Superior Court Overturns Civil Service Commission Bypass Appeal

On January 4, 2010 in Boston Police Department v. David Suppa civil action #08-5237 a Judge of the Suffolk Superior court rules that the Civil service commission had ruled in error when it reversed the bypass of David Suppa for original appointment to the position of Police Officer for the city of Boston.

Suppa had been bypassed for an incident that occurred in November of 2000 that involved his being charged with assault by mean of a dangerous weapon and assault with intent to maim, both felonies. As a result of the charges he admitted to sufficient facts and the case was continued without a finding. He left for active duty military deployment thereafter. In 2007, his name appeared in the certification list for the position of Boston police officer and as a result of the admission of sufficient facts relating to the felonies he was passed over for the position. An appeal of such decision followed.

After hearings on the matter, the Civil Service commission found that he had been improperly bypassed. In reviewing the facts, the commissioner stated that it was his belief that Suppa had admitted to sufficient facts due to his pending military deployment and that his attorney had assured him that the issue would not be a problem for him in his future attempts to gain employment as a police officer. There was also some issue over whether he had acted to aid a friend during the fight in question.

In ruling to overturn Civil service, the court cited G.L. 41 46a which states in part “no person who has been convicted of any felony shall be appointed as a police officer of a city, town or district” see City of Boston v. Boston Police Patrolmans ass’n 443 mass 813, 821 (2005). And that an admission to sufficicient facts is the equivelant of a guilty plea Comm. v. Greene 400 mass 144, 145-146 (1987).

Essentially, he got bad legal advice when he asked the question of whether the plea entry would negatively impact his chances at becoming a police officer. Another of countless examples of the fact that all Attorneys’ are not created equal.

Attorney Ronald A. Sellon

About Attorney Ronald A. Sellon

Ronald A. Sellon is a licensed Attorney in the state of Massachusetts and U.S. District Court, Massachusetts as well as a Sergeant with a Municipal Police Department and U.S. military Veteran. Additionally, he has taught Criminal Procedure at the Massachusetts State Police Academy in New Braintree and has written a text on Criminal Procedure for police field training officer programs. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, was a 2008 recipient of the Massachusetts Coalition of Police (Mass C.O.P.) Presidents award and holds a Bachelors Degree in Law Enforcement, a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice Administration, and a Juris Doctor Law Degree. Questions related to content material may be directed to
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