Selectmen accept Chief Moran’s “well deserved” retirement

At last night’s Board of Selectmen meeting, the board accepted Southborough Police Chief Jane Moran’s notice of retirement. Each Selectman praised Chief Moran for her long service to the town. They also thanked her for the long notice.

Bill Boland noted that hopefully they will be able to hire a new chief before Moran’s retirement at the end of October.

Selectmen were effusive in their praise of the chief. Each gave a sincere speech about their great experience working with her.

Boland wished here a successful, well deserved retirement. Dan Kolenda praised her as clearly having  put her heart and soul into the position.

John Rooney thanked Moran personally for helping him when he took office. He said that she really has her finger on the pulse of the town. He indicated that Moran has left the department a better place than when she started.

Town administrator Mark Purple had a similar thank you. He told Moran that everyone across the town departments and under her command has great respect for her.

Chief Moran thanked the Board for both giving her the opportunity. “What a way to end a career – what a journey.” She praised the Selectmen for their strong leadership when they worked together.

Moran also said she was proud of what she and other Department Heads and committees had accomplished, working shoulder to shoulder.

She assured the Selectman that her department is in good shape and going to be able to serve Southborough well.  She is looking forward to her retirement, noting that her “bucket list is full.”

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Mike FUce
9 years ago

Yes I agree, Jane left the police department in very good shape. She is always responsive, balanced and respectful of everyone. Hard shoes to fill. Thank you Chief.

Taylor
9 years ago

These are the FACTS, She wanted another contract, the town wouldn’t give it to her, yet she is worthy of all this praise. This process started a year ago after the chief was given a 1 year extension, not a 3 year contract like most other department heads. Also, Mr. Rooney stepped off the committee to hire her because he didn’t feel they were going through the correct channels in hiring her and not using the process that the residents paid 10,000 to conduct. And, Boland did not vote for her. At least Rooney had the “integrity” to state the townspeople has nothing but good to say about her…because he couldn’t say it himself. Too bad he didn’t have the integrity to say what was actually going on in the police department.

It will continue to come out and the first step was having her resign but doing it full of praise will come back to them as the evidence continues to leak out. Eventually all of the horses will be out of the proverbial barn.

Additionally, Crime was never as high in Southborough as it was under her. The only sex offender in town was living next to a preschool for 2 YEARS!

If those under he leadership had such high regard for her, why was the turnover rate SO high. We lost four great officers, two to other departments, because of her LACK of leadership.

Have the courage to tell the truth…when it is all out there, I hope the townspeople remember who stood up there and painted over the blunders with false praise.

Resident
9 years ago

Further to Taylor’s point, I watched the meeting last night on the tv and noted how both Kolenda and Boland thanked the Chief again and again for giving the town long notice. If you look at her contract, the town was required to tell her 6 months prior to November. The town obviously told her no, as the MWDN reports there were many executive sessions with the Chief and the board has refused to comment on those meetings. They shouldn’t have been thanking her for giving them notice when it was them who gave her notice. Come on fellas, you are digging a deeper hole with not being truthful.

Sal Giorlandino
9 years ago

I was a member of the Board of Selectmen in November 2009 when Chief Moran was appointed Police Chief after she had served as Interim Chief for a year following the death of Police Chief Bill Webber from cancer. Although Selectman Bill Boland initially supported another candidate for the position, the final vote to appoint Chief Moran was unanimous. The other Selectman who voted for Chief Moran was former Selectman Bonnie Phaneuf.

I voted to appoint Chief Moran as Police Chief because she earned the job. She had performed admirably as Interim Chief during the preceding year; she had the support of several of Police Chiefs in neighboring communities who had worked with her; many members of the Southborough Police Department and the Southborough community supported her; and she had helped bring the Police Department and the Town into the modern age by exposing the evils of sex discrimination and sexual harassment, when, early in her career in the 1980’s, she put her career on the line to defend former Police dispatcher Katherine Baldelli. Boston Globe Columnist Adrian Walker described Chief Moran’s courageous role in that case in his November 24, 2009 column “Her Badge of Courage” reporting her appointment as Southborough Police Chief. This is what he said:

Jane Moran was a young police officer in Southborough, just arriving for her 8 a.m.
shift, when she heard the screams.

She recalls following the sound and discovered it was coming from the squad
room. There she discovered a police dispatcher, Katherine Baldelli, crying and
cowering as a group of male officers fired pencils, rulers, and staplers at her. It
was the latest episode in what had become their habit of harassing her.

“They were using her for target practice,’’ Moran said.

That was the day Moran, who had just become the department’s first full-time
officer, went to the chief. “I told him if he didn’t do something to stop the
harassment, I would[.]’’ . . .

Last week Moran became the chief of police in Southborough, a department that
barely tolerated the presence of women when she joined in 1984.

Having a female police chief of a tiny Central Massachusetts town might not
sound like a big deal in 2009; . . . [b]ut it is significant in Southborough, where
the memories of the long-running Baldelli case remain fresh. It is a measure of
how far the community has come. . . .

Baldelli eventually filed a complaint with the state’s Commission Against
Discrimination. In 1995, she won what was then the highest award in the
agency’s history, $250,000. The town fought the award for a decade, losing at
every step.

