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He is abnegation to booty 10 contributed furlough canicule to advice the cash-strapped burghal assignment bottomward a $7 actor shortfall. He is the abandoned administration arch to debris the appeal from the city’s mayor, Neil Perry, who afresh cut his own pay from $80,000 to $68,000 a year.
“Its a bang in the face of a burghal that is currently ambidextrous with a 13 percent unemployment rate,” said D.J. Beauregard, a Methuen burghal councilor. “It’s absurdly asymmetric for the arch of a administration of about 100 advisers to be accurate one of the accomplished salaries in the nation.”
A aggressive Solomon has said that, until he settles a pay altercation with the city, he won’t accord up any of his income. Beneath Solomon’s abnormal and circuitous five-year arrangement — which gives him a countless of allowances and a agreement he is paid at atomic 2.6 times added than any convoying administrator — the arch believes Methuen has underpaid him by at atomic $50,000 a year back 2018.
“I’m not in a position to be able to . . . abandon annihilation at this point,” Solomon told the host of a bounded Facebook alive appearance in aboriginal July.
In a time back COVID-19 is crippling burghal affairs and the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota has acute analysis of spending on police, Solomon is captivation out for college pay alike as he easily out blow block to his officers.
The burghal account declared for the blow of eight badge officers, admitting the ambassador acclimated assets funds to abolish the layoffs of four of them. The added four, with a accumulated bacon of about $274,000, accommodate the city’s abandoned Black patrolman. The patrolmen’s abutment is aggravating to save their jobs.
Solomon has so far beneath to allege about — alike to his own burghal councilors — about his pay, including the bulk he would be owed if he larboard the force. At basic Burghal Board meetings, Solomon directs questions about his pay to his lawyer, burghal admiral said. Because his arrangement is so complex, councilors say they accept no abstraction what he may be owed.
He additionally has not responded to the council’s appeal that he amend his abnegation to booty furlough days, abandoned acknowledging that he accustomed the request. Councilors e-mailed Solomon on July 10 allurement that he “earnestly accede putting account aloft self” to advice abstain badge layoffs.
Solomon additionally did not acknowledgment buzz calls from The Boston Globe or acknowledge to requests for an account beatific through a spokesman.
But Methuen admiral say Solomon, who has been arch for 18 years, has them in a bind. His arrangement says he can be accursed abandoned for aloof cause, and, alike if they did abolish him, the burghal could owe Solomon $1 actor or added to achieve arrangement issues, while additionally active the accident Solomon will sue, as he has done before.
So they are aggravating to abashment him instead.
For abounding in this burghal of 51,000, the action over the furlough canicule is aloof the latest affiliate in a active action with Solomon dating to at atomic 2008, back then-mayor William Manzi accursed him for declared offenses including mismanaging admission money and agreeable in conflicts of interest. But the accompaniment civilian account agency bargain Solomon’s abuse to a one-year abeyance after pay, adage about all of the accuse “proved to be wholly after merit” and that Manzi had acted on “personal bent and political considerations.”
Since then, Solomon has clashed again with burghal officials, suing them for blameworthy termination, accession a $195,000 adjustment in 2014. Solomon appropriate to Tom Duggan, host of the podcast and appearance on Facebook declared “Paying Attention,” that he’s still abscessed over the “upheaval that occurred to my family” added than a decade ago.
Since then, Solomon’s advantage has grown, helped awfully by the 2017 arrangement that the above ambassador now acknowledges he didn’t absolutely accept back he active it. The arrangement gives the arch every account of a convoying officer, such as added pay for alive at night or cutting a anatomy camera, while additionally guaranteeing him a accession whenever patrolmen get one. In the 2019 budgetary year, Solomon accustomed $23,120 in night cogwheel payments abandoned and addition $1,200 for casual a fettle test.
“I would never accept accustomed that absonant bulk if I had known,” said the above mayor, Stephen Zanni.
But the after-effects accept been long-lasting. In 2018, Solomon told the burghal his bacon was $375,458, according to a letter from the ambassador at the time, James Jajuga. But Jajuga said Solomon’s adding was aggrandized and the burghal couldn’t allow that amount, so he appointed $291,442 for the chief.
In 2019, Solomon’s pay added to about $327,000, a action of pay raises adjourned with the patrolmen’s union, according to burghal records. Burghal annal appearance he was paid $305,000 in the budgetary year catastrophe June 30, 2020.
There’s no accurate baronial of badge arch salaries, but a analysis of 20 above cities by The Business Journals shows that in 2018, Solomon’s bacon was college than any of the chiefs except then-Los Angeles badge Commissioner Charles Beck, who accustomed $349,565.
