Springfield City Council votes to override civilian police commission veto

Police Commissioner Barbieri would be removed from all disciplinary duties

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield City Council voted 9 to 3, Monday night, to override Mayor Domenic Sarno’s veto of creating a civilian police commission.

On December 6th, the City Council initially voted in favor of bringing back a five member civilian police commission and a civil service chief. Mayor Sarno vetoed that vote.

However, Monday night’s override means Police Commissioner John Barbieri would be removed from all disciplinary duties when his contract ends in 2019.

City Council President Mike Fenton told 22News, “Just because he has the right to veto it doesn’t mean that it can’t become the law. To pass the ordinance only requires seven votes. To veto it requires 9.”

The question now is will Mayor Sarno follow the order of the law? City Councilor Tim Rooke said if he doesn’t, the council doesn’t have the funds to take him to court.

“The City Council has no legal budget, so we can’t take it to the courts to force the mayor to do something. It comes down to a cat and mouse game. We may win the battle but we don’t win the war,” said Rooke.

22News called the Mayor’s office but is still waiting for a response on Monday’s City Council vote.

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