Chartrand vs. Duggan: It’s not over quite yet

Chartrand vs. Duggan: It’s not over quite yet

A Sun staff report by The Lowell Sun

DON’T EXPECT the feud between Dracut Town Manager Jim Duggan and Deputy Police Chief David Chartrand to simmer down. In fact, look for it to intensify.

Last week, the state’s Civil Service Commission rejected the 10-day suspension Duggan imposed on Chartrand, over the latter’s handling of documents in Police Lt. Michael Fleury’s personnel file.

Chartrand had been suspended without pay. The commission ruled 3-2 in favor of Chartrand.

Andrew Gambaccini, Chartrand’s lawyer, said he and his client are pleased with the ruling.

Gambaccini said the commission did not allow his team’s recent motion to reopen the record to uncover “additional evidence” that he said they discovered. He hinted of alleged recordings and emails from Duggan in which the town manager discussed “his apparent plot to go after Deputy Chief Chartrand.”

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Civil Service rules in favor of Dracut deputy

Civil Service rules in favor of Dracut deputy

By Amaris Castillo | lowellsun.com

DRACUT — The state’s Civil Service Commission ruled 3-2 in favor of Deputy Police Chief David Chartrand over the town of Dracut in an appeal of the town’s decision to suspend Chartrand for 10 days.

Chartrand in 2016 was suspended for two weeks without pay, following a civil service inquiry into his handling of documents in a Dracut lieutenant’s personnel file. Police Lt. Michael Fleury had accused Chartrand of improperly releasing a letter in his personnel file to The Sun.

The majority opinion by three commissioners is that Chartrand’s appeal should be allowed in part and that his 10-day suspension should be modified and reduced to a written reprimand, according to the 44-page decision obtained by The Sun.

“We agree that the Town has not established just cause for discipline for violation of the most serious charges, including no violation of the public records laws or other misconduct, save for his failure to provide proper due process to the subject of an internal affairs investigation, as required by the department’s rules and regulations,” the majority opinion reads.

Read more: lowellsun.com

Vigliotti And Gambaccini Again Named Super Lawyers For 2018

The Worcester, Massachusetts law firm of Reardon, Joyce & Akerson, P.C. announces that two of its attorneys, John K. Vigliotti and Andrew J. Gambaccini, have been selected as Super Lawyers for 2018 by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Vigliotti receives the award for the fourth time, one for each year he has been eligible. Prior to being named a Super Lawyer, Vigliotti twice was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Gambaccini receives the honor for the second time in his second year of eligibility. Previously, Gambaccini was named a Rising Star in eight years by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in Massachusetts are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a rigorous multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area.

Andrew Gambaccini Selected To Write Employee-Side Commentary For The Massachusetts Civil Service Commission Reporter

In Massachusetts, a significant number of public employees, including many police officers, are civil service employees and see their employment governed by the Commonwealth’s civil service laws and regulations.  The Massachusetts Civil Service Commission is the agency that processes and decides appeals of various types involving civil service employees, including disciplinary actions, bypass decisions, job classification disputes and other issues related to the civil service laws and regulations.

The Massachusetts Civil Service Commission Reporter is an important resource that publishes regularly the official decisions issued by the Civil Service Commission.  In addition to publishing the Commission’s decisions, the Reporter also features exclusive commentary from noted and experienced civil service attorneys.  These expert commentaries analyze the decisions of the Commission and provide readers with useful insight from the selected attorneys, who represent the sides of management and employees in disputes before the Commission.  Beginning in 2018, RJA Attorney Andrew Gambaccini will be writing the employee-side commentaries for the Reporter.

April 11, 2018 – Federal Bar Association Panel Discussion

On April 11, 2018, the Civil Rights Section and Massachusetts Chapter of the Federal Bar Association will present a panel discussion on “Qualified Immunity on the Cutting Edge: Has the Doctrine Run Its Course?” RJA Attorney Andrew Gambaccini will be one of the panelists, speaking on the doctrine of qualified immunity from the defense perspective. Other panelists include Judge Timothy Hillman, United States District Court Judge for the District of Massachusetts, and Professor Karen Blum of Suffolk University Law School. Further details can be found in the flyer for the panel. [download flyer]

Fed-Bar-Panel1Fed-Bar-Panel2

 

 

Vigliotti and Gambaccini Named Super Lawyers

The Worcester, Massachusetts law firm of Reardon, Joyce & Akerson, P.C. announces that two of its attorneys, John K. Vigliotti and Andrew J. Gambaccini, have been selected as Super Lawyers for 2017 by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Vigliotti receives the award for the third time, one for each year he has been eligible.  Prior to being named a Super Lawyer, Vigliotti was twice named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Gambaccini receives the award in his first year of eligibility.  Previously, Gambaccini was named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine for eight years.

Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in Massachusetts are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a rigorous multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent research evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area.

