Provincetown Association of Concerned Citizens

Police Union Rebuttal to Marcum Report

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Page 1

PROVINCETOWN POLICE LABOR FEDERATION

NEW ENGLAND POLICE BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION

Post Office Box 1204 Provincetown, MA 02657

I.U.P.A. AFL-CIO/LOCALS NO. 67 AND 68

Meredith Kurkjian Lobur, President et al

Union Response to Report of Marcum Advisory Group

Presented On: December 9, 2013

Page 2

INTRODUCTION

NEBPA Local Chapters 67 & 68, hereinafter The Union, file this formal response to the findings submitted by the Marcum Advisory Group dated November 25,2013.

The Marcum report was commissioned by the Town of Provincetown and submitted through Kopelman and Paige, P.C., legal counsel retained by the Town to represent its interests, persons and entities.

This investigation was purported to have been commissioned in response to a letter submitted to the Board of Selectmen and the Town on behalf of the Union dated September 12, 2013. The Union letter raised four (4) specific areas of concern: [1]

- The ordering of police officers into the Squealing Pig to collect names of employees and patrons who were present when the Chief objected to an employee’s exercise of their first amendment  right  to play music of their choosing;

- Ethical violations regarding the undue influence on employee votes in recent elections, including the distribution of campaign signs from the police station;

- The disparity of discipline administered to Union Members by the Chief of Police and a pattern of continued and sustained contract violations;

- The unconscionable treatment by the Chief of Police of a Union Member who was sexually assaulted in the police station by a uniformed, on duty police officer, including the failure to fully investigate and to document the crime, and the subsequent    protection of the offending officer which included positive job recommendations to other   police departments. [2]

The Marcum report did not contain any investigation or findings pertaining to the 3rd and 4th areas of concern contained in the Union letter and focused instead on the “No Place for Hate” committee, which was not a concern specified in the Union letter.

____________________________

[1] The bullet points are direct quotes from the Union letter which is attached hereto.

[2] The sexual assault of the female employee which gave rise to the sexual harassment complaint is presently pending before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD).

Page 3

ISSUES

That the “Findings” of the Marcum report regarding the May 7, 2013 incident at the Squealing Pig which involved police officers were erroneous and inaccurate. That the “Findings” of the Marcum report regarding the May 7th election and the actions of the Chief of Police, specifically comments made to Union members and non-union employees were inaccurate.

That the “Findings” of the Marcum report, specifically Finding 7, which cast blame on the Union for not reporting the placement of campaign signs in the station to the Town Manager, is inaccurate and erroneous.

That the investigator from Marcum LLP, Frank Rudewicz, failed to interview at least 4 members of the police department, despite claims that he would interview all members, and that many of the interviews were extremely brief and conducted via phone.

Page 4

Squealing Pig

Finding 3 contained on page 11 of the report found that the Chief of Police complained to several officers who were actively involved in a felony incident that he was the victim of “hateful music.”

The report discredited the accounts of officers at the scene that Chief Jaran complained to them that he was the victim of a “hate crime.”

If a rational trier of fact were to rely on their “ordinary experience and common sense” it is anomalous that a person would complain that they were a victim of “hateful music.” [3] It is far more logical that officers would be interrupted in the course of their duties for a complaint that an individual was the victim of a “hate crime.”

The investigator was provided documentation of a phone call made during the course of this incident from Sergeant Thomas Steele, the Commanding Officer of the shift, to me, the Detective Supervisor and Court Liaison Officer. It was during the course of this 22 minute conversation that Sergeant Steele advised me of the incident involving Chief Jaran and his claim that he had been the victim of a hate crime. I advised Sergeant Steele that Chief Jaran was not the victim of hate crime.

[4]

On May 7, 2013 a member of the Detective Division had been ordered into the office of Chief Jaran. Chief Jaran claimed to the detective that he had been the victim of a “hate crime.” On Wednesday May 8, 2013 Chief Jaran forwarded by email to the detective the names and dates of birth of 2 patrons and 2 bartenders from the Squealing Pig. Chief Jaran then told the detective to “run them” or to “look them up.” The detective was not comfortable conducting such an investigation and I advised him not to do so.

