The decision of the Massachusetts Civil Service Commission yesterday on the case of Joseph Solomon v. the City of Methuen is a lengthy one and is under review by the legal counsel for the City of Methuen. And while we are disappointed at the civil service finding restoring Joseph Solomon to the position of Chief of Police two important points need to be emphasized.
1) The Commission fully upheld my initial suspension of Mr. Solomon for three days over the misallocation of the COPS Grant, which resulted in a back charge to taxpayers of the City of Methuen of over $20,000.
2) The Commission, on the second and more substantive matter, overturned the City sanction of termination. They found sufficient wrongdoing however to impose a penalty of a one year unpaid suspension on Mr. Solomon. That is a severe penalty, although it is less than we sought. The finding of mismanagement of grant funds by the Methuen Police Department has resulted in a back charge to the taxpayers of the City of Methuen of over $170,000.
I will have additional comment in the coming days on the political diatribe that constituted a large portion of the 125 page opinion issued by Commissioner Stein. I would like to return the “compliment” of the Commissioner and say that he has demonstrated great skill at “verbal gymnastics”.