Lawsuit against former Methuen police brass dismissed

By J.J. Huggins | The Eagle Tribune

METHUEN — A Superior Court judge has dismissed police Officer Shaun Cronin’s lawsuit against fired police Chief Joseph Solomon and retired Deputy Chief Joseph Alaimo.

Cronin, 45, sued his former bosses, saying they bad-mouthed him to potential employers after he resigned from the Police Department.

Judge John Lu dismissed the case Monday in Lawrence Superior Court.

“It’s wonderful to have this taken off the table so we can focus on more pressing matters for the chief,” said attorney Andrew Gambaccini, who represented Solomon and Alaimo. “As for the deputy, he can now enjoy his retirement.”

Mayor William Manzi fired Solomon May 7, and Solomon is appealing the firing to the state Civil Service Commission. The hearing opened yesterday and is scheduled to be held over several days throughout the month.

Cronin and his attorney, Sharon Meyers, did not respond to requests for comment.

Cronin initially filed suit against the city, Solomon and Alaimo in 2006. The city was later dropped from the case.

The Police Department has rehired Cronin, and he began doing administrative work inside the station on Monday. Cronin will enter the next police academy and will go through the academy like a new recruit before he patrols the streets again, Manzi said.

One thing that came up during Cronin’s lawsuit was a memo written by Lawrence police Capt. Michael Molchan. The memo said Lawrence police considered hiring Cronin after he left Methuen. Solomon provided Molchan with background information about Cronin and said Cronin has “too many issues.”

“The chief feels that if Shaun was appointed to the department, he would abuse his powers as a Lawrence police officer and be pulling over Methuen officers and ticketing them,” Molchan wrote.

Lu determined Solomon did not make “reckless statements” about Cronin, a 17-year veteran of the Methuen Police Department.

“Cronin was disciplined on at least three occasions, and all three occasions demonstrate his failure to adhere to the department’s rules and procedures,” Lu wrote in his decision. “Based on this history, it was reasonable for the defendant employees to have speculated that Cronin would continue to disregard the Lawrence police’s rules and pull over department officers to ticket them.”

If you are a member of the Massachusetts Police Association Legal Defense Fund and in need of an attorney to defend your rights, contact the Massachusetts legal defense attorneys at Reardon, Joyce, & Akerson for an initial consultation.

Reardon, Joyce & Akerson, PC
Worcester Police Defense Attorneys
4 Lancaster Terrace
Worcester, MA 01609

Telephone (508) 754-7285 • Fax (508) 754-7220