SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Northampton criminal defense attorney has been hired by the city to prosecute disciplinary charges against Springfield police officers accused of beating four men outside a bar back in 2015.
Attorney Thomas Kokonowski was selected by Mayor Domenic Sarno to make the case for discipline in front of the Community Police Hearing Board. The board will hear from Kokonowski as well as lawyers for the officers and witnesses, during an executive session. Retired Judge Bertha Josephson has been hired to preside over that hearing.
The hearing will determine whether there is just cause for discipline against the officers.
According to a news release sent to 22News by Sarno’s office, Konokowski had fulfilled a similar role in disciplinary hearings for the former Board of Police Commissioners.
The April 2015 incident took place outside Nathan Bill’s bar on Island Pond Road. Herman Cumby, Jozelle Ligon, Jackie Ligon, and Michael Cintron say that they were attacked by a group of eight to 12 people, some of whom are believed to be off-duty Springfield police officers. Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni decided not to bring criminal charges in the case, though the matter of workplace discipline has yet to be resolved.