Town of Winthrop Must Reinstate Former Police Union President, After Mass Supreme Court Rejects Town's Last-ditch Challenge
More than 3.5 years after being unjustly terminated by the Town of Winthrop, former police Union President Ferruccio Romeo may finally be receiving justice. Thanks to Attorney Patrick Bryant, the Supreme Judicial Court rejected Winthrop's last-ditch effort to derail an arbitration decision ordering his reinstatement. The Town now owes Romeo 3.5 years of lost wages, details and overtime, and other benefits he missed.
In January 2015, the Town terminated Romeo, claiming that he committed fraud and lied during an internal affairs investigation. More than one year later, an arbitrator conclusively determined that Romeo neither lied nor committed fraud. He directed the Town to reinstate Romeo and make him whole. The Town refused and instead filed a frivolous appeal.
Although the law is clear that an arbitrator's findings and conclusions normally are beyond reconsideration by a court, a Superior Court judge agreed with the Town to uphold the termination in April 2017. The judge's decision was based upon inappropriate independent findings and a disregard for precedent. Thankfully, nearly a year later, the Appeals Court reinstated Romeo's arbitration victory.
The Town, despite being on the hook for 3.5 years of lost wages and benefits tried one last time through a petition for further appellate review to the Supreme Judicial Court. The Court rejected that request on Friday. Now the Town must reinstate Romeo. Romeo also has pending claims against the Town under state labor law and anti-retaliation law.