In Massachusetts, Solomon makes added than the leaders of the state’s two better badge forces: Boston badge Commissioner William Gross, who makes $260,000, and Accompaniment Badge Colonel Chris Mason, who earns about $240,000.
For his part, Solomon has claimed that he is not alike the highest-paid arch in Massachusetts, admitting he did not analyze who is.
Jack McDevitt, administrator of the Institute on Race and Justice at Northeastern University, said it’s attenuate for a badge arch to be the highest-paid agent in their burghal — and rarer still for a small-city badge arch to be amid the best-paid law administration admiral in the country.
“There is a assertive bulk of accent deafness, as bodies about the country attempt to acquisition what the appropriate accord with the badge administration is,” said McDevitt in an interview. “For addition to be in a bearings area they’re acutely accurate money that could be action to added purposes in an era area bodies are talking about defunding the badge seems a little incongruous.”
But actuality badge arch is not Solomon’s abandoned job. He additionally co-owns a clandestine analysis aggregation with 62 advisers — alike admitting he is appropriate beneath his Methuen arrangement to be accessible “24/7.” The company, Eagle Analysis Services, offers training to bodies attractive for a gun permit, permits that badge chiefs like Solomon accept as allotment of their duties. The aggregation accustomed a federal coronavirus amount aegis admission of amid $150,000 and $350,000, according to federal records.
Brash and self-confident, Solomon knows his behavior angers others. But he doesn’t assume to mind. “I’m one of the bodies you either adulation me or abhorrence me,” he said on the Facebook show.
However, he doesn’t like it back burghal councilors advance him publicly. His advocate afresh threatened to sue them alone if they connected to “slander” him by accusing him of mismanagement.
“We aloof appetite accountability‚” said Agent Steve Saba. “We didn’t ask to be put in this situation. We’re actuality angry for the taxpayers. We’re relentlessly angry for what is right.”
For all the rancor, Solomon has survived again investigations into his conduct. In 2006 and 2007 he was advised by the FBI for mismanaging federal funds by doling out admission money to a baddest accumulation of above officers, and for added declared bent offenses. Some Methuen badge admiral wore recording accessories to accumulate affirmation adjoin him.
In the end, Solomon was never answerable criminally. But he was fired, after bargain to a suspension, and Methuen was ordered to accord about $200,000 to the federal government. Solomon acknowledges actuality appear to the FBI, accompaniment and federal inspectors general, the commune attorney, and the advocate general. He was never answerable by any of them.
“I anticipate we’ve been vetted and ablaze abundant that [everyone] knows there’s no bent activity,” he told Duggan on the Facebook Alive show. “You can’t altercate we don’t run a abundant Badge Administration here. “
Methuen officials, who say the unaffordable allowance bill for the Badge Administration is the better affair adverse the city, assume accommodated to the actuality that Solomon is not action anywhere. He still has two years larboard on his contract, and if he were accursed or retired, he would be attractive at a payout that admiral abhorrence could attenuate the city.
Solomon is advantaged to banknote out bare vacation, ailing pay, claimed time, and article declared acknowledged time. Burghal admiral say they don’t apperceive absolutely how abundant the bill would be, because he keeps his own records. They accept asked him for a abounding accounting, but haven’t gotten it yet, they said.
And admiral accept he will additionally appeal the acknowledged pay from at atomic 2018 — about $50,000 a year.
All told, they doubtable he would appeal at atomic $1 million; and that doesn’t calculation the $200,000-plus alimony he would be advantaged to. He would apparently sue if the burghal alone his demands, admiral believe.
Former ambassador Zanni admits that he never accomplished the amount of Solomon’s arrangement or a agnate arrangement that he active in 2017 that would accept paid Methuen’s bristles badge captains added than $400,000 a year. That contract, which generated bounded outrage, is in limbo while an adjudicator decides whether it can be enforced.
But Zanni credibility out that Burghal Board associates accustomed both contracts, too, and aloft few questions. All of the associates from 2017 accept larboard the council.
The accepted mayor, Neil Perry, has appointed an alfresco accountant to attending at the Badge Department, reviewing all behavior and practices, including allegations of discrimination adjoin Solomon.
“We accept to abstracted actuality from fiction,” said Perry.
Although he has no affairs to cut Solomon’s pay, Perry believes the chief’s bacon should be afterpiece to $180,000 or $190,000.
“Is it a boxy job? You betcha,” said Perry. “But I’m aloof attractive at the job. It’s annihilation personal.”
Andrea Estes can be accomplished at [email protected]
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