• Bill that would help cop's widow stalled again


    Time is quickly running out for state lawmakers to pass a bill that would give the widow of a Boston police officer who died from hepatitis C accidental death benefits.

    The bill, filed back in February following a FOX Undercover investigation, is stuck in a legislative committee.

    Now, as the officer's widow battles breast cancer, she's up against one of the most powerful politicians in the state, House Speaker Robert DeLeo who appears to be preventing the bill from going to a vote on the House floor.

    "The family is concerned that you're holding this up?" asked FOX Undercover reporter Mike Beaudet to DeLeo at the State House last month.

    "Oh no, no, no. I'm not moving it. I'm not holding it up. I'm doing neither," said DeLeo. "It's just going through the process."

    "Do you support it?" asked Beaudet.

    "I don't know enough about it," replied DeLeo.

    Kenneth Shaw died from hepatitis C in 1998.

    Officer Shaw worked in the identification unit and responded to bloody crime scenes.

    Doctors believe he contracted hepatitis C on the job, but the state would not give his widow Maura accidental death benefits because she could not pinpoint the person who gave him the disease.

    Maura Shaw ended up losing her home and even had to pawn her engagement ring to make ends meet.

    "What is the hold up here? I've been waiting for 13 years," said Maura Shaw.

    Maura Shaw and her daughter Stephanie Frye were initially willing to take Speaker DeLeo at his word, but now they believe he is the roadblock preventing the bill from reaching a vote.

    Frye says DeLeo won't return her phone calls.

    The bill has its supporters, including Gov. Deval Patrick.

    "You know I urge others who support it to make their voices known in the legislature," said Patrick last month. "They're expecting to adjourn at the end of July. There's an awful lot of important business that is yet to be acted on. This is one of the items."

    Speaker DeLeo's spokesman still won't say if the speaker supports the bill.

    He claims the bill is still under review.

    The formal legislative session ends at the end of the month, so unless lawmakers act quickly Maura Shaw will not get those benefits.

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