RJA Defends Against Inmate’s $5.7 Million Dollar Lawsuit Associated With Drug Lab Scandal

The Daily Hampshire Gazette recently published a story concerning “[a] $5.7 million lawsuit filed in federal court in Springfield [that] sheds new light on the inner workings of the now-defunct Amherst Drug Lab and alleges failings of numerous state offices, a local police department and an entire municipality.

‘This is a case about government corruption,’ begins the 57-page lawsuit filed by Northampton attorney Luke Ryan on behalf of plaintiff Rolando Penate, of Springfield, in U.S. District Court.

The corruption, Penate alleges in the lawsuit, was widespread and led to his imprisonment for 5 years, 7 months and 12 days on a conviction of distribution of a class A substance. That conviction was ultimately dismissed in June in a 127-page ruling by Hampden Superior Court Judge Richard Carey.

Assistant attorney generals, Massachusetts State Police officers, state Department of Public Health chemists, leaders within DPH, Springfield Police and the city of Springfield are all alleged to have taken part in ‘multiple, overlapping conspiracies to suppress highly exculpatory evidence,’ the lawsuit states.”

RJA represents one of the named defendants in the lawsuit, Captain Steven Kent of the Springfield Police Department.  The Gazette article states that:

“Andrew J. Gambaccini, the attorney for Springfield Police Officer Steven Kent, said his client will file a motion to dismiss the claims against him.

It was not immediately known how many of the defendants have been officially served. Gambaccini is the only attorney named in court filing representing a defendant.

‘If that claim was trapped in a wet paper bag, it would not be able to fight its way out of the wet paper bag,’ Gambaccini said of the allegations against Kent.

In response, Ryan said, ‘I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.'”

[Read the entire article]

Worcester Super Lawyers – Vigliotti and Gambaccini

Vigliotti Named A Super Lawyer For The Second Time And Gambaccini Named A Rising Star For The Eighth Time

The Worcester, Massachusetts law firm of Reardon, Joyce & Akerson, P.C. announces that John K. Vigliotti, an associate with the firm, has been selected as a Super Lawyer for 2016. This is the second consecutive year that Vigliotti has received the award. Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the Super Lawyers’ research team to receive this honor. The annual selections, based upon the standards of a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement, are made using a multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent evaluation of candidates and peer reviews by practice area. Prior to being named a Super Lawyer, Vigliotti was twice named a Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine.

In addition, Andrew J. Gambaccini, another associate with the firm, has been selected as a Massachusetts Rising Star by Super Lawyers. This award is the eighth time that Gambaccini has been selected for the honor. The award follows a rigorous, multi-phased process of review, limited to attorneys under the age of forty or who have been members of the bar for less than ten years and who already have distinguished themselves in the practice of law. No more than 2.5% of the attorneys in the state are given this award, recognition for which is published annually in Massachusetts Super Lawyers Rising Stars Edition and in Boston magazine.

Judge recommends against dismissing whistleblower lawsuit against former South Hadley electricity manager Wayne Doerpholz

By Jim Russell | MassLive

A federal judge this week recommended against a motion by the town’s former electric department manager, Wayne Doerpholz, to dismiss a $750,000 whistleblower lawsuit that alleges he permitted a hostile work environment.

The lawsuit, filed by South Hadley Electric Light Department employee Robert Blasko, also named the SHELD board of commissioners and a company engineer, Andy Orr, as defendants.

Orr resigned from the agency last month. Doerpholz’ contract was not renewed, and his employed ended in May.
Judge Katherine Robinson recommended that the complaints against Doerpholz, as well as a complaint against Orr in which Blasko alleges intentional infliction of emotional distress, should not be dismissed.

“Plaintiff claims principally that the defendants retaliated against him because he complained outside of SHELD about Doerpholz’s mismanagement of SHELD, including, in particular, Doerpholz’s longstanding tolerance of Orr’s harassing, threatening and, at times, violent workplace misconduct directed at fellow SHELD employees, including plaintiff,” the judge wrote.

In a footnote to the judge’s Aug. 22 decision, she wrote that if either party objected, they must file, within 14 days, a notice with the court, detailing their reasons, and that “failure to comply with this rule shall preclude further appellate review by the Court of Appeals.”

Dracut MA deputy police chief suspended

By Todd Feathers | Lowell Sun News

DRACUT — Deputy Police Chief David Chartrand has been suspended for two weeks without pay, following a civil service inquiry into his handling of documents in a Dracut lieutenant’s personnel file.

An attorney representing Chartrand said he will appeal the ruling, which was made by Town Manager Jim Duggan and based on a report by an independent hearing officer who oversaw the inquiry last month. The Board of Selectmen was notified of the decision Monday morning.

“The discipline is absurd and we’re looking forward to the deputy being exonerated by the Civil Service Commission,” attorney Andrew Gambiccini said, adding “(Chartrand) has given his life to the town of Dracut and nothing has changed about his desire to serve the community.

It’s just one individual in a position of power who is looking to abuse that power.”

Gambaccini has previously accused Duggan of engaging in a biased campaign against his client. Duggan declined to discuss the suspension, saying it was a personnel matter and must therefore be kept confidential. [Read more…]