EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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December 26, 2012

Solomon says city owes him $200K

(Continued)

All together, the $31,500 salary and benefit gap, $60,479 in back pay and interest payments of $7,200 and $99,000 total $198,179.

Solomon said the city is using the money “as leverage for the federal case.” But the chief said he is owed the money regardless of the outcome of the suit. He also said the grand total increases by $900 every week he is not reimbursed.

Zanni and City Solicitor Peter McQuillan declined comment for this story.

“I don’t think now is the time to talk about what he thinks he’s owed,” said Zanni. “That’s something to be determined down the road.”

‘Reality is setting in’

Solomon said he may consider filing a request for a court order requiring the city to pay him, or seek a contempt of court charge.

“There’s options for us,” said Solomon. “I think I’ve been overly patient, considering this goes back to 2007.”

Solomon said he is also no longer willing to lump the $198,179 he believes he’s owed into future settlement talks, since the city has continued to pursue legal appeals on his cases over the last year.

Solomon described Zanni’s last settlement offer, which came in late October, as “too low, like not even in the ballpark.” Both sides have repeatedly refused to disclose the cost associated with the settlement offers.

Several city councilors also said they’ve yet to be briefed on the potential cost of settling with the chief.

“The mayor hasn’t told us,” said Councilor Sean Fountain. “We haven’t heard any dollar figures.”

In firing Solomon, Manzi claimed the chief verbally abused officers, misspent federal grant money and broke state law by using taxpayer money to buy marine equipment from his sister and brother-in-law.

Solomon’s federal lawsuit says Manzi fired him for “exercising protected activity under the First Amendment,” such as appealing a suspension, suing the city and participating in a federal investigation of Manzi.

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