The investigator was advised by Sergeant Steele and the other officers at the scene of the Squealing Pig that only one cruiser had driven by the bar. Sergeant Steele advised the investigator that he did not drive down Freeman Street the wrong way and his headlights did not shine into the bar.

________________________

[3] Marcum page 3

[4] Marcum page 11, Finding 3; “Me” refers to the Union President

Page 5

A previous investigation into the Squealing Pig had been conducted by the Town Manager, however, it should be noted that no police officers were interviewed as part of this investigation.

May 7, 2013 Election

That Chief Jaran repeatedly attempted to influence sworn and civilian personnel about for whom they should vote. These conversations took place while he was on duty and in the station. The conversations were not “general in nature.” [5]

The phrase “Richter is a drug dealer and Donegan hates cops,” were said repeatedly. Permutations of these comments were made at the mandatory department meeting on April 16, 2013 and at the lunch in the briefing room referenced on page 17 of the report. It was during this lunch that Chief Jaran stated that he would bring Austin Knight campaign signs to the station and pressured employees to place them on their lawns. These employees stated that they felt uncomfortable and pressured by this conversation.

Campaign signs were placed in the station as ordered by Chief Jaran. The location of these signs was open and notorious at the rear door of the station. This is the door that all personnel enter and exit the building. The signs remained in this location for at least 2 weeks.

These signs were provided by the Chairman of the Board of Selectmen with the knowledge that they were to be taken to the police station.

________________________

[5] Marcum page 18

Page 6

CONCLUSION

The Union submitted our letter to the Board of Selectman and the Town of Provincetown on September 12, 2013 to articulate the reasons for our Vote of No Confidence in Chief of Police Jeff Jaran.

This was an extremely difficult vote and one that was not entered in to lightly. Many, many members expressed fear of reprisal and retaliation by Chief Jaran.

Regardless, an overwhelming majority of Union Members cast votes of no confidence because we could no longer stand mute and have our silence mistaken for the tacit acceptance of the unethical behavior of our chief.

The conclusion of the Marcum Report that the harm caused by the pattern of behavior of Chief Jaran was somehow de minimus is unfathomable.

The obfuscation of responsibility and blame is an insult to the Union, the department and the entire town.

According to the report, social media, media, disparate community groups and divisiveness over a new police station are the culprits of rancor and “paranoia.” [6]

Social media did not order officers into the Squealing Pig because they were offended by a 20 plus year old rap song.

The media did not commit ethical violations by bringing political signs into the police station and attempting to influence the votes of subordinates.

Disparate community groups did not repeatedly act in violation of the Union contract.

A “bunker mentality” did not sexually assault a female member of the department, harass her and then lie to obtain a law enforcement job for her assailant. [7]

____________________________

[6], [7] Marcum page 25

Page 7

The Marcum report similarly found that the Union was responsible for not notifying the town manager about the political signs in the police station and for the attempts by Chief Jaran to influence the votes of departmental personnel. [8]

The Chief of Police ordered the Lieutenant to bring the signs to the police station.

[9]

The Chairman of The Board of Selectman provided his signs and was aware that they were to be brought to the police station. [10] The finding in the Marcum report that subordinates in a paramilitary organization should have reported these ethical violations to the town manager and “corrective action could have occurred much earlier,” is fatuous to the point of absurdity. [11] This is true particularly in light of the symbiotic nature of the relationship between the town manager and the chief of police.

The finding that the Union letter of September 12, 2013 was “opportunistic in nature, motivated by other issues,” impugns the integrity and character of each and every member of the Union. [12]

There was nothing “opportunistic” about standing in concert with the concerns of the community.

There was nothing “opportunistic” about casting aside fears of retaliation and publically disassociating ourselves from the behavior of the chief.

The Union asserts and avers that the issues enumerated in our letter of September 12, 2013 and those that were the subject of the Marcum investigation fall squarely on the Chief of Police.

The Union therefor requests that this document become part of the record and accepted as an official response to the Marcum report.

______________________________

[8], [11], [12] Marcum page 21, Finding 7

[9] Marcum page 17

[10] Marcum page 18

                                                                            

For the Full Jaran vs Provincetown

Arbitration Report

Click Here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7RNJeebthMQc1JOQXl6X1ZnUEMtb0h3SEVsQVdoWERCSFhr/view