By William Tauro
First we had long ago in 2003 about an alleged $2 million of taxpayer’s money that went unnoticeably missing from the Somerville Treasury that caused massive cuts across the board and major layoffs.
But later it was discovered that the unnoticed missing money was mysteriously misplaced then was coincidentally and conveniently returned into their account later in 2004 just when the new administration walked into city hall giving the new administration and opportunity to go on a spending spree to purchase new vehicles and equipment and rehire everyone back layed off. Life was good.
Then we had still long ago the Somerville Traffic and Parking Department’s missing money from that department’s safe containing paid receipts from meters and parking fees that were never recovered but definitely forgotten.
Then not so long ago we had the missing money from the infamous Somerville Police Department’s evidence desk which was said to of contained between $19,000-$35,000 in cash that was stuffed in a desk drawer seized from a drug case that went forgotten and guess what, still no answer on what happened to that money. As the great Sargent Shultz once said “I see nothing, I know nothing!”
Now here we are in 2019 and once again with the Somerville Police Department back in the news again with its police patrolman’s union now allegedly missing between $50,000-$90,000 that was allegedly embezzled by one of its own officers.
Multiple calls to Somerville Police Chief David Fallon went unanswered. But we were able to get in touch with Union President Michael McGrath who was unable to comment at the present time stating that the matter is still under investigation.
The Somerville Police Employees Association (SPEA), founded in 1979, is the bargaining unit for 90-95 Somerville Police Patrol Officers. The SPEA represents its Officers and advocates for fair compensation and a safe workplace. The SPEA is committed to the community and contributes to several charitable organizations.
The SPEA is an independent union but is affiliated with the Massachusetts Municipal Police Coalition and the Somerville Labor Coalition
We know from our own observations here at the Somerville News Weekly that over the past years Union President Michael McGrath has been doing a wonderful job as the union’s president and they have some outstanding members as well who continuously give 110% assisting the president with the everyday tasks and operations of that organization.
But unfortunately there’s always one bad apple in the bunch that will stray the wrong way that gives the entire organization a black eye.
We’re also hearing that the mayor wants to start a reserve police force because he claims no one on the list wants the job. But we find that highly interesting because why would dozens of people take the test and then decline?
Maybe the mayor’s new police force can investigate the current police force and find all this missing money if that’s what he is insinuating but we doubt it.
We’re positive that Union President Mcgrath cant pick and choose who he defends. It depends on how they handle it. If the accused officer is charged and found guilty, they can fire him and he has no recourse. If he is found not guilty at trial and they fire him anyways, the union would have to defend him.
But we can assure you that we will keep a close eye on this and let you know as the case progresses, where it goes and where it ends up while this story is still developing…