Springfield Mayor responds to civilian police commission override

The Springfield City Council overrode the Mayor’s veto Monday night

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno is calling the City Council’s vote “invalid”, after they voted to strip the police commissioner of disciplinary duties Monday night.

It’s been a long-running debate. On December 6th, the City Council voted in favor of eliminating the office of police commissioner, and bringing back a five member civilian police commission and a civil service chief.

Mayor Sarno vetoed that vote, which the City Council then overrode that veto. However, if the Mayor doesn’t want to comply, the council can’t force him.

“The mayor holds all the cards, and if he or she doesn’t want to do something, they don’t have to do it,” said Springfield City Councilor Tim Rooke. He added that the City Council doesn’t have a legal budget to take the issue to court.

22News obtained this statement from Mayor Sarno about the vote: “I’m acting in the best interest of our city. It is invalid and I have no further comment on this matter.”

If any changes are made in the city, it wouldn’t happen until Police Commissioner John Barbieri’s contract ends in 2019.

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