SOMERVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT COMPENSATION AND OVERTIME SCANDAL INFO REVEALED, You Be The Judge!

By William Tauro

(Notice below 38 pages of redacted pages with no DISCIPLINARY ACTION)

Several cases of alleged fraudulent compensation and overtime hours have been brought before the cities personnel department for review recently that were concerning a handful of police officers including captains and lieutenants who have been alleged of illegally stealing compensation hours and overtime money from Somerville taxpayers were audited by the city.

Many of the officers focused in this investigation and involved in these audits were upper rank officers, the leaders of the department who are allegedly being accused of stealing and committing these actual crimes.

One of these audited cases resulted in a Somerville Police Luitenent actually getting caught and admitting to the charges and then who was simply released of the crime with zero discipline given and no charges filed against him.

This officer who admitted to the crime allegedly put in for eight hours of compensation for a total of sixty days.
If you do the math that equals to 480 hours at between $60-$80 an hour costing the taxpayers between $28,800.-$38,400. in compensation hours paid to this particular police officer alone.
It is also alleged that when the officer admitted to the crime he was told to repay restitution on the set amount back to the city in which he fell short on doing so.

The penalty for this particular scope of crime would’ve resulted in a federal indictment of the officer as well as suspension/termination pending a federal criminal proceedings trial.
To not be confused, when a police officer receives compensation time, it is the same as overtime and that officer eventually will receive that money back to them tax free as they retire.
A recently retired Somerville Police officer told us that Mayor Joseph Curtatone instead of firing the officer regarding his admission of guilt received zero disciplinary actions to allegedly prevent a major outbreak of the scandal and potential embarrassment to his administration.

We have requested the information from the Somerville Mayor’s office, City Personnel and Police Department on this matter as well as on another case involving an investigation that was prompted against a Somerville Police Sergent by the Concord Police Department for similar fraudulent criminal activity that was also buried.

I then decided to send the city this request:
“Dear Julie,
I am requesting any and all information regarding superior police officers and/or police officer’s in general files on any and all information regarding any and all overtime and compensation time aka Comp Time” issues regarding the City of Somerville and the Somerville Police Department. Also included in any and all disciplinary action on Somerville superior police officers as well as police officers taken, received and given within the last five years.
I am requesting all of this information above with my rights through the Freedom of Information Act.

Best regards,
Bill Tauro, Publisher The Somerville News Weekly”

Then only to become more frustrated with this reply, notice the city’s response below:
“Mr. Tauro:

The City has no records responsive to your request for documents regarding an alleged recent Somerville Police Department compensation fraud case. The City has no records responsive to your request for documents regarding an investigation into compensation time abuse by Somerville Police Officers.

Julie M. McKenzie
Chief Labor Counsel
City of Somerville
93 Highland Ave.
Somerville, MA 02143
(617) 625-6600×4407 (office)
(617) 776-8847 (fax)”

Then Realized that they were playing a word game with me where they were now asking me to be more specific so I sent them this:”With no do disrespect maybe if you look at look closely you’ll find it? It’s in IA file for Gerry rymill “

With that being said I sent them the following request:Julie,
I am requesting any and all information regarding superior police officers and/or police officer’s in general files on any and all information regarding any and all overtime and compensation time aka Comp Time” issues regarding the City of Somerville and the Somerville Police Department. Also included in any and all disciplinary action on Somerville superior police officers as well as police officers taken, received and given within the last five years.
I am requesting all of this information above with my rights through the Freedom of Information Act. 

Best regards,
Bill Tauro, Publisher The Somerville News Weekly 

And then lo and behold they finally sent me this reply this past week:
Mr. Tauro:

The City responds to both of your February 24th requests as follows.

With respect to your request of ‪12:27pm‬, attached please find a redacted Office of Professional Standards file for Gerard Rymill from 2017.  As you will see on the face of the documents, the City did not regard this as an investigation into either compensatory time fraud or compensatory time abuse.  The redactions reflect information the City does not regard as a public record under exemption (c) (the privacy exemption) and exemption (f) (the investigatory exemption) of M.G.L. c. 4 section 7(26).  I have indicated in a small blue letter on each line of redacted text which exemption(s) apply to that redaction.

With respect to your request of ‪1:03pm‬, you requested “any and all information regarding any and all overtime and compensation time aka Comp Time issues regarding the City of Somerville and the Somerville Police Department.”  Due to the broad nature of your request, the City seeks clarification as to the records you are requesting.  In accordance with the Massachusetts public records law, this e-mail is intended to suggest a reasonable modification to, or to offer assistance in modifying, the scope of the request as doing so would enable the city to respond and produce any record more efficiently and cost effectively.  Once clarification is received, the record custodian(s) will be able to further respond and determine if there are any responsive records. 

As to your request, the City maintains many records regarding compensatory time and overtime, can you be more specific about what you mean by “information” and “issues” or otherwise clarify the type of records or time period of records you are seeking. 

You requested information on “any and all disciplinary action on Somerville superior police officers as well as police officers.”  The City’s position is that this is personnel information and does not constitute a public record under exemption (c) of M.G.L. c. 4 section 7(26).  The City declines to provide disciplinary action related to any employee.

To the extent provided by law, you have the right to seek an administrative appeal to the Supervisor of Public Records under 950 CMR 32.08(1) and the right to seek judicial review by commencing ‪a civil action‬ in the superior court.

Julie M. McKenzie
Chief Labor Counsel
City of Somerville

Notice below 38 pages of redacted pages with no DISCIPLINARY ACTION.

Let’s see if this new board of alderman/city counselors as they are called now will act on any these issues or simply ignore them.

Recent calls to the Mayor’s office, Somerville Police, city solicitor and personnel departments have gone unanswered.
We will keep you informed as this story is still developing…

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