EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 26, 2012

Solomon submits settlement proposal to mayor

By Brian Messenger

METHUEN — Settlement negotiations continue between the city and police Chief Joseph Solomon, with the chief offering a counter proposal this week to Mayor Stephen Zanni.

Solomon's settlement offer is in response to Zanni's April 2 proposal.

"I'll be sitting down with him," Zanni said. "Hopefully we can come to some kind of agreement."

Solomon yesterday confirmed he submitted a settlement proposal Monday but declined to comment further.

Zanni would not reveal the amount of money Solomon would be paid under either of the proposals. If a deal is reached, the settlement is expected to end three court cases: the city's appeal of the state Civil Service Commission decision that cleared Solomon's return as chief; Solomon's federal suit against the city that seeks to ensure he keeps his job; and a Superior Court case in which Solomon was recently awarded $49,000 in lost wages after he was fired in 2008.

Solomon returned as chief in October 2010 when the Civil Service Commission reduced his termination to a year-long suspension.

If the sides can't come to terms, Zanni has said the city will pursue the cases in court. Zanni said he expects settlement negotiations with Solomon will conclude this spring.

"I'm going to look at his proposal and see where we're at," said Zanni. "And see if we can reach a happy medium."

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