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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Danvers officials accuse cops of 'silent strike' in ticket writing
By Michael Puffer
Staff writer


DANVERS — Patrolmen have cost the town $173,000 by refusing to write traffic tickets in a ploy to influence contract negotiations, top police brass and town management officials allege in a complaint filed with the state last week.

Town officials claim police union members are handing out warnings rather than tickets in an effort to cost the town money and gain leverage at the bargaining table, according to their complaint to the state Labor Relations Commission. The 44-strong police union has gone nearly a year-and-a-half without a new contract in a dispute over raises.

But at least on police union official has accused the town of buttressing its case with "immoral and unethical behavior."

The union has demanded a 3 percent raise for fiscal year 2004. The town, citing huge cuts in state aid during that year, first offered no pay increase as part of a new contract.

Money brought in from traffic citations is put into the town's general fund and used for expenses or to cut the tax rate.

During the first nine months of 2003, Danvers police issued 2,069 traffic citations with fines. During the first nine months of 2004, only 254 traffic fines have been issued, according to the complaint. At the same time, the number of warnings issued has soared.

Nonunion police brass and town employees began investigating a drop in citations after they became apparent late last winter. The resulting accusations were based on the plummeting number of tickets, threats allegedly made by union leaders and e-mails sent among union members using the town's Internet service.

Police union President Dana "Mike" Hagan, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, told Town Attorney Brian Callahan and other members of the bargaining team last December that "If the town continues to insist on no raise for the first year, then the $255,000 in traffic fees can change," according to a passage in the complaint.

As part of its body of evidence, the town also includes copies of e-mails sent to police union members from a computer at police headquarters.

"... Union members have to stick together ... stay the course ... it is not going to be easy ... and will definitely be long/drawn out. Officers are reminded ... police officers may use discretion when issuing traffic citations," reads a portion of a message attributed to Hagan.

The town is asking the state labor commission to order the union to end the silent strike and begin writing tickets "in accordance with longstanding department policy," Town Manager Wayne Marquis said. The complaint also asks the police union be required to pay for lost ticket revenue — estimated at $173,388 and counting.

Marquis said the town may have to trim this year's budget to reflect the lost revenue.

"If this is a trend that continues in 2005, it would have serious ramifications for our ability to maintain a balanced budget or set the tax rate," Marquis said. "From a revenue perspective, the numbers speak for themselves, but just as important, traffic citations serve as a deterrent. The public's safety is at stake if the public felt we don't take (traffic enforcement) seriously."

Detective Carole Germano, the union's vice president, called the allegations "ludicrous."

Traffic fines may be down, but traffic-related arrests and other police activities are all on the rise, proof that the union members are doing their jobs, Germano said.

"It seems they are trying to generate more revenue for the town by ticketing their citizens," Germano said, "and I don't think that is the way they should go about it."

Germano also protested the tapping of e-mails between officers as a source for these charges. Surveillance of union activities is prohibited by law, she said.

"I believe management has engaged in immoral and unethical behavior," Germano said. "Employee rights, particularly those of our union members, have been violated."

Marquis said the union members' correspondence were written on town computers and delivered using town software, and so were fair game to be used as part of the investigation.

Police Chief Stuart Chase referred all questions about the complaint to the town manager. Union attorney Paul Hynes did not return phone calls yesterday.

While the town has filed arbitration requests occasionally with the state commission — it's currently in arbitration with the police union, as well as other unions — it's never before filed a request for a strike investigation.

"We usually have very few because, as you know, it is illegal for public employees to strike," said Edward Srednicki, executive secretary for the Labor Relations Commission. "We get maybe three a year."

A hearing before the state commission has been set for 10 a.m. next Tuesday. The commission would likely issue a judgment a few days later. But it would be nonbinding. Should the town or union wish to the decision to be enforced, they would have to file a case in Superior Court, Srednicki said.

Selectmen Chairman Michael Powers said town officials approached union leadership several times to request they halt the covert strike before filing the official complaint.

Powers said he wasn't concerned the police union's actions could hamper public safety.

"It's a financial situation," Powers said. "But the police are issuing warnings so it doesn't become a public safety issue."

"The Police Department continues to do a quality job on day-to-day activity," Powers added. "This is one element of their job. Everything else is as it should be, so people are getting the services they are expecting of police."
 

