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Flawed cop hire costly to Brockton

By Maureen Boyle, Enterprise staff writer

BROCKTON — The city spent nearly $22,000 to train and pay a park police officer city officials later admitted was improperly hired, then spent more than $3,000 to lay him off before he ever hit the streets.

Jason Persampieri, who was hired as a park police officer Dec. 2, was paid for accrued vacation and holiday pay as well as two weeks severance pay when he was formally laid off June 30. While he was getting paid, Persampieri was never formally sworn in as a park police officer and never went out on patrol.

He was given $1,301 for two weeks vacation, $813.13 in holiday pay and $1,301 in severance pay, said Maureen Cruise, the city's personnel director.

Those costs are in addition to the $2,300 the city spent to train Persampieri at a 22-week police academy and the $19,658.90 spent to pay him since December.

The holiday and accrued vacation pay are items spelled out in the union contract, Cruise said. The city's past practice has been to pay severance to employees laid off on short notice, such as the case with Persampieri, she said.

Before he was laid off, Persampieri was assigned to the front desk at the police station while officials tried to correct his status as a park officer.

Mayor John T. Yunits Jr. said he does not consider the money spent on Persampieri wasted and expects the city will hire him for another law enforcement slot in the future.

"If a position does open up on the school police or something like that, we will recoup a lot of that money because we won't have to train him," Yunits said. "He wants nothing more than to work for the city of Brockton. We can just move him right into the job, so it won't be money wasted."

Officials admitted earlier this year that Persampieri, the son of longtime Detective Dominic Persampieri, was improperly hired as a park police officer by the mayor and police chief. The job was not opened to other candidates, as required by union contract, and the hiring was not approved by the Park Commission.

The city admitted it did not post the position for park police officer or first open the job to members of the Brockton City Employees Union, which includes police dispatchers and animal control officers, as required by contract.

Persampieri was not a member of the union when he was hired.

City officials admitted, after the union filed a grievance, that Persampieri should not have been hired for the $33,826-a-year job, but still kept him on the payroll.

The park police job is covered by the Brockton City Employees Union, not the police officers union. Technically, a park police officer is not a Brockton patrolman, although the individual would have arrest powers in city parks.

"We made a mistake in not knowing it was a union position that had to be posted," Yunits said. "Obviously, it will be done differently next time around."

After the City Council cut the position June 23, citing budget issues, Persampieri used up his accrued sick time, returning to work for just part of one day until he was formally laid off.

Under the union contract, employees accumulate 11/4 sick days a month.

The City Council last month unanimously removed $81,852 from the city budget to pay for two park police positions.

The park police position is paid through the Police Department's budget, and the person is sworn as a special police officer by the police chief. However, the Park Commission supervises the individual.

The last person to hold the job was Charles Studenski, the police chief's brother, who was forced to retire Dec. 22, 2002, after being on disability since Jan. 17, 2000.

Mayor John T. Yunits Jr. earlier said he sent Persampieri to both Park Commissioner John Dorgan and Police Chief Paul Studenski to be interviewed for the sole park police officer slot with a recommendation that he be hired.

Won't let it die will you? When your neck is on the line, and it will be some day, I'll be the first to shout it from the rooftops
I have extensive contacts within the LE community here in Mass and I will be there when you fall flat on your face. It won't be pretty, it'll be PRETTY FUNNY :lol: :lol: :lol:
Keep it up kid, it just shows how much of an immature jerk you really are.
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