The recent row over the nature and powers of the Springfield Police Commission and the superintendent of the Police Department has reached a conclusion for now. On Tuesday, the City Council made the final changes in ordinance, as part of a compromise with Mayor Domenic
SPRINGFIELD—Mayor Domenic Sarno and the City Council averted a political crisis Monday by agreeing to sunset what now amounts to suspensions of key parts of the Police Commission ordinance. The change ostensibly arose to ensure Deputy Police Chief Lawrence Akers, who would be the city’s first Black police leader, will have the same powers his four predecessors had.
However, the pair of ordinances, which reallocate most of the Police Commission’s power other than to mete out discipline, prompted sharp pushback.
Ahead of the ascendence of Deputy Chief Lawrence Akers to Police Superintendent, the Springfield City Council considered a batch of legislation in an odd Tuesday meeting to smooth things over. Substantial changes to police leadership ordinances yielded a fractious, heated and, at times, bizarre debate.
One could not chuck a rock in Springfield without hitting someone praising Mayor Domenic Sarno for choosing Lawrence Akers to be the next Police Superintendent. The incumbent super Cheryl Clapprood praised the choice. Longtime frenemy Michael Fenton, now City Council President, hailed Akers. Even frequent Sarno critics the Bishop Talbert Swan and at-large councilor Tracye Whitfield feted the move.
UPDATED 5/14/23 6:42: Judge Manitsas has ruled against Moss and in favor of Mayor Sarno. Full story here.
SPRINGFIELD—Lawyers for former mayoral aide Darryl Moss and Mayor Domenic Sarno squared off Tuesday over whether the former sufficiently pleaded a violation of his First Amendment rights. The hearing came some five months after the attorneys jousted over other claims, two of which a Hampden Superior Court judge ultimately dismissed.
In September, Britons uttered a phrase they had not uttered in 70 years. “God, Save the King” became the national anthem with the passing of Queen Elizabeth, II. But in Springfield, residents have been crooning this a tad longer.
The death of George Floyd reverberated into Springfield as it had the rest of the country. When the issue crossed Springfield’s employee social media policy, people would lose jobs. Among them was Darryl Moss.
Four years after the United States Department of Justice opened its investigation into the Springfield Police Department—the only such probe Donald Trump’s administration opened—the city and the federal government have come to an agreement on how to move forward.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court effectively settled a lingering question. Who really controls the government of the city of Springfield? The justices of the commonwealth’s highest court clearly, decisively and unanimously found in favor of the separation of powers. The City Council shares that power.
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has received the briefs in Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno’s appeal of a decision that found he must appoint a Police Commission. On April 16, Hampden Superior Court Judge Francis Flannery found that the Springfield City Council was within its rights to revive the former police panel.