Dalton Chief Jeffrey E. Coe takes settlement, bows out amid review of conduct

Dalton Chief Jeffrey E. Coe takes settlement, bows out amid review of conduct By: Larry Parnass | The Berkshire Eagle DALTON — Dalton’s police chief is out but will pocket what his attorney characterizes as a sizable severance payment, after town officials conceded they did not have grounds to carry through with a disciplinary action. Chief Jeffrey E. Coe and the town’s Select Board reached a “mutual separation agreement” that cut short a hearing into whether Coe violated ethics standards, treated a female officer differently and engaged in conduct unbecoming an officer. Robert W. Bishop Jr., chairman of the Select Board, said the agreement ended Coe’s employment as of June 18. The settlement means there will be no public resolution

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Granby fire chief suspended over reckless behavior, online comments

Granby fire chief suspended over reckless behavior, online comments By: MICHAEL CONNORS | Daily Hampshire Gazette GRANBY — Fire Chief John Mitchell, who has been suspended without pay for the month of June due to accusations of speeding and recklessness while driving town cars, will continue his suspension into July after coming under fire for questionable Facebook comments. Mitchell was placed on unpaid leave after allegations surfaced that the fire chief sped during poor road conditions and misused emergency lights to pass other cars during an April 30 trip to Walpole with three other members of the town’s fire department, according to minutes from a May 27 executive session of the town’s Select Board. There was also one other instance

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Massachusetts Auto Accidents: An Overview

Wherever and whenever an auto accident happens, it is never convenient, but is often overwhelming, and at times life-altering. If you have recently been in an accident in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, this article will help you sort out what the process looks like here, giving you a sense of what you have already done and what remains to be done to get your life back on track. For any Massachusetts driver, whether you have been in an accident or not, it is important to understand Commonwealth law regarding auto accidents so you can respond quickly should an accident happen to you. Reporting You must report an accident within five days to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles if: The accident caused more than

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Protesters outside hearing call for Dalton chief’s firing, next hearing June 18

Protesters outside hearing call for Dalton chief’s firing, next hearing June 18 By: Larry Parnass | The Berkshire Eagle DALTON — Whether Dalton’s police chief helped or hindered the career of a former rank-and-file officer lies at the heart of an investigation into his eight-year management of the department. A hearing that began Friday into Chief Jeffrey E. Coe’s conduct in office ran for three and a half hours Friday, with an outside investigator as the sole witness. The hearing will resume June 18 at 10 a.m. at the Dalton Senior Center. Coe was placed on paid administrative leave this winter for reasons withheld from the public until Friday, when attorney Timothy D. Zessin, representing the town, leveled the claim

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Civil Service Commission Orders Reinstatement Of Chicopee Police Officer

In a February 13, 2020 decision from the Massachusetts Civil Service Commission, RJA Attorney Andrew Gambaccini obtained a favorable decision in which a terminated Chicopee police officer will be returned to work. Fired over sharing photos of murder victim Amanda Plasse, Chicopee police officer wins back job By: Jeanette DeForge | Mass Live CHICOPEE — A former police sergeant who lied about his role in sharing photographs of a murder victim will return to the department at a lower rank after winning an appeal of his termination. The state Civil Service Commission voted on Thursday to allow Jeffrey Godere to return to the department effective Nov. 2, 2018, the date he was fired by then-Mayor Richard J. Kos. The commission

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What to do if you are injured in a car accident while using a rideshare app as a passenger

The sharing economy and start-ups have brought many new and wonderful services to consumers, but sometimes the law struggles to catch up to these innovations. In the case of ridesharing platforms like Uber and Lyft, some municipalities have struggled to create regulations and taxes on individual drivers or on the rideshare companies. Ensuring passenger safety with thorough background checks on potential drivers and with swift penalties for those who take advantage of passengers has also been a challenge, one left primarily in the hands of ridesharing apps. One area where the law remains clear with regard to rideshare drivers and their passengers is the imposition of liability for motor vehicle accidents. While the law is certain and established on this point, treating an incident with a rideshare vehicle like any other collision, the newness of

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My mother slipped while walking through an icy mall parking lot and broke her arm. Who is responsible for her injury?

Slip and fall accidents are common when weather conditions are wet and icy. As a Massachusetts resident, there are a few things to consider, if you’re contemplating filing a personal injury claim after a slip and fall on snow or ice in a public place. When it comes to maintaining the safety of public areas, such as parking lots or sidewalks, the property owner has a duty to exercise reasonable care. This is a legal duty, and breach of that duty can result in liability for negligence. The periodic inspection of the property and the removal or remediation of snow and ice within a reasonable time is the duty of property owners to reduce the risk of falls and injuries. However, while the duty to

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Arbitrator Reverses Suspension of New Bedford Police Officer

RJA Attorney Andrew Gambaccini recently secured an arbitrator’s reversal of a three day suspension that was imposed upon a New Bedford police officer based upon an allegation that the officer improperly failed to document the disposal of an arrestee’s property. By way of background, the officer had arrested an individual for various offenses, including the possession of a knife of illegal length. After the arrest, the officer transported the arrestee to the police station for booking. In New Bedford, once an individual has completed the booking procedure, that person is not held at the police station but instead is transported to the Ash Street Jail. Items of personal property belonging to the arrestee accompany the arrestee to the Ash Street

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The Dangers of Falling Snow and Ice

As the weather gets colder in New England, many people are already carrying out winterization measures to protect their homes and businesses. Road salt purchased, shovels dug out of garages, and tires swapped out. All this attention paid—and rightfully so—to the hazards of traveling on foot or by car through a winter wonderland. However, paying attention to snow on the ground should not come at the expense of preparing for snow on roofs and eaves, which poses an entirely different set of risks to guests, neighbors, customers, and all pedestrians. While slip-and-fall, or slip-and-crash, accidents immediately come to mind as common winter hazards, falling ice and snow from roofs can also cause serious injury to the unsuspecting traveler. Serious head,

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How does insurance coverage differ when a motorcycle is involved?

Massachusetts motor vehicle laws and insurance coverage requirements for vehicle owners and motorcyclists vary. It’s essential to understand your coverage before an accident occurs so you can be prepared for unforeseen incidents. After all, that’s why you have coverage in the first place. Everyone is required by law to have a specific minimum coverage for a vehicle to be lawfully on the road. One component of this coverage is called Personal Injury Protection(PIP) benefits. These are no-fault benefits for medical bills and lost wages; no-fault meaning the insurance company pays them regardless of your fault in the accident. However, it’s vital to understand that motor vehicle Personal Injury Protection benefits are not available to motorcyclists. Even if you are willing

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