Sacco also argued that Flaherty losing his pension is “a collateral consequence for the offense” and not a fine.
“A pension is a benefit that requires honorable service (to receive),” he said.
Sacco noted there is no Supreme Judicial Court case law on whether the revocation of a pension is a fine. He speculated that could form the basis of an appeal to the high court. Sacco said the Flaherty ruling is also the first time the court has ordered someone to repay a portion of a pension already collected, which could also be grounds for further appeal, he said.
Following his trial in the summer of 2009, Flaherty was sentenced to six months in Middleton Jail and three and a half years of probation. He ultimately served less than three months of the jail sentence confined to his Haverhill home and his probationary period ended this week. Flaherty’s probation was terminated and he was discharged from further supervision by the court following a hearing Wednesday at Lawrence Superior Court.