.

UPDATED 4:40 p.m.: Newton Police Chief Terminated

Newton Mayor Setti Warren has fired Newton Police Chief Matthew Cummings.

Updated 4:40 p.m. with comments form Mayor Warren

After a six-hour hearing yesterday in Newton City Hall, Mayor Setti Warren has decided to officially fire Police Chief Matthew Cummings.

In a letter sent early Thursday afternoon, Warren stated the following:

Pursuant to paragraph 5 of your current Chief of Police's contract and after a hearing and findings of fact by Hearing Officer Robert P. Rooney, you are hereby terminated as Chief of Police for the City of Newton.

A 32-year veteran of the department, Cummings was placed on administrative leave in late August after an investigation concluded there was "sufficient" evidence that he verbally humiliated his secretary and kicked her in the foot.

The secretary, Jeanne Sweeney Mooney, testified yesterday during the hearing, saying that in separate incidents Cummings called her a "bitch" and told her she "looked like a whore" in 2010. She also claimed Cummings kicked her foot in 2010, causing a scrape on her heel and breaking the shoe she was wearing. 

In a brief conversation with Newton Patch this afternoon, Mayor Warren said he examined the facts of the investigation thoroughly before coming to his decision today.

"I concluded that my action was in the best interest of the city and in the best interest of the department," Warren said.

"I am really proud of the men and women who serve in uniform in this city. They serve us well and I look forward to the continued success of the police department," Warren continued.

Warren said the city will get started "right away" on the process of finding a new chief, a procedure that is dictated by state statute. Part of that law requires the formation of a search committee.

Looking for more updates from Newton Patch? Follow us on Twitter and Facebook or sign up for our email newsletters.

During yesterday's hearing, Cummings' attorney Timothy Burke argued that no other witness who testified could back up Mooney's allegations that Cummings called her a "bitch" or "whore." Burke also argued that Mooney's allegations have a "clear-cut, improper motive" of retaliation against theft charges that the Newton Police have brought against her.

Mooney is currently facing charges 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. The former secretary was placed on administrative leave in September 2011 and has filed a complaint with the city demanding $600,000 in damages.

Mooney was arraigned on the larceny charges last month and her next court date is Oct. 29 for a pretrial conference. 

Since the investigation into Cummings and the release of the full report, the city has launched another investigation into the department. Attorney Robert Sinsheimer, who represented the city, argued yesterday that while Cummings' alleged actions might not have been malicious in nature, they were "unbecoming of a police chief." Trying to kick Mooney's foot, which Cummings admits to in the city's investigation, was "un-consented contact" with an employee and calls for termination under Cummings' contract, Sinsheimer added.

 

Posted earlier:

Mayor Setti Warren's office says this letter was sent out today to Chief Cummings:

Dear Chief Cummings:

Pursuant to paragraph 5 of your current Chief of Police's contract and after a hearing and findings of fact by Hearing Officer Robert P. Rooney, you are hereby terminated as Chief of Police for the City of Newton.

Sincerely,

Setti D. Warren

Mayor

Cummings was let go after a lengthy hearing yesterday.

Stay with Newton Patch for more on this story.

Janet Pidge October 17, 2012 at 02:56 PM
Below revised-- Feb. 21, 2012 RE: EMR / NPD / Judicial Threats Plaintiffs Finnegan, Lopez, Pidge Vs. Coughlin, Dick, Porter, Read, Shufro - CAD # 2011-1145 D-Mayor Warren: We requested an EM last week (complaints against Barclay, NPD, and Waetie /Justice Kumahia). NPD refuse to press criminal charges against Barclay and J. Kumahia. We’ve been further abused by illegal trustees, defendants, and Kumahia Family. Growing conspiracy involves our abused mother (Frances C. Buttrick) and us (extending to above c-case). There have been a lot of powerful officials trying to keep us silent to protect lawbreakers versus our defenseless family. In the past, we tried meeting you (you were not receptive). Waetie K. said she has connections with NCH (may include you). Please refer to D-Porters statements to understand this dangerous situation at Barclay. It took years to connect abusive dots (to police, former Register J. Buonomo, AG Martha Coakley, and others including our brother (Fred Pidge) and his abusive connections with government officials. There has been no leader willing to step up to the plate during these perilous years of abuse and threats. We would greatly appreciate for Chief Cummings to attend. Sincerely, Finnegan / Pidge C: C: Governor Patrick, U. S. Attorney Ortiz, U. S. AG Holder, FBI Special Agent DesLauriers, NPD Enc.’s (sent ONLY to Mayor Warren):
Choo Choo January 12, 2013 at 04:22 AM
If the city fired him for misconduct, and Cummings is unable to reverse the decision, can the city do as the state did with Bulger and Finneran? That is, seize part of Cummings' retirement package.
Janet Sterman March 19, 2013 at 03:36 PM
From watching the hearing on NewTV's VOD - it appears that the hearing was simply a hoax to look like Newton was giving Cummings a fair shake. Can Rooney really like doing Warren's bidding? (How much would someone have to pay you to do this?) It's somewhat creepy. About one of the few people I actually respect in Warren's administration is Maureen Lemieux. As for who I least respect - wow, it's impossible to pick just one, so I will refrain!
Justina Lucas March 21, 2013 at 04:51 AM
you know that Fred Pidge is a career criminal .....spent 3/4 of his life in jail. He should go back in for his part in the Art Heist currently in the Boston news. Sorry that the statute of limitations ran out. so STFU Janet Pidge
Janet Pidge March 22, 2013 at 08:19 PM
Hi Janet Pidge, Justina Lucas also commented on UPDATED 4:40 p.m.: Newton Police Chief Terminated. "you know that Fred Pidge is a career criminal .....spent 3/4 of his life in jail. He should go back in for his part in the Art Heist currently in the Boston news. Sorry that the statute of limitations ran out. so STFU Janet Pidge" ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ D-J Lucas, My sister Beverley Finnegan, mother Frances C. Buttrick, and I are victims of abuse (estranged from my brother 15 yrs. +). Activist Janet Sterman told me to contact my brother’s wife (Helen Mastroianni Pidge) she has connections. Unfortunately, I do not know Helen. You should call Fred / Helen Pidge, Det. Jimmy McCarthy (NPD), Chief Howard Mintz (NPD), AG Martha Coakley, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, Special FBI Agent Richard DesLauries, and Mayor Setti Warren (etc…!) with your info. You should also ask authorities about their special ties to Fred Pidge? If u reach Chief Mintz, please ask him to release (Finnegan, J. J. Pidge’s) police reports? And, don’t forget to identify your special link (u may get a hefty reward)? J. J. Pidge P:S: Janet - Do u know Justina Lucas?

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »