Saturday, June 28, 2008

Will Nine City Councilors Fire the Cambridge City Manager for Cause?

Bob La Trémouille reports:

I have reported to you concerning the case of Malvina Monteiro v. City of Cambridge.

In this case, the former head of the City of Cambridge’s Police Review Board filed a complaint alleging discrimination in the work place. She further complained that she had been fired in retaliation for filing the complaint.

The juries which heard the complaint found (1) that the original complaint was not proven; and (2) that the City of Cambridge had fired her in retaliation for filing the original complaint.

The jury found that Cambridge should pay Ms. Monteiro over a million dollars for harm done to her and $3.5 million as a penal judgment. The jury displayed very strong contempt for the actions of the City of Cambridge.

Yesterday, I traveled to the new location of the Middlesex Superior Court in Woburn to review the file. The file was still on the judge’s desk. I was able to obtain the docket, which lists formal actions taken in the case.

On June 16, the Cambridge City Council went into executive session to discuss this matter.

The docket indicates that:

1. On May 23, 2008, the jury entered its verdict for the plaintiff.

2. On May 29, 2008, Cambridge filed an emergency motion for prompt hearing on post-trial motions.

3. On June 12, 2008, the following papers were filed:

a. Motion of the plaintiff for entry of Final Judgment, and Cambridge’s opposition.
b. Cambridge’s motion for Judgment notwithstanding the verdict, and the plaintiff’s opposition thereto.
c. Plaintiff’s response to the Emergency motion for prompt hearing.
d. Cambridge’s motion for a New Trial or in the alternative for a Remittitur and plaintiff’s opposition.

4. A hearing was held on June 19, 2008 with regard to the June 12, 2008 items.

Obviously, the judge is still considering the matter.

It will take quite a bit to convince the judge to overturn the jury’s quite strong verdict.

The most likely decision of the judge will be to reject Cambridge’s applications in whole, or, possibly, to order a reduction in damages.

If the most likely decision of the judge comes through, the Cambridge City Council will have a jury verdict that the Cambridge City Manager has indulged in severe misconduct in office.

The Cambridge City Council might decide to appeal.

The Cambridge City Council might decide to fire the Cambridge City Manager for cause.

Firing a department head in retaliation for the department head’s discrimination complaint, at minimum, is severe misconduct in office.

Without this jury verdict, I can think of plenty of reasons to fire the Cambridge City Manager.

This jury verdict would provide ironclad reason to fire the Cambridge City Manager.

BUT Cambridge has nine really bad City Councilors.

We will see what happens.