After being asked to leave the department he has served for more than 30 years, Newton Police Chief Matthew Cummings says he is planning to fight his dismissal.
According to New England Cable News, Cummings admits to kicking his former secretary, Jeanne Sweeny Mooney, but that it was an innocent act and an attempt to be funny.
Cummings told NECN yesterday he "didn't go around calling people names" and "didn't run a hostile work environment."
"I’m not going to leave after 32 years of good service with this type of thing over my head," Cummings told NECN.
Cummings, who has been chief since 2009, was dismissed yesterday following an independent investigation that looked into Mooney's claims that Cummings kicked her in the foot and made inappropriate comments toward her.
The report, which was delivered to Mayor Setti Warren Tuesday night, said there was "sufficient credible evidence" that Cummings kicked and verbally harassed his former secretary in 2010.
Although the comments and actions were not malicious or hostile, they were nonetheless "boorish, disrespectful and insulting", the report said, and that Cummings should be held to a high standard as a department head.
Warren placed Cummings on administrative leave yesterday and initiated the process of Cummings' removal, which involves a hearing. Warren named Captain Howard Mintz as acting police chief.
Meanwhile, Mooney is facing larceny charges out of Framingham District Court on allegations from the Newton Police that she stole $660 from the department as well as destroyed $1,500 in checks and a schedule of the fee payments. She is scheduled for arraignment Sept. 24.
Mooney claims the theft charges are retaliation for her civil claims against Cummings. She has been on paid administrative leave since September and recently filed a complaint with the city demanding $600,000 in damages.
Both Warren and City Solicitor Donnalyn Kahn underlined that city's investigation of Cummings' behavior was completely separate from any criminal cases involving Mooney.
According to NECN, Mooney said she feels "vindicated" with yesterday's decision and is hoping the theft charges against her will be dropped.