Stop him before he Jokes again!

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Stop him before he Jokes again!

Postby kmagyoyo on Wed Jul 23, 2008 11:23 am

Funny, why does Senator James "Free Willy" Marzilli still have his job? This can only happen in looney liberal Massachusetts where words hurt more than actions.


By Jack Encarnacao
The Patriot Ledger
Posted Jul 23, 2008 @ 07:49 AM

WEYMOUTH — A lawyer advising Weymouth Police Chief James Thomas, who has been on paid administrative leave for almost two weeks, said the town is investigating allegations that the chief was involved in telling “a bad joke.â€￾

The town has hired the Boston law firm Kopelman and Paige to investigate the alleged incident. Thomas’ badge, gun and other equipment was taken from him around July 11.

Jack Collins, a Shrewsbury lawyer who said he is advising Thomas, said the town has not yet notified Thomas of any allegations against him, but that he has heard the investigation is tied to a joke Thomas told, or was a part of, that was construed as sexual harassment.

“I heard it a was a bad joke, and it might have been a dumb joke,â€￾ Collins said. “But from what I’ve heard, (there was) no sexual harassment intended.â€￾

Mayor Sue Kay and David Jenkins, the town’s attorney, have repeatedly declined to discuss Thomas’ status or the nature of the allegations against him.

“There have been allegations, and we are conducting an internal investigation,â€￾ Kay said. “I won’t be commenting on it until the investigation has been completed.â€￾

Collins, who is general counsel for the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, said Kay is doing everything “by the bookâ€￾ in not publicly specifying the allegations before determining if they are founded.

Jenkins said the town has been interviewing witnesses at town hall in recent days.

“We’re going to assess those interviews and see what needs to be done,â€￾ Jenkins said.

Jenkins said it is routine to take a police officer’s badge and equipment when the officer is placed on paid administrative leave.

“The mayor recognizes that the chief has been in the town for many years, that he’s had a long career there, and she’s very concerned that this be handled appropriately,â€￾ Jenkins said.

Thomas, 60, had been expected to retire. Collins said Thomas was out of work the week he was placed on administrative leave because he was suffering from something that “could be career-ending.â€￾

Collins, citing medical privacy, declined to be more specific.

Collins said the fact that Thomas, whom then-Mayor David Madden picked as chief in 2004, didn’t retire when he was eligible at age 55 speaks to his dedication to the job.

Thomas has been a police officer for 34 years.

“If he made a mistake right now – and that’s always possible with anybody – it’s a mistake,â€￾ Collins said. “But this guy here loves that department. He loves the town. He loves the job.â€￾

Capt. Brian Callahan is acting chief in Thomas’ absence.

Jack Encarnacao is at jencarnacao@ledger.com.

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