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That's brilliant, I love it. Don't want to pay us a puny 3% raise then don't be upset your officers aren't out looking for extra money for the city. They are still doing an excellent job and performing MV stops and arrests just refusing to help out the city's pocket, when the city doesn't help theirs. Not even 3% raise c'mon gas went up 70% in the last year!
 

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There is importanat case law on this subject and the city or town can not make u issue money tickets.

On a side note my union did the same thing but nobody cared. Maybe just the opposite approach, start giging town fathers for 5 over.
Or there is always the parking ticket that must have blown off. ( takes a liitle time to get the full effect but still a good way to give someone a :hump:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I live in Danvers. Danvers has a top notch force. I see thier beef because the town dic...... err I mean manager just had the selectman vote him another pay raise. He makes well over the $173k the town is lost in ticket revenue! How about Wayne take a pay cut.......

Like the protest signs say down by town hall, END THE GAMES NOW WAYNE!!!!!!
 

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The sheriff's department of the county where I used to live/work went several years without a contract. Like most of us, work slow-downs, etc were prohibited. So they performed a work "speed-up": Money tickets for the most petty violations, tying the highways up during rush hour and arresting for everything that had a right-of-arrest. No discretion. After about a week, the lemmings were screaming and the court docket was unmanageable due to the arraignments. Tickets appeals were heard on tuesday and thursday nights by local JP's (who are elected): Standing room only at the town office, and most were standing outside (and it was winter in western NY 8) ) :twisted: !

In any event, it's the Danvers Police Department, not the Danvers Department of Revenue. These guys are only asking for a cost-of-living raise, which is reasonable.

Pay-up Danvers :evil: .
 

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Bottom line........................

Cops are still doing their jobs in the other categories and kicking bad motorists in the butt by issuing written warnings.

One thing to consider is that by notwriting for fines, the Officers are saving their town $$ by not going to court to fight hearings/appeals.
:wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Danvers police union refutes town charge of ticket strike
By Michael Puffer
Staff writer

DANVERS — Police union leaders yesterday continued to refute charges that officers have avoided writing traffic tickets in an attempt to cut off a source of town revenue and gain leverage in heated contract talks with town management.

Town officials and top police brass filed a strike investigation request with the state Labor Relations Commission last week, alleging officers' failure to write tickets constitutes a "work stoppage." It is illegal for public employees to strike.

Union leaders denied the town's claims and yesterday offered several explanations for the drop in tickets. Statistics show the number of traffic tickets issued has dropped from 2,604 last year to 254 through September of this year.

"It could be people are driving better," said Detective Carole Germano, the union's vice-president.

"By (Town Manager Wayne) Marquis' own admission, times are tough, so maybe officers don't want to hit people with $100 citations when they roll through a stop sign," Germano added.

Union leaders stressed the department's policy, which allows officers to use discretion in determining whether a ticket or warning is merited. Since the beginning of this year, statistics show police have clearly chosen the latter course.

The town claims it has lost $173,388, and counting, in ticket revenue as officers use this discretion to protest 17 months without a new contract. Union officials said they asked for a 3 percent increase. Marquis, they said, first offered no increase for 2004.

Town officials base their claim on alleged threats made by union leadership, and e-mails union members sent through the town system reminding members "have to stick together" and that they "may use discretion when issuing traffic citations."

Germano and police union president Dana "Mike" Hagan said Marquis is the one trying to gain leverage, using this state investigation.

Hagan said town management employed the same tactic 19 years ago, when seven officers underwent disciplinary hearings for allegedly not performing their duties due to a drop in ticket revenue. Hagan received a reprimand during that time. All further disciplinary hearings, however, were dropped when a contract was signed, he said.

"I think this shows a pattern of intimidation," Germano said. She and Hagan also pointed to rising numbers of arrests as proof the 44 police union members continue to do their jobs.

With two months left in this year, all arrests have already jumped by 28 percent since 2003. Traffic arrests alone are up 30 percent, from 357 in 2003 to 513 so far this year.

Police Chief Stuart Chase and Capt. Neil Ouellette referred all questions to Marquis, who was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Meanwhile, the Board of Selectmen may take up the increasingly ugly contract dispute during a closed door meeting tonight. Selectman Keith Lucy has asked for a closed door session in order to question Marquis as to why he chose to file a strike protest with the state just a week prior to a scheduled arbitration session between the parties.

