Town will not appeal Civil Service decision for fired officer

By Jaime Rebhan | Wareham Week

The Town of Wareham will not appeal the state Civil Service Commission’s decision regarding the firing of Lieutenant Donald Bliss, according to Bliss’ lawyer, Andrew Gambaccini.

“I have been advised by counsel for the town that there will be no appeal of the Commission’s decision,” Gambaccini wrote in an e-mail.

More than two years after he was fired from his position with the Wareham Police Department for alleged violations of state ethics laws, the Civil Service Commission determined that Bliss, a 24-year veteran of the force, was wrongfully discharged.

Bliss will return to his post and is due more than $200,000 in back pay and interest.

“I will be working with the Town and its counsel to schedule [a return] as quickly as can be accomplished,” Gambaccini said, adding that Bliss must complete CPR and first aid training and obtain a firearms qualification certification before returning to work, as required by state law whenever an officer has been out of work for a certain period of time.

Bliss will also have to attend departmental in-service training, successfully complete all state-required in-service legal updates that were missed during the period he was not working, and complete any other training required by the Wareham Police Department’s policy, Gambaccini said.

Police Chief Richard Stanley would not comment on the decision and directed questions to Town Administrator Mark Andrews. Andrews did not return requests for comment.

The Civil Service Commission’s decision was announced on May 6. The town had 30 days to appeal.

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
Massachusetts Police Defense Attorneys
4 Lancaster Terrace
Worcester, MA 01609

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