 while an outside investigation into “his actions in a case he investigated with Michael Proctor approximately two years ago” takes place. Proctor was the lead investigator in the Read case and was suspended without pay this week over disparaging text messages he sent about Read during the investigation.

Kevin Albert’s brother, Brian Albert, a Boston Police officer, owned the home in Canton where O’Keefe was found in the snow that January. Another Albert brother, Chris Albert, is a member of the Select Board.

While the board did not cite Read’s case specifically, Canton Police Chief Helena Rafferty confirmed that Albert’s leave was directly connected to that investigation in a statement to MassLive Wednesday morning.

“I can confirm that Detective Albert was placed on administrative leave with pay as of June 13th pending an investigation related to the testimony of Trooper Proctor in the Karen Read trial,” Rafferty wrote in an email.

Albert will remain on leave until the close of the investigation.

During Proctor’s testimony in Read’s trial, which ended in a mistrial last week, he confirmed that Kevin Albert had helped him coordinate witness interviews at the Canton police station despite the fact that the department had been recused from the investigation because of the Alberts’ connection to the case.

Read, 44, of Mansfield, was charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter while operating under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident causing injury or death in O’Keefe’s death. Prosecutors accused her of knowingly and intentionally backing her SUV into O’Keefe after dropping him off at Brian Albert’s home after a night of heavy drinking and leaving O’Keefe to die in a snowstorm.

But Read’s attorneys argued during the trial that she was the victim of a massive law-enforcement conspiracy and cover-up and that others were responsible for O’Keefe’s death.

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