Posts tagged "1005616"

DiMasi v. State Board of Retirement, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-056-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030;   SJC-11971   SALVATORE F. DiMASI  vs.  STATE BOARD OF RETIREMENT & others.[1]     Suffolk.     February 9, 2016. – April 21, 2016.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Duffly, Lenk, & Hines, JJ.     Public Employment, Forfeiture of retirement benefits.  Retirement.  State Board of Retirement.  Contribution. Words, “Final conviction.”       Civil action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on June 16, 2014.   The case was reported by Cordy, J.     Thomas R. Kiley for the plaintiff. David R. Marks, Assistant Attorney General, for the defendants.          SPINA, J.  After the plaintiff, Salvatore F. DiMasi, was convicted of several violations of Federal law, the State Board of Retirement (board) unanimously approved the forfeiture of his retirement allowance in accordance with G. L. c. 32, § 15 (4), and a judge in the Boston Municipal Court Department affirmed the board’s decision.  DiMasi filed a complaint for relief in the nature of certiorari pursuant to G. L. c. 249, § 4, in the Supreme Judicial Court for Suffolk County.  A single justice reserved and reported the case for determination by the full court.  DiMasi contends that a “final conviction” of a criminal offense for purposes of § 15 (4) occurs at the conclusion of the appellate process, not when a sentence is imposed.  He further contends that the board improperly has withheld his accumulated total deductions since September, 2011.  For the reasons that follow, we conclude that, in the context of pension forfeiture, a “final conviction” occurs when an individual is sentenced.  We further conclude that DiMasi is entitled to the return of his accumulated total deductions, together with interest on such deductions from September, 2011, until such time as payment is made. 1.  Statutory framework.  The provisions of G. L. c. 32, § 15, “pertain to dereliction of duty by a member of the contributory retirement system for public employees (member).”  See State Bd. of Retirement v. Bulger, 446 Mass. 169, 170 (2006) (Bulger).  General Laws c. 32, § 15 (4), states as follows: “In no event shall any member after final conviction of a criminal offense involving violation of the laws applicable to his office or position, be entitled to receive a retirement allowance under the provisions of [§§ 1-28], inclusive, nor shall any beneficiary be entitled to receive any benefits […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 21, 2016 at 7:02 pm

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