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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.

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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.

Jake Fox October 11, 2012 at 05:49 PM
This is an absolute disgrace. Utterly disgusted.
jordan lewis ring October 11, 2012 at 05:58 PM
this chief a man of honor serving this city of decades -who cleaned an alleged corrupt public employee from the pd, is reward by dishonor! every newton voter must remember that setti warren serves at the pleasure of voters...setti warren - who i loved to debate- is a faker pure simple he serves until next election ..then we can replaced this pettyfogger with a man/woman of character pride and intel... we will survive in spite of setti warren warren is indeed a ---disgrace and the fault is with the newton voters....next election we will correct the error......
BethCJ4 October 11, 2012 at 05:58 PM
The city just lost a great officer to protect the Mayor's future political aspirations. Doomed for standing up against a group of corrupt long-term administrators in the Chief's office because Warren did not want to be linked to a scandal. This would of never happened if Warren, not Cohen, put him in charge. I am sickened by this decision but can not wait for the results of his appeal in front of a NEUTRAL arbitrator...after that, all hell is going to break lose at city hall.
Maureen Hyatt October 11, 2012 at 06:15 PM
I don't know how Setti Warren can even look at himself. He is a coward and truly a disgrace. He does not think of the greater good of the community but his own selfish means. He's a corrupt politician who will back a lying thief over a 32 year officer. He should be removed from his position immediately.
Melanie Graham (Editor) October 11, 2012 at 06:17 PM
FYI - Any comment that includes words or letters hinting towards inappropriate language (swears, etc.) will be deleted. One comment was just removed.
Jake Fox October 11, 2012 at 07:11 PM
Please, I beg...release the official transcript from the stenographer...for those lucky enough to be present (in the smallest room Setti Warren put aside for the 'public' hearing), we know the truth of how that hearing went. I am shocked at how corrupt this whole thing has become-the city of Newton deserves the truth!
jordan lewis ring October 11, 2012 at 08:14 PM
OVERVIEW OF AN EVENT: when our founders laid out the principles of our government, they knew that it was certain that humans would make errors of judgment. when setti warren was elected newton was angry. they voted against those in office.....warren thus became mayor...the history or warren speaks to his inexperience and lack of leadership...yet newton punished those it felt betrayed a trust....now we in newton see the consequences of this mayor....within months of his oath he left newton to be disgraced statewide...warren now destroyed the life and dreams of am man who served newton and who indeed appears to have ousted an alleged thief from within the department that guards the halls of justice and protects with their lives, our lives.....as citizens we each hold the power to replace warren...we must we will we shall...the next election will involve the very fundamental character of a man who disregarded his oath to newton, only to return when he was trashed by folks that saw the empty suit....indeed America survived the worst of the warren mindset...it will endure...for now our support is for this outstanding chief of police whose life has been trashed and his career ended by a mayor who has lost his moral compass assuming he ever had one......in the end justice will prevail and the chief applauded by those who he dedicated his life to serve.... unp
Carole Lucas October 11, 2012 at 09:01 PM
The City of Newton has just lost one of the finest, most decent, and honest dedicated police officer that this city will ever have! Believe me you will feel this loss for a very long time to come!!! Mayor Setti Warren should be ashamed of himself for not doing the right thing. I was there yesterday at the hearing and I heard the testimony of all 7 witnesses - Mr. Rooney you obviously were in another hearing OR clearly you already had your mind made up before this hearing began!! With all the testimony that we heard yesterday, I cannot believe that you came to the decision of termination! If you have nothing to hide, please release the official transcripts. I think that the public would find the testimony very interesting especially the part that no other witness who testified could back up Mooney’s allegations that the Chief called her names. Also, people of Newton - I do think that the testimony from Ed Mitnick is very enlightening. Believe me - you will want to read it All I can say is WHAT A SHAME – WHAT A TRAVESTY!!!! This decision from the Mayor has disgusted me!! And if you were there in attendance yesterday, and heard what I heard, this decision would have disgusted you too!!
Jake Fox October 11, 2012 at 09:07 PM
AMEN!! RELEASE THE TRANSCRIPTS!!!! Let the city of Newton realize what a coward the Mayor, and Rooney are....how utterly disgraceful Rooney's "finding of facts" is.....it is as if he didn't even attend the meeting! Please someone release those finding, or a news station PLEASE play back that ALL of the witnesses backed up the Chief and NOT Mooney!
Greg October 11, 2012 at 10:46 PM
The Mayor is a disgrace and I hope Chief Cummings sues him and the city.
Paul Lavigne October 12, 2012 at 12:40 PM
I believe that the mayor made a really bad choice to fire the chief of police. The chief will prevail on his appeal and the city of newton will be embarrassed at the end of it all. P.J.L.
Janet Pidge October 12, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Emergency requests to Mayor Setti Warren remain unanswered. We (Finnegan, Pidge) cannot obtain police protection from the NPD (including former Chief Cummings) and Mayor Setti Warren. We believe the mayor used his influence with police to provide special protection to Justice Kumahia and Barclay Condominium of Newton versus charging them. Kumahia Family who got their condo unit half-price (Waetie K.) said she has Newton City Hall connections (believe the mayor knows this family). The mayor’s claim (the plaintiffs) subpoena was issued of annoyance, intimidation, and harassment "is pure rubbish." Our opposition to the mayor motion goes unanswered by the court. We asked Attorney John Tocci to accompany us to local police to avoid further threats. Mayor Warren needs to meet with Finnegan and Pidge versus hiding behind closed doors! Janet Pidge -
ConcordHawk October 14, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Political correctness run wild. Plaintiff is a woman. Defendant is a white man. Ergo he is guilty.
Duckface Jones October 17, 2012 at 07:57 AM
I want to hear more from Janet Pidge. Please comment more often.
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?

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