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Samuel II
Samuel II, Attorney at Law
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 27011
Experience:  More than 20 years of experience practicing law.
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Massachusetts. I took a police promotional exam and was

Customer Question

Massachusetts. I took a police promotional exam and was third on a list. As vacancies occurred, I became first on the list to be promoted. Instead of promoting me when a position became available, the police chief created two higher positions and filled them with a friend, and the brother of the deputy chief. A doucument from the town completed by the town manager says that the chief was having trouble about which one to promote, so he promoted both of them. This eliminated my position and I was not promoted. So I was not promoted because he couldn't make his mind up. I invested time and money to prepare for this exam, only to have the position taken away. There was no need for the two other promotions, and I feel it was done so that they would not have to retake an exam when their list expired. Lot more to this but I tried to keep it short. It seems like I should have a case.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Hello

This is Samuel and I will discuss this and provide you information in this regard

I suggest there might be a violation of Nepotism laws.

The conflict law prohibits elected and appointed public officials at the state, county, and municipal level from participating (in particular matters in which their immediate family members have a financial interest.

Immediate family is defined in the statute as "the employee and his spouse, and their parents, children, brothers and sisters." For example, an official's brother-in-law would be considered "immediate family" if he were the brother of the official's spouse but not if he were married to the official's sister.

In addition to these sections of the law, nepotism raises concerns under G.L. c. 268A, section 23, which sets forth standards of conduct regulating all public employees. Essentially, section 23 prohibits public officials from using their position to secure an unwarranted privilege of substantial value for themselves or others, or from acting in a manner which gives a basis for the impression either that they are improperly influenced by another person, or that someone is unduly enjoying their favor because of kinship.

Therefore, if a public official wishes to participate in a matter which affects the financial interest of a relative, even if that relative is not a member of his or her immediate family - a cousin or niece - they may not give preference to the relative because of the relationship.

They must also be careful to avoid the appearance of favoritism based on kinship. This is done by publicly disclosing the relationship and following ordinary and accepted procedures without deviation.

The purpose of these provisions is to prevent conflicts or the appearance of impropriety that can arise whenever a public official's personal loyalty to a family member competes with the public interest that objective decisions be made regarding public employment.

I suggest you can file a complaint with the ethics commission and also you can consider having a local attorney file in court for an injunction, which would put these positions on hold until after the ethics commission makes a ruling.

Please let me know here if you have other questions or need clarification. Otherwise a positive rating ensures I get credit for my time and information in this regard.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I complained to civil service. In a 3 to 2 vote they decided in favor of the town. I spoke with the ethics commission in the past, and they said the deputy chief wasn't the one making the appointment the chief was, so there was no conflict.
Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

Thank you. Then unfortunately, you will need to consider consultation with a local attorney and file in court to have the court interpret the law and make a ruling. It appears they are cutting hairs.

Expert:  Samuel II replied 1 year ago.

And really a local attorney is necessary. It is not something I suggest you try to bring to court on your own. You also could bring the matter to the attention of your local media and have then investigate to see if the laws are being violated.

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