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Marion Keating Suspension Overturned

July 3, 2011

The Civil Service Commission did not mince its words: “Retired Marblehead Police Sergeant Marion Keating ‘never stood a chance’ in’ a biased, predetermined process’ that led to her 50-day suspension last year.” This was in a letter from the chairman of the Massachusettes’s Civil Service Commission, as reported in the Salem News.

The Town’s disciplinary action was reversed. Commission Chairman Chistropher Bowman cast further doubt on the validity of the Marblehead process, calling patrolman Michael Daigle’s statement that he was deeply offended by Keating’s well-known remark as “rather preposterous.” He called the suspension “retaliatory” and predetermined. In a 24-page decision, the commission’s findings were sure to make the Town and its process look bad. But Town Administrator, Tony Sasso, defended the Town’s process, denying any conspiracy in the final phase of Keating’s 33-year career with the Town. Keating was the Town’s first female office and the first female superior officer. As reported, her career ended in conflict and controversy including a gender discrimination lawsuit and her suspension.

Marc Miller, a town counsel for Marblehead involved in the case, said that he found the Commission’s conclusions to be “foolishness.” Miller and the Board of Selectmen will decide soon whether the Town wants to appeal the Commission’s decision or not.

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