Cop Who Resigned After Alleged Overtime Fraud Denied Reinstatement
The former police officer and union official allegedly filed false overtime with the department, and resigned in 2006.
A Malden Police officer and former head of the Malden Patrolman's Union who resigned after his department accused him of overtime fraud was denied an appeal seeking reinstatement by the commonwealth's Civil Service Commission last week.
According to the decision (PDF), Michael Sawicki said he and the department reached an agreement in Sept. 2006, in which he agreed to resign and pay $5,287.90 restitution in exchange for avoiding criminal prosecution.
The department also agreed to some confidentiality agreements – specifically, to not disclose the nature of the investigation to potential employers calling for references.
However, a Google search for the officer's name and “Malden” reveal a number of news articles detailing the charges against the former officer, whose resignation was covered by local press at the time.
As a result, Sawicki claims he was rejected for a job last February by a prospective employer who told him “I can't go forward with you because of a previous problem with the Malden Police” and that “There are two articles (on Google) about you resigning from the police.”
In March 2007, Sarwicki said he received notice from the employment agency that his application for the Boston job would not be proceeding because of “an issue with his last employer that was relayed to one of our attorneys”.
In his decision, Commissioner Paul Stein dismissed the appeal on jurisdictional grounds, noting “(Sawicki) fails to state any basis on which the Commission could find a violation of any of his rights under civil service law.”
Stein said the only basis in civil service law that allows for the reinstatement of resigned employees would require the city to submit an application explaining “the reasons why such reinstatement would be in the public interest” and the approval of those reasons by an HR official with the state of Massachusetts.
“None of these statutory requirements are present here,” he observes.
He concludes by noting that Sawicki, who recently had the case dismissed on its merits by the Middlesex Superior District Court, seemed to be appealing to his commission in a last minute, long-shot attempt at reinstatement.
“Mr. Sawicki only came to the Commission with this appeal more than three years later, after his civil contract claims on the subject had been actually litigated in another forum and been dismissed on their merits by the Middlesex Superior Court...(as such) any appeal to the Commission’s powers to grant equitable relief would face insurmountable odds,” he wrote.