"To do this a week before a mediation session where you're hoping to make some progress is far-fetched," Lucy said. "It seems more of a negotiation tactic than an effort to bring fiscal stability to the town."

Selectmen Chairman Michael Powers said he'll poll members to see if a majority of the board believes discussion is needed. For his part, Powers said he is content to allow Marquis to continue conducting negotiations as he believes necessary.
 

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"The town is asking the state labor commission to order the union to end the silent strike and begin writing tickets "in accordance with longstanding department policy," Town Manager Wayne Marquis said. The complaint also asks the police union be required to pay for lost ticket revenue — estimated at $173,388 and counting. "


Why let something like Ch 90C stand in they way.............. :shock:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Town seeks police repayment of funds
By William Henderson/ [email protected]
Thursday, October 28, 2004

Allegations were raised and leveled against Danvers police officers in a petition filed last week with the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission. These included charges that police withheld services, opting against writing revenue-generating citations and effectively striking during their ongoing contract negotiations with the town, costing the town almost $174,000 in revenue.

The town is urging the LRC to force the union and individual union members to re-pay the town any monies lost during the last nine months as a result of union action.

Officers said Tuesday, just five days after first hearing the allegations, that no one has purposefully been attempting to short-change the town. In fact, statistically, officers argue, the department has continued to perform at or above 2003 levels while struggling with recent shift-staffing reductions of 20 percent.

"We're just trying to go out and do our jobs and serve our community," Police Benevolent Association Vice President Detective Sgt. Carole Germano said. "That service will never diminish."

So far this year, police have made 513 arrests stemming from motor vehicle stops as compared with 357 such arrests last year. Also, there has been an 89 percent increase in arrests of drivers operating a motor vehicle under the influence, from 46 last year to 87 made so far this year. In total, arrests are up 23 percent above last year, Germano said.

However, calls to the department regarding possible traffic and parking violations have decreased by 17 percent, which would impact the revenue generated by the department.

"I think these allegations are ludicrous," Germano said. "To me, this doesn't sound like we're striking. We're pretty much floored by the allegations."

In the town's Petition for Strike Investigation, filed Oct. 20 with the state's LRC, individual officers, including Stephen Baldassarre, Jr., William E. Bradstreet, Carole A. Germano, Dana M. Hagan, Robert J. Sullivan, Timothy Williamson, and David G. Woytovich, are named as acting "in their official capacity of the Danvers Police Benevolent Association and/or in their individual capacity as a public employee [of having] engaged in, induced, encouraged or condoned a strike, work stoppage, slow-down or other withholding of services" during the last nine months.

In other words, officers have recently begun to favor issuing verbal or writing warning citations as opposed to complaint citations which generate revenue for the town. The petition reads that "officers are, and have been, required, historically, to issue complaint citations for traffic violations under appropriate circumstances."

Town Manager Wayne Marquis emphasized in an interview Tuesday morning that this is a matter of police performance failing to meet town expectations.

"Employees are not empowered to unilaterally decide how work is performed," Marquis said. "We don't have a quota, but standards have been established."

Police have failed to meet these standards by nearly 87 percent during the first nine months of 2004 compared with the number of citations issued in 2003. So far this year, police have issued 254 citations. In 2000, police issued 3,067 citations; in 2001, police issued 2,154; in 2002, police issued 1,650; and, in 2003, police issued 2,604.

This reduction resulted in a "substantial revenue loss," according to the town petition, of $173,388.

Root of the problem

Marquis believes this a result of the unsuccessful contract negotiations which began in May, 2003, prior to the June 30, 2003 expiration of the three-year contract, and the talks continue.

Though union officers initially asked for a 3.75 percent base wage increase for each of the years included in the contract, the town, predicting the onset of a fiscally difficult year, countered with a zero percent base wage increase for fiscal 2004 but said it would negotiate for increases in limited items, including the private and town detail rate and for longevity, according to the petition.

During negotiations held on Dec. 9, 2003, Union President Dana Hagan said that since the police were responsible for returning $220,000 to the town's general fund in fiscal 2003, the town had sufficient money to fund the requested fiscal 2004 base wage increase, according to the petition.

