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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
By Brian Fraga
Standard-Times staff writer
September 27, 2008 6:00 AM

NEW BEDFORD - A city police officer has filed a federal lawsuit against the mayor and police chief alleging they refused to pay overtime wages owed to a group of officers while they were in the police academy.
The civil lawsuit was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Boston. It lists as plaintiffs Officer Robert DaCunha, who was hired by the Police Department in August 2006, and "others similarly situated."
Police Chief Ronald E. Teachman, Mayor Scott W. Lang and the city are named as defendants.
Officer DaCunha and the unnamed plaintiffs say they are owed 50 hours of overtime wages denied them while they were going through academy training in 2006.
According to court records, the plaintiffs have previously sought to address their grievances through counsel. On Aug. 25, the city denied their formal requests for overtime compensation.
Mayor Lang said Friday he had not seen the lawsuit and would reserve comment until he reviewed it.
"Clearly the solicitor's office will be handling it," the mayor said.
New Bedford police spokesman Lt. Jeffrey P. Silva said official police comment will be deferred to court documents.
"The city's legal department will respond to this like it does in regards to any other legal issue," Lt. Silva said.
Sheila McCravy, the plaintiffs' attorney, did not return a call Friday seeking comment.
The plaintiffs are seeking restitution under the federal Fair Standards Labor Act. They say Chief Teachman had the authority to direct that they be paid for overtime but that he failed to "put an end to unlawful wage practices," court records said.
Mayor Lang is cited in the lawsuit for controlling the plaintiffs' compensation and precluding them from receiving payment for overtime and other wages owed them, court records said.
According to court documents, the Police Department hired the plaintiffs on Aug. 26, 2006, as student police officers. They were subsequently assigned mandatory training at the police academy in Plymouth, where they were required to report five days a week. At the academy, the plaintiffs worked from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Every Thursday, after eight hours of training, the plaintiffs say they were required to report to police headquarters on Rockdale Avenue and pick up their paychecks.
Once at headquarters, however, the plaintiffs say they were ordered by a training officer to do additional calisthenics and marching drills, court records said.
The plaintiffs say the training officer, identified in court documents as Lt. Mike Jesus, often ordered them to perform those tasks in the rain. Lt. Jesus allegedly threatened to withhold the recruits' paychecks unless they accomplished their tasks to his satisfaction.
The plaintiffs allege Chief Teachman was "fully aware" of how Lt. Jesus was treating them but did nothing.
The civil complaint filed in court charges the defendants violated federal law by "failing and refusing in a willful and intentional manner" to pay the plaintiffs all overtime compensation due them.
"The violations have been longstanding, continuous and intentional," court records said.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs are requesting the court order that the defendants compile a complete accounting of all overtime worked and corresponding payments due to each plaintiff, as well as to award them reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred.
No court dates have been scheduled.

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080927/NEWS/809270343
 

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I doubt this lawsuit is about being paid overtime $$$.....

"Every Thursday, after eight hours of training, the plaintiffs say they were required to report to police headquarters on Rockdale Avenue and pick up their paychecks. Once at headquarters, however, the plaintiffs say they were ordered by a training officer to do additional calisthenics and marching drills, court records said. The plaintiffs say the training officer, identified in court documents as Lt. Mike Jesus, often ordered them to perform those tasks in the rain. Lt. Jesus allegedly threatened to withhold the recruits' paychecks unless they accomplished their tasks to his satisfaction. The plaintiffs allege Chief Teachman was "fully aware" of how Lt. Jesus was treating them but did nothing.'
The civil complaint filed in court charges the defendants violated federal law by "failing and refusing in a willful and intentional manner" to pay the plaintiffs all overtime compensation due them.
 

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Hahaha Lt. Jesus!
 
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I'm not sure about this one. It sounds like "Lt Jesus" is an a-hole and they want to get a piece of him.

Wow...Lt Jesus. You just can't make that stuff up.
If getting fucked with and hazed outside of "duty hours" constitutes overtime, then everyone who went to the police academy pre-neutering is owed a fortune ex post facto.
 

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I'm pretty sure the recruits at the SPA are not payed for 16 hours of work per day. I think it is safe to assume the same for the Municipal officers who attended the live in academies such as Weymouth.
 

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Back in June there was a story in the Standard Times about five recruits from New Bedford who were let go mid academy because the city was broke. I bet they'd have done pushups in the rain to keep their jobs.
 
