District attorney denies auto accident despite police records

Police records detail Cape and the Islands D.A.’s role in accident.

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Robert Galibois addresses supporters at his victory party in 2022. —Courtesy WCAI

Robert Galibois II, district attorney for the Cape and the Islands, has repeatedly denied hitting another car in an accident last year. But police records obtained by The Times show that he was involved. 

Galibois’ use of his office to publish a press release that painted the accident “in a light most favorable to himself” was deemed a violation of the state’s conflict-of-interest law, according to a disposition agreement he signed with the Massachusetts State Ethics Commission. 

On May 1, the commission ordered him to pay a $5,000 fine. Yet later that day, Galibois issued a statement that cited the “so-called car accident” when describing the two-car fender-bender on Feb. 23, 2023. 

Police reports say Galibois was driving his state vehicle, a 2023 GMC, on Barnstable Road when he made an improper U-turn from the southbound lane into the northbound lane. His vehicle then struck the front tire of a 2004 Audi driven by Rahim Edwards Jr., the records show. 

Galibois’ car pushed Edwards’ vehicle onto the curb of the northbound lane, Edwards told police. He said he “felt a noticeable bump from Galibois’ vehicle” then saw Galibois “flee from the crash.” 

Edwards said he sped up to Galibois’ vehicle, blew his horn, and motioned for Galibois to pull over. The two drivers went into a parking lot and exited their vehicles. Edwards said Galibois asked, “Oh, did I hit you?”

Galibois’ narrative is different. He told police Edwards got out of his car and in “an excited voice” said, “You hit my vehicle.”

“At this instance, I didn’t know or believe that I was involved in a crash with that vehicle,” Galibois told police.

He said he told Edwards he was unaware of a collision, and said, “Maybe I hit the curb.”

Although Galibois offered to call police, Edwards didn’t think it was necessary. The two exchanged contact information, and took pictures of their vehicles. 

As Edwards drove away, he saw “his vehicle dashboard warning lights activated and felt light to moderate shaking from his vehicle front end.” He then called 911 to report the crash, police records show.

There was no noticeable damage to Galibois’ car.

Surveillance video from Cape Cod Cars & Trucks and damage to Edwards’ car “strongly suggests that Galibois’ passenger driver side tire, while in full turning position, collided with Edwards’ vehicle,” police records said.

The Barnstable Police Department spoke with Heather Lehtola, Edwards’ mother, who owns the Audi, on March 1. She said Galibois was involved in a hit-and-run, was unresponsive to her, and later denied the crash. 

When Lehtola called Galibois, she said she was put on hold with his secretary for “10 minutes prior to being advised that Galibois was not in the office.” She also sent emails to him, but received no response, she told police.

Lehtola said her insurance company notified her on Feb. 28, five days after the crash, that Galibois denied involvement in the crash. 

In a phone interview with the Cape Cod Times on March 6 last year, Galibois also denied that there was a collision.

After news reports highlighted the incident, the district attorney’s office put out a statement saying he had spoken with Lehtola’s insurance company. It said he had fully cooperated with law enforcement, and that he saw no damage to either car.

His statement said he “accepts responsibility for civil motor vehicle infractions.” But it also said, “The other motorist was under the impression that the two cars had come into contact with one another.”

The ethics commission found that Galibois’ press release was a “use of public resources for a private purpose,” and turned “the public narrative of the accident to [Galibois’] own favor,” the disposition agreement said.

That same month, Galibois also violated the conflict-of-interest law after he sent an email informing his staff of unlisted available apartments from a campaign donor, the ethics commission ruled.

The $5,000 civil penalty covers the two violations. 

9 COMMENTS

  1. Hmmmm……where are all his supporters now who also denied he did anything wrong? Oh that’s right. He’s a Democrat, nothing to see here folks, move along.

  2. Moral of the story (one of them):
    1. Always call the police, regardless of whether you or the person who caused the crash (ha ha) can see damage. An impact can cause damage that is not immediately visible.
    2. Make sure the police write up a proper report and send you a copy to check.

  3. I just heard somewhere no one is above the law let’s hope that is true. Time will show us if it only applies to a certain group of people. We can always change the law so they fit a crime.

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