It is alleged in the petition that also at this meeting, Hagan told members of the town's bargaining team that "if the town continues to insist on no raise for the first year [fiscal 2004], then the $255,000 in traffic fees can change." By the end of January 2004, the allegations continue, union officers "concerted action in substantially reducing the issuance of complaint citations."

Ask Detective Sgt. Germano how the town came to learn of what was believed to be private union communication, and she quickly points to her computer and her personal e-mail which she believes was hacked into by the town, violating what she and other union officers felt were private confidences.

"They've violated the rights of all of the union employees and that," she emphasized, "will be addressed."

Marquis said, in a separate interview, that the town notifies employees each year as to the policy regarding any communications made or received on town-owned computers and telephones.

"Every communication is subject to a public record request and it is all viewable because it is town-owned equipment and so should never be viewed as private," Marquis said.

In an e-mail dated Jan. 23, 2004, written by Hagan and sent to all union officers, he wrote, as quoted in the petition, that "union members have to stick together...stay the course...it is not going to be easy...and will definitely be long/drawn out. Officers are reminded...police officers may use discretion when issuing traffic citations...Warnings are the most effective type of citation given. They provide education and promote good community relations."

Around March 1, 2004, Police Chief Stuart Chase talked with Hagan about what the town referred to as "this citation problem," according to the petition. Chase also met with Operations Commander Lt. Edmund Plamowski and discussed the citations and emphasized that the departmental policy had not changed. He has since met with Plamowski at least three more times to further discuss the problem and ask him to convey his feelings to union officers, according to the petition.

Chase, along with the town's labor consultant Brian Callahan, Human Resources Director Larry Wood, and Police Captain Neil Ouellette, have signed affidavits, which were included with the town's petition to the LRC, affirming the town's allegations.

Going public with complaints

Marquis took the unusual action of disclosing the town's petition after some members of the police union complained publicly.

Police action, Marquis said Tuesday, has resulted in an almost 90 percent reduction in the number of revenue-generating complaint citations issued. Historically, the town receives more than $200,000 in such revenue on an annual basis, money that is then used to help set the tax rate.

"If this trend were to continue," Marquis said in a statement sent to the Board of Selectmen Monday afternoon, "it would have serious ramifications on our ability to maintain a balanced budget and set the fiscal 2005 tax rate. A nearly 90 percent reduction is just not plausible or acceptable," he added. "We need to get back to where the norm is immediately."

This is not the first such incident of officers opting to issue warning citations, as Germano wrote to union officers in December last year, which was included in the petition. Then, in the mid-1980s, when officers did not generate any citation revenue, written reprimands were placed in the officers' files.

According to the Danvers Police Department Manual, section 15.2.3, officers are expected to use their judgment when issuing citations. Such discretion is expected to be "based on a combination of experience, training and common sense."

"However," the policy continues, "the excessive use of warnings, especially if the public knows it, should be avoided" because it sends out the incorrect message that Danvers officers do not enforce traffic motor vehicle safety.

Marquis agrees with the policy that too much restraint sends the wrong impression to the public.

"Danvers does take this quite seriously," Marquis said, urging residents to continue following all laws.

But Germano had a different take on it. Yes, officers are urged to avoid excessively issuing warnings, but, times are tough for everyone, including residents, she said, which the police also are taking into consideration.

"By the manager's own admission, times are hard," she said. Later, she asked rhetorically whether police should cite every car that rolls through a stop sign when the fine is $150 and the driver may just have failed to completely stop. "Officers have to use their own discretion in citing motor vehicle violations," she said.

Besides being forced to re-pay the town any revenues lost during the last nine months determined to have occurred as a result of police action, the town hopes the commission directs the police union to cease and desist immediately as well as force them to acknowledge they violated the current collective bargaining agreement.

Ultimately, Marquis said he feels confident an agreement will be reached between the town and the police union, and he's hoping to enter into a competitive multi-year contract with the union. A mediator has been assigned to the negotiations but cancelled an initial meeting scheduled to take place last week.

The Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission hearing will take place Tuesday, Nov. 2 at 10 a.m. at the commission's office in Boston.
 

