The Department of Research and Records was actually little more than a basement with a locked door. Sally, the Records Clerk, was more a keeper of the key than a librarian. Sally was even allowed to keep a Smith and Wesson in her desk drawer, just in case some of us goons didn't respect her authority. But she was an institution at BPD headquarters, a gravelly voiced, no-nonsense, tough old bird, whose interior moxie was much bigger than her five foot frame could contain.
"Sally, I suppose I'll need about an hour."
"MacKenzie, will you be taking any files out with you?"
"No, Sal. Just going to take some notes and be gone."
"Remember, don't put any files back on the racks. Leave them on the table and I'll put 'em back. Now sign in, name, time, badge number. Knock when you're done."
The basement was row after row of floor to ceiling shelving, filled to bending with boxes of files, all stacked in chronological order. On the one large table was a massive wooden card file, as big as you might find in big city libraries, with cross-indexing by name and case number.
I wanted to see what we had on O'Hara and Checker Cab. Also I wanted to refresh my memory on Flanagan's hearing before Internal Affairs.
We had a number of files on O'Hara, but nothing within the last fifteen years. I suppose now he knew how to insulate himself from all the street stuff, and had gathered enough money to hire lawyers to scrub his dealings clean. Well, at least, until this Billington thing blew up in his face.
I came across some depositions the District Attorney's office had regarding a Checker Cab investigation a number of years back. I found it very interesting that three employees names popped up in those depositions, old man Flanagan, Lily Devonshire, and my blue-eyed Mary. Lead investigator in the case was none other than a young Detective Brian Galloway. Now my feeble memory had not remembered that the case was thrown out on some legal technicalities, improper handling of evidence, it read.
Down the row a ways, I found the cardboard banker's box that held the proceedings from the Flanagan hearing. In the testimony transcript, some names had been blacked out. That seemed a bit on the unusual side, but it was clear that Flanagan and unnamed other cops were on the take from members of the mob. They had evidence that certain police officers were turning a blind eye to some insurance fraud - so called stolen building materials from construction sites. Flanagan refused to name names and was thrown off the force and a friendly judge gave him five years probation. The Judge? Well, I had forgotten this as well, a rising star on the political scene named Judge Warren Watters.
'Thanks, Sal. You take care of yourself, gal."
She gave me no more than a wave of her hand and then proceeded to sign me out.