Tuesday, April 28, 2009

News Reports: Court calls Healy “Reprehensible"

Bob reports:

1. Boston Herald / AP.
2. Cambridge Chronicle.
3. Boston Globe.
4. My report.

1. Boston Herald / AP.

The following is from Roy Bercaw, April 28, 2009:

Boston Herald reports AP story saying Court says Cambridge City
Manager "reprehensible."


2. Cambridge Chronicle.

Posted Apr 27, 2009 @ 05:18 PM, Last update Apr 28, 2009 @ 11:30 AM, at http://www.wickedlocal.com/cambridge/news/x718272795/Judge-Cambridge-must-pay-city-worker-wronged-in-discrimination-case.

I presume this report will be printed on Thursday.

The Chronicle has an excellent quote from the judge, and reports that the city paid $1.6 million in legal bills through July 10, 2008.

3. Boston Globe.

A friend told me about the Globe report as I was relaxing in an Au Bon Pain near Harvard Square. It was printed on pages B1 and B15 of today’s, April 28, 2009, edition. The on line report is at http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/04/28/cambridge_assessed_45m_in_bias_suit/.

The Globe quoted several statements of the judge. It felt like I was reading my materials.

They quoted the city’s attorney describing the judge’s description of Healy as “inappropriate” and “unfortunate.”

4. My report.

I passed on the word to a number of sources over the past several days.

For the record (so that the Globe does not consider me plagiarizing them, at minimum), I distributed the following collection of quotes from the judge’s opinion to perhaps a hundred Cambridge residents on April 17, 2009:

a. Not only are municipalities subject to punitive damages in the same regard as other defendants, but deliberate violations of G. L. c. 151B, by those charged with the public duty to enforce the law equally, present a heightened degree of reprehensibility. [citations omitted]. Healy, and the City of Cambridge, are subject to increased scrutiny for their retaliatory actions, particularly where Healy took this action in capacity as a high-ranking public official. [citation omitted]. The city of Cambridge does not get a free pass to unlawfully retaliate against its employees and avoid the imposition of punitive damages simply by virtue of its status as a taxpayer funded municipality; to the contrary, the city is held to a higher standard of reprehensibility.

b. First, the jury had adequate evidence before it to find Healy s conduct reprehensible. Healy indicated, in his testimony, that he was aware of the legal implications of retaliation, and that the plaintiff s discrimination claim was constantly on his mind. Such conscious disregard for the law of retaliation would provide relevant support for an argument that strong medicine is required to cure the defendant s disrespect for the law.

c. . . . Healy, as city manager, is charged with the public duty to enforce the law equally, and as a result, his conduct is subject to a heightened degree of reprehensibility.

d. Healy simply was not credible, and the jury was entitled to form this opinion based on his demeanor on the stand and his inconsistent and incoherent testimony.