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"If this trend were to continue," Marquis said in a statement sent to the Board of Selectmen Monday afternoon, "it would have serious ramifications on our ability to maintain a balanced budget and set the fiscal 2005 tax rate. A nearly 90 percent reduction is just not plausible or acceptable," he added. "We need to get back to where the norm is immediately."
Get a contract signed soon then Wayne!
 

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Hey, good for the Danvers PD & Union keep it up!! I wish the officers in my dept could show better unity and do the same thing.

Not issuing traffic tickets does not mean your not doing your job, it's called discretion, and the officers in Danvers should continue to use ton of it until their contract is resolved!
 

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As a citizen, I want my police to got after criminals and law breakers, fines or no fines- the economy of it doesn't matter to me.

I don't want crime being assigned a monetary value and then enforced as such...that's just f'in stupid.

If the town wants to generate revenue, raise taxes or some such thing...put the "blame" and responsibility on the elected officials for a lack of funding. Not the cops.
 

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Wouldn't it be interesting if police officers across the commonwealth wrote warnings for a week :shock: ???? Hypothetically, of course. 8)
 

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I didn't think our job was to raise revenue for the town ? I thought it was to provide a safer community. :shock: :oops:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Danvers waging union battle on two fronts
By Michael Puffer
Staff writer

DANVERS - In a week that saw the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission hearing testimony about a covert strike by Danvers police officers, the town's firefighters union asked state officials to postpone a separate hearing related its own struggles with Town Hall.

In May, the town filed a complaint alleging firefighters cost the town $15,298 in overtime by calling in sick en masse during one week in January. The town, which had to pay other firefighters overtime to cover their "sick" comrades, is seeking repayment.

On Monday, the firefighters union requested a postponement, saying firefighters are close to agreeing to a new contract, one of the provisions of which would end the town's case.

The police union and the town, however, are farther apart.

In hearings this week, the police union refuted charges that its 44 members avoided writing traffic citations for the past nine months to cut town ticket revenue and gain leverage in stalled contract talks.

For its part, town management wants police to stop the silent strike and repay $173,388, and counting, in lost ticket revenue.

Both sides gave closing arguments yesterday and a ruling is expected next week.

Of the two complaints pending with the state, the accusations against the police are more grave. State law prohibits public employees from striking. The seriousness of the matter meant hearings were held a little more than a week after the town filed its charges.

The state agency receives about three such complaints a year, Labor Relations Commission Executive Secretary Edward Srednicki said. An "unfair labor practices" complaint, such as that filed against the Danvers firefighters, is far more common. About 600 of those are filed yearly Srednicki said.

Though the complaints facing the unions are different, the accused have at least one thing in common: Both unions' leaders accuse the town of filing complaints to intimidate them during tough negotiations.

"It's quite evident the town is using this as leverage in bargaining," firefighters union President Brian Barry said yesterday. "It's evident because they are willing to drop the suit if we settle the contract."

Firefighters hadn't even heard a complaint about their alleged case of "blue flu" until a town attorney "threatened" them with a complaint during contract talks in the spring, Barry said.

Town Manager Wayne Marquis denied having filed complaints in order to pressure the unions. Questioned shortly before he had to meet with selectmen yesterday, Marquis said he believed the town had filed, at most, four complaints with the Labor Relations Commission in the past decade.

"Of course, it's not a usual measure because it is unusual to have a situation where we believe an employee union had taken action which violates a contract and/or state law," Marquis said.

Day off sparks conflict

Of the seven town unions, only firefighters had a contract extending through fiscal 2004. Those covering police, secretaries, laborers and other town employees expired a year early. All but one are still being negotiated.

According to the town's complaint against firefighters, the town saw a $1.2 million nosedive in state aid for fiscal 2004, and so asked all unions to accept no pay raise for fiscal 2004.

The firefighters, however, had negotiated before the town's financial mess was on the horizon, and had a 3 percent raise lined up for the year.

Town management asked firefighters to delay their raise by six months, beginning in January, Marquis stated in an affidavit. Marquis added that the union declined, "apparently unconcerned" about the town's dire financial outlook.

In an effort to compensate employees who wouldn't get a raise, Marquis said, he decided to give all employees except firefighters a day off on Dec. 26, 2003.

