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After release, Galluccio says he’s now a new man

Acknowledges his trouble with alcohol

Former state senator Anthony Galluccio tried to avoid reporters yesterday outside a parole office in Quincy, where he had to check in after being freed from jail earlier in the day. Former state senator Anthony Galluccio tried to avoid reporters yesterday outside a parole office in Quincy, where he had to check in after being freed from jail earlier in the day. (John Tlumacki/Globe Staff)
By Milton J. Valencia
Globe Staff / July 15, 2010

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CAMBRIDGE — Former state senator Anthony Galluccio, a career politician whose legacy plunged six months ago when he was sent to jail, was released yesterday as a free man promising to be a new one, acknowledging that alcohol has been destructive in his life.

“I’m in a different place,’’ the former senator, city councilor, and mayor of Cambridge told reporters on the front porch of his home. “Welcome Home’’ signs were hung in the backdrop.

“I think recognizing how destructive alcohol has been in my life, and moving on without it, and getting the support that I know I will get in my community is what’s important,’’ he said.

Galluccio, 43, was released from the Middlesex House of Correction yesterday morning and checked in at a regional parole office in Quincy before returning to his Cambridge home, just over six months after being taken away in handcuffs for violating probation.

Galluccio, appearing thinner and more refreshed, did not address whether he thought he was an alcoholic, though he acknowledged the role alcohol has played in his past problems. He also did not address his political future, saying only it was “not on my radar screen right now’’ as he works to connect with family and community members.

“A lot has changed,’’ he said. “It’s time for me to regain some perspective and give some thought to my transition and what I want to do with the next few years of my life.’’

He acknowledged that, “the good work I did over 17 years is going to be overshadowed, and I accept that reality . . . because I made some terrible mistakes.’’

In January, Galluccio was sentenced to a year in jail for violating probation terms that he stay away from alcohol, but he was allowed to leave early on parole. A single member of the state Parole Board found earlier this month that Galluccio had a “positive attitude’’ about his need for ongoing treatment and counseling, that he had expressed remorse, and that he had become a model inmate.

For the remainder of his sentence, Galluccio must attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings at least three times a week and undergo counseling for substance abuse. He will also be randomly tested for alcohol and drugs with a portable alcohol-screening device.

Galluccio was denied an earlier chance at parole by the same Parole Board member in part because, while he admitted to alcohol abuse, he “distinguishes that from alcoholism.’’

He was originally sentenced in December to six months of home confinement with orders that he stay away from alcohol after pleading guilty to leaving the scene of a car crash, an incident that injured a father and his teenage son. Galluccio fled the scene before he could be tested for alcohol use, but he had been so drunk 13 hours earlier that a Cambridge police officer gave him a ride home so that he would not drive, according to police reports.

Three days after he was sentenced to home confinement, Galluccio failed a breathalyzer test — immediately after it had been installed and the first time he was required to take the test.

Galluccio had argued that a substance he digested from the toothpaste he used may have triggered a false positive result, but a District Court judge rejected the argument.

He eventually yielded to a chorus of calls for him to resign.

The October car crash was the most recent of Galluccio’s problems. He had been convicted twice for driving under the influence, though he received a pardon for one of those convictions. In a third incident, in 2005, a clerk-magistrate ruled that he had been drinking before causing a four-car accident in Boston, but that there was not enough evidence to sustain a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Galluccio said yesterday that, after months of confinement in a jail cell, doing kitchen work, and participating in programs, he hopes to work in the community to teach others what he’s learned.

“I’ve just been released from six months of incarceration,’’ he said. “I’m back in Cambridge. I’m here with my family. I’m a positive citizen now.’’

Milton Valencia can be reached at mvalencia@globe.com.

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