SWAMPSCOTT, Mass. — A man broke into Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker’s home in the middle of the day while the governor’s wife and daughter were inside and a state trooper was parked outside, authorities said.
Lane Forman last week went through an unlocked side door of the Republican governor’s home in Swampscott, north of Boston, and left an envelope inside, officials said in a police report.
When a trooper noticed Forman leaving the house and questioned him, Forman responded with an expletive and said “Charlie told me to drop this off,” according to the police report.
Forman has pleaded not guilty. The judge set his bail at $5,000, ordered him to stay away from the governor and his family and undergo a competency evaluation, said Carrie Kimball, a spokesperson for the office of Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett.
Forman’s attorney Stephen Reardon told WBZ-TV that it “appears Mr. Forman was merely dropping off some innocuous documents and photographs that he thought would be of interest to the Governor and had no ill intent.”
“We are confident when all the facts are presented in court this matter will be resolved,” Reardon said.
A spokesperson for Baker deferred comment to Massachusetts State Police. State police spokesperson David Procopio said in an email that for security reasons the agency “does not release details about executive protection operations.”
Baker told reporters Wednesday: “Everybody’s safe. That’s the only thing that really matters and that’s all I’m going to say about it.”
Forman told the judge during his arraignment last week that he had also gone to Baker’s house several weeks prior and a trooper had given him permission to drop off an envelope with information about the death of his mother, The Boston Globe reported.
“I dropped by his house a copy of the pictures of what happened to my mother and a police report,” Forman told the judge. “And I slid it in the side door, just like I did last time. I never entered the house.”
The alleged break in happened a day before federal authorities announced charges against six men accused of plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer before the Nov. 3 elections in reaction to what they viewed as her “uncontrolled power.”
Kristen Setera, an FBI Boston spokesperson, said Forman has no connection to the men charged in the Michigan case.
The police report said Forman “is known” to police “through previous contact over the years.”
Ed Davis, a former Boston Police commissioner, said that while there is always a security detail outside the homes of officials like the governor, there is not protection around the perimeter as there is at the White House.
“The thought is to have someone out there displaying the police car, the uniform, to know that there are police around, that will dissuade people from going near the residence. That clearly didn’t happen in this case,” Davis said.
“So I’m sure they’re looking at whether the doors were locked and what other means of technology they can use to have that officer that’s assigned there have better visibility around the house,” he said.