Firefighters quickly protested. Being left out of the holiday was "viewed as reflecting disparate, discriminatory, treatment in the most negative sense," union lawyer David Wagner wrote Marquis. Barry and Fire Captain Conrad vowed to "strike back," according to the affidavit of Fire Chief James Tutko.

On Jan. 11, both Tutko and his deputy chief left for a weeklong training class out of town. During that week between three and six firefighters called out sick on every night shift.

Barry denied the firefighters had organized a protest. He also contradicted Marquis' assertion the union flatly refused to wait for its raise.

The town manager had asked for a three-month delay in the raise, not six, Barry said. The union offered six months - if the manager would change the schedule and put the union on 24-hour shifts, rather than the current 10- to 14-hour shifts. The full-day shifts reduce stress, and sick days and would save the town money, he said.

"They turned down our offer," Barry said.

Posted Wed 10 Nov, 2004 11:28:

Labor board rules in favor of Danvers police union
By Michael Puffer
Staff writer

DANVERS - The police union scored a victory yesterday over town management and top police brass who accused officers of failing to write traffic fines in order to drive down town revenue and gain leverage in dragging contract negotiations.

After two days of hearings, the Massachusetts Labor Relations Commission decided yesterday the town failed to prove charges the union had engaged in an illegal strike.

"We find that the conduct alleged here has not been shown to be unlawful," according to the conclusion of the 22-page decision released yesterday.

Union officials deny they are trying to influence contract negotiations by lowering ticket revenue.

Neither side argued the number of tickets issued during traffic stops plummeted as contract talks grew ugly late last year - down from 2,604 in 2003 to 256 through September of this year.

But whatever the reason for the drop, the town couldn't prove police are required to write a specific number of fines, the three-member state commission wrote. Because of this, the town cannot argue police are illegally refusing to perform assigned duties, the commission concluded.

Specifically, the commission focused on the fact the Danvers police manual allows individual officers to decide whether a ticket is warranted at each traffic stop.

Union officials have said while traffic fines may be down, other police activities - notably arrests - have increased, proving union members continue to do their jobs.

"The 44 members of the Danvers Police Benevolent Association want the 27,000 residents of this community to know that our main objective is to maintain order, solve crimes, and keep this community as safe as possible," Police union president Dana "Mike" Hagan said.

Future charges?

In its complaint, the town had asked the state commission to order the 44-strong union to go back to writing tickets as usual and repay $173,388 the town estimates it lost in ticket fines this year.

Hagan has repeatedly denied the town's charges. After yesterday's ruling, he again accused town leadership of trying to pressure the union with the complaint. He also lashed out at Town Manager Wayne Marquis for depending on fines as a source of funding.

"With taxes soaring and a free cash account of over $6 million, it is very clear that Town Manager Wayne Marquis wants to use this police department as a revenue-driven operation and use traffic citations as a secondary tax to the citizens of Danvers," Hagan said.

Marquis, who received the state's decision late yesterday, was able to offer little on the town's response to the ruling. Like the union leadership, he also needed a chance to speak with his legal team.

"I'd first say that I'm disappointed that the commission didn't agree with our position," Marquis said.

Hagan also criticized the Board of Selectmen for not taking a more active role in the case. Only one member, Keith Lucy, attended the commission's hearings last week, he said. He also lauded Town Meeting member Wilbur Cobb, the only other elected town official to attend.

The union is also considering filing charges against town management in the wake of the hearings. Hagan complained the town's use of union e-mails plucked from the town's computers to help make its case was "immoral and unethical." He was also bitter about the fact the town included union officials' home addresses in its original complaint filing - putting the information into public record where anyone with a grudge could access it.

Either complaint could be the basis for legal action, he said.

"We are consulting with our attorney regarding possible criminal and civil action against the town management," Hagan said. He was unable to outline the sanctions he would seek against town management. Union officials first need to meet with their attorney, he said.

Both town and union legal representatives quickly agreed to remove police officers' addresses from the public record during the first day of hearings last week.

Yesterday's ruling may have dismissed the town's charge of a strike, but it still doesn't account for the rapid decline in fines issued by police, Marquis said.

While it's true the police department doesn't have quotas for traffic tickets, that "doesn't explain why we've had an 80 percent-plus reduction in the number of complaint citations," Marquis said.

So are quotas coming?

Marquis would only say "we review and update the department's policies on an ongoing basis and will continue to do so."
 
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