Posts tagged "1006417"

Perullo v. Advisory Committee on Personnel Standards (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-064-17)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-12095   RENEE PERULLO  vs.  ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON PERSONNEL STANDARDS.       Suffolk.     January 9, 2017. – April 24, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Botsford, Lenk, Hines, Lowy, & Budd, JJ.[1]     Public Employment, Removal.  Trial Court.  District Court.  Due Process of Law, Employment, Termination of employment.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on January 12, 2015.   The case was heard by Elizabeth M. Fahey, J., on motions for judgment on the pleadings.   The Supreme Judicial Court granted an application for direct appellate review.     John F. Tocci (Cary P. Gianoulis also present) for the plaintiff. Suleyken D. Walker, Assistant Attorney General, for the defendant.     BOTSFORD, J.  In 2014, the clerk-magistrate of the Salem Division of the District Court Department (Salem District Court) removed the plaintiff, Renee Perullo, from her position as an assistant clerk-magistrate of that court.  Perullo’s removal followed a lengthy series of disciplinary reprimands and suspensions for misconduct that included abuse of leave time and other inappropriate behavior.  Perullo brought this action in the nature of certiorari in the Superior Court to challenge her removal, and contends that the decision to remove her exceeded the statutory authority of the clerk-magistrate, in any event was arbitrary or capricious, and also violated her constitutional guarantee of due process.  In ruling on cross motions for judgment on the pleadings, a Superior Court judge rejected Perullo’s contentions and upheld the removal decision.  Given Perullo’s history of misconduct, we agree that it was appropriate for the clerk-magistrate to factor in the whole of Perullo’s disciplinary record in deciding that removal was the appropriate level of discipline.  We affirm the judgment of the Superior Court. Background.[2]  Perullo began her employment with the Commonwealth’s trial court system in 1989.  At the time of her removal in June, 2014, Perullo served as an assistant clerk-magistrate of the Salem District Court.  According to § 2.000 of the Massachusetts Trial Court Personnel Policies and Procedures Manual (Jan. 7, 2013) (Manual), an assistant clerk is a “managerial employee.” Perullo maintained a clean disciplinary record until 2006.  Thereafter, she was disciplined numerous times by various District Court clerks.  As detailed below, Perullo’s disciplinary infractions generally fell into two categories — excessive absenteeism and inappropriate behavior. In February, 2006, Perullo agreed to a ten-day suspension without pay due to […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 24, 2017 at 4:59 pm

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