Corruption in low and High Places Judges Slush Funds




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SalemNews.com, Salem, MA
May 4, 2011
Another judge denies Foley’s bid to dismiss fraud case
By Julie Manganis
Staff writer

HAMILTON — A second judge has rejected a bid by former Ipswich selectman and Wenham police Lt. James Foley to dismiss a charge of attempting to mislead a grand jury investigating no-show EMT recertification courses.

On Monday, Salem Superior Court Judge Timothy Feeley denied a motion to dismiss on the grounds that the grand jury didn’t have enough evidence to indict Foley, 49, calling the former officer’s grand jury testimony “misleading, if not outright false,” and saying the grand jury could have actually indicted Foley on the more serious charge of perjury.

Foley is one of four North Shore public safety officials indicted two years ago in an alleged scheme to fraudulently obtain recertification as emergency medical technicians, or EMTs, by claiming attendance at classes that they either did not attend or that did not exist, or submitting falsified rosters.

Two of the men, former Ipswich and Middleton fire Chiefs Henry Michalski and former Hamilton training coordinator David Mastrianni, have pleaded guilty to their roles and are on probation.

Former Hamilton police Chief Walter Cullen is scheduled to stand trial late next month.

Foley, who last week learned that another motion to dismiss, on the grounds that investigators set up a “perjury trap,” had been denied by a different judge, is also preparing to take the case to trial.

Last week, his lawyers argued that the grand jurors lacked enough of a basis to indict Foley.

Feeley, the Salem Superior Court judge, disagreed, saying the grand jury heard “ample evidence” to conclude that not only had the refresher course Foley had claimed to attend had not been held but that grand jurors actually could have reasonably returned an indictment for perjury, a more serious offense.

“Foley, at a minimum, intentionally allowed the grand jury to believe that the course was given as reflected in the attendance records, when overwhelming evidence later presented to the grand jury was to the contrary,” Feeley wrote.

Courts reporter Julie Manganis may be reached at 978-338-2521 or jmanganis@salemnews.com.

http://www.salemnews.com/local/x1071585052/Another-judge-denies-Foleys-bid-to-dismiss-fraud-case/print

Courts: Coked-Up Ex-Cop Can Keep His “Disability” Pension
The courts have spoken: even coked-up police officers on disability retirement who do construction work can deserve a $52,366.44 annual pension. The Court of Appeals yesterday decided that, because of some bureaucratic shenanigans, retired police officer James Seiferheld can keep his tax-free pension—despite the fact there is strong evidence he never should have gotten it in the first place. Everybody ready to get angry?

Back in December 2003, 12-year-vetern Seiferheld put in for retirement after he claimed to have suffered an on-duty injury to his shoulder while walking on ice and snow (i.e. he fell down). Within a month he was granted an early leave and awarded a three-quarters-pay pension. But by May of 2004 police were already investigating rumors that the former officer was using his shoulder just fine while doing construction work—they even say they got it on video. The police Medical Board reviewed the case three times and noticed that his “has improved dramatically.”

So in April, 2007, Seiferheld was called back to duty. Great, right? Wrong. Seiferheld proceeded to fail a drug test (cocaine was found in his hair) and was medically disqualified from returning to work. In July, 2007, the city’s Law Department striped Seiferheld of his pension, so naturally the married man with two kids sued. And though he lost in his first go round, he won in the Appellate courts and again yesterday in the Court of Appeals in a 6-1 decision that even the judges weren’t happy to make finding “the case as a whole very troubling.”

The Court of Appeals judges said a lower appellate court was correct when it ruled that benefits can be terminated only by the trustees of the Police Pension Fund, who had failed to do so. The did acknowledge the city’s position had “common-sense appeal.”

So now the coked-up construction worker will once again collect $4,363.87 a month from the city. And even better, he’s planning to try and get the benefits he has been denied the past four years. “It is clear that given that the termination of his pension was unlawful and improper, he is entitled to the back monies,” his lawyer, Robert Ungaro, told the Post.

Contact the author of this article or email tips@gothamist.com with further questions, comments or tips.
http://gothamist.com/2011/04/29/coked-up_construction-working_cop_c.php

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