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Back in June there was a story in the Standard Times about five recruits from New Bedford who were let go mid academy because the city was broke. I bet they'd have done pushups in the rain to keep their jobs.
That's just it; if you feel so wronged and so violated, have the balls to file the lawsuit immediately after the incident. Otherwise, STFU and be glad you have a job.

It's a long game (32 years), and there will be plenty of opportunities for retribution against Lt. Jesus down the road. As the French like to say, revenge is a dish best served cold.
 

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Very short sighted on their part. They'll get boned out of way more than 50 hrs. pay over the course of their careers for pulling this...just watch

"Lt., can I go to training next month?"......DENIED
"Lt., can I cut out a half our early to catch my kid's ball game?" Sure...put in a slip for personal time
"Lt., request permission to hang over a couple of hours to wrap up this invest." DENIED!

It's a long game, best to learn the rules early!
 

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As the French like to say, revenge is a dish best served cold.
I thought the Klingons said that.

The old saying I heard was "Do you want to buy a French rifle, never been fired and only dropped once!"
 

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Very short sighted on their part. They'll get boned out of way more than 50 hrs. pay over the course of their careers for pulling this...just watch

"Lt., can I go to training next month?"......DENIED
"Lt., can I cut out a half our early to catch my kid's ball game?" Sure...put in a slip for personal time
"Lt., request permission to hang over a couple of hours to wrap up this invest." DENIED!

It's a long game, best to learn the rules early!
Chief,

You're not saying management would be vindictive and treat people differently because of personal issues...are you??:evil:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
City police lieutenant blames chief for denying officers' overtime

By Brian Fraga
Standard-Times staff writer
October 18, 2008 6:00 AM

NEW BEDFORD - A police lieutenant blames Police Chief Ronald E. Teachman for the situation that led a group of officers to file a recent federal lawsuit against the city seeking overtime wages.
The officers allege Lt. Michael Jesus made them do extra calisthenics and marching drills during off-duty hours while they were going through the police academy in 2006.
However, in an internal Police Department memo written shortly after the city denied the officers' overtime on Aug. 25, Lt. Jesus said he supported the plaintiffs' claim.
Lt. Jesus, who is currently out of work injured and could not be reached for comment, added in the memo that he refused to be the chief's "scapegoat" and said he was "sick of being thrown under the bus" when police officials needed a "fall guy."
"What was done was done with (the chief's) approval, as we all saw when he would stand outside and watch," Lt. Jesus wrote in the memo, a copy of which a police source supplied to The Standard-Times.
"If anyone thinks that I did not first ask the chief for his permission, well, they are dead wrong," Lt. Jesus wrote.
The plaintiffs allege Lt. Jesus, with the chief's approval, often ordered them to perform calisthenics in the rain and threatened to withhold their paychecks unless they accomplished the tasks to his satisfaction.
In the memo, Lt. Jesus told the officers he supported them and would testify on their behalf if necessary.
"I don't understand why this has gone this far other than the chief refuses to admit that he is wrong on anything," Lt. Jesus said. "He made the decision, approved it, and he has been shown he is wrong. So get over it and pay you guys already."
Chief Teachman declined to comment on contents of the memo because it refers to pending litigation and it is also department policy to not discuss internal communications.
New Bedford police spokesman Lt. Jeffrey P. Silva reiterated the chief's position.
"The use and particularly the dissemination of internal departmental memoranda are matters that are precluded from confirming or denying because they fall squarely within the parameters of internally investigated matters," Lt. Silva said.
It is not the first time controversy has surrounded Lt. Jesus. In 2000, the city settled a lawsuit with a Cape Verdean woman who said Lt. Jesus and two other police officers physically abused her and yelled racial epithets at her.
In the lawsuit filed last month, the plaintiffs say they are owed 50 hours of overtime wages and previously sought to address their grievances through counsel.
The officers are seeking restitution under the federal Fair Standards Labor Act. They claim Chief Teachman had the authority to direct they be paid for overtime but that he failed to "put an end to unlawful wage practices," court records said.
Mayor Scott W. Lang, who is also cited in the lawsuit, said the city's position is that the officers' claims were not covered under the Fair Standards Labor Act. He said he expects the city solicitor's office will file a written response in court.
"There is a legitimate dispute," the mayor said. "Nobody is trying to deny anybody any overtime. We'll take a close look at this."
The lawsuit charges the defendants violated federal law by "failing and refusing in a willful and intentional manner" to pay the plaintiffs all overtime compensation due them.

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081018/NEWS/810180337
 
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