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MCAD probes 2 complaints by lieutenant
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
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SOUTHWICK - A Southwick police lieutenant has filed two complaints with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, one of which states he was bypassed for promotion to police chief because of his age and the chosen candidate's friendship with a selectman.

In his first complaint, filed June 29, 2004, David A. Ricardi, then 53 and one of three finalists for police chief, cited the Board of Selectmen's vote to hire 37-year-old John Mazza for the position June 7, 2004.

"I believe the Board of Selectman chose Mazza for the position of chief, rather than choosing me because he has a friendship with Selectman Frederick B. Arnold and because he is a younger man," Ricardi stated in his complaint.

Arnold could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Mazza declined the position July 9, 2004, and the following day, selectmen offered the position to Mark J. Krynicki, age 47.

In his second complaint, filed with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination Aug. 23, 2004, Ricardi stated he believes he was bypassed a second time for the department's top slot because of his original complaint.

"I believe the Town of Southwick is discriminating against me on the basis of retaliation for seeking remedy for age discrimination at the MCAD," Ricardi stated.

Ricardi could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Chief Administrative Officer Karl J. Stinehart declined comment. "I really can't comment on any issue involving personnel," he said.

Ricardi worked as a patrol officer with the Enfield Police Department 1982-1987 and has been with the Southwick Police Department since 1988, according to the complaint.

Ricardi was promoted to chief investigator in 1990, detective sergeant in 2000 and lieutenant in 2004, the complaint states.

Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination officials said yesterday the case remains under investigation.
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