In his decision, the agency’s chairman, Michael Duffy, noted that Baldelli had
been called a “whore’’ and a “slut,’’ among other things. “Women have a right to
work in a workplace free of vulgar hostile language and taunts,’’ Duffy wrote.

Moran’s principal role in the suit was to provide information about how Baldelli
had been harassed, including how officers used crude comments and pictures of
women’s body parts to demean her. “It was passed off as a joke, but I didn’t
think it was funny at all,’’ Moran said.

While Baldelli was fighting the department and town and winning, the
atmosphere became much chillier for her supporters in the department.

Moran began to find herself passed over for promotions and frozen out of
meetings. She would eventually file her own complaint, alleging that she was
the victim of retaliation. “I stuck my neck out and paid a price for a time, but it
was the right thing to do,’’ she said. . . . [The case eventually settled out of court].
###

In sum, thanks Chief Moran. Good luck in the next stage of your life. You’ve earned your well deserved retirement.

Taylor
9 years ago

Exactly…Per contract and past negotiations, the town told her at the 6-month mark in MAY that they were not renewing her contract. Therefore, this political fodder should make everyone sick to their stomachs and make residents wonder what else the they are not being upfront about. And, if she is worthy of all the praise, why not renew her contract? With all of the accusations, they are not proving themselves above board by any means.

Whatever Moran did during her years as a patrolwoman and Sergeant does not equate integrity when she was in the position of trying to cover her own actions as Chief. And, if the town released the scores the taxpayers paid for and showed she earned the position and was not hired to prevent more lawsuits, especially following Pizzagate, they could put out some of the fires of doubt. But, they never did. As a matter of fact, a selectman was involved in Pizzagate and did recuse himself from investigating himself. And here comes Sal, who has to write such lengthy praise that has nothing to do with her being qualified to run a department in order to justify hiring her despite the fact that she was not the most qualified. Otherwise, she would have lasted longer than one contract term.

Add it all together and people need to realize you can’t just sit back and assume those in positions within the town have more than their own best interests at heart.

An elected official with integrity would admit mistakes were made, right the wrongs and move forward!

Al Hamilton
9 years ago
Reply to  Taylor

I only had one interaction with the Chief before she took over the Police Dept. That interaction was very positive, she and the other officer were extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and professional.

I have a lot of concerns about the business terms under which we engage public employees. That, however, is completely separate from my respect for the vast majority of the people who we employ. Public service is not easy and most of our employees care about our community and the people they serve.

Regardless of what any of us might think about the Chief’s tenure in charge of the Police Department let’s remember she served us for 30 years and I believe she did the best job she knew how to do.

Let’s thank her and let her retire with our thanks and respect. Any debate should be framed in terms of what we need in the next chief.

Sal Giorlandino
9 years ago

“Taylor”:

In your post above, you stated that “[p]er contract and past negotiations, the town told [Chief Moran] at the 6-month mark in MAY[ 2013] that they were not renewing her contract.” What is the basis for that information since any “contract and past negotiations” that may have taken place between Chief Moran and the Board of Selectmen would have taken place in confidential Executive Session meetings of the Board?

You stated in your post that “[if the town released the [test] scores [from the Police Chief Assessment tests that the four Police Chief finalists took in 2009 that] the taxpayers paid for and showed [that] [Chief Moran] earned the position and was not hired to prevent more lawsuits, especially following Pizzagate, they could put out some of the fires of doubt.” How do you know the scores of the Police Chief finalists who took the test, including Chief Moran’s test scores, if the Town never released that information?

Contrary to the impression that you gave in your post, the Police Chief Assessment tests score were never intended to be the deciding factor in choosing the Police Chief. The test scores were intended to be part of, but not all of the criteria for assessing the qualifications of the four Police Chief finalists. As I indicated in my post above, in November 2009 the Board of Selectmen, which included current Selectman Bill Boland, unanimously appointed Chief Moran as Police Chief. As I indicated, I voted to appoint her because she earned the job. She had performed admirably as Interim Chief during the preceding year; she had the support of several of Police Chiefs in neighboring communities who had worked with her; many members of the Southborough Police Department and the Southborough community supported her; and she had helped bring the Police Department and the Town into the modern age by exposing the evils of sex discrimination and sexual harassment, when, early in her career in the 1980’s, she put her career on the line to defend former Police dispatcher Katherine Baldelli. Your post ignored all of this information.

You stated in your post that “[w]hatever [Chief] Moran did during her years as a patrolwoman and Sergeant [during the Baldelli case] does not equate integrity when she was in the position of trying to cover her own actions as Chief.” Your comment suggests that Chief Moran committed misconduct during her tenure as Chief warranting her removal from office. Again, what is the basis for that information since any misconduct issues would also have been part of confidential Executive Session meetings of the Board of Selectmen?

You stated in your post that “a selectman [who] was involved in Pizzagate [the Pizzeria Uno’s incident] . . . recuse[d] himself from investigating himself.” You are wrong. The Selectman, at issue, Bill Boland, voted to authorize the investigation, and participated in every Selectmen meeting involving the investigation. He also was well aware of the prior Baldelli litigation and Chief Moran’s prior employment discrimination lawsuit that was settled out of court.

Lastly, your dismissiveness of Chief Moran’s honorable and heroic role in the Baldelli case, and your lack of concern regarding how the executive branch of Town government conducted itself it that case is surprising. Put another way, doesn’t it trouble you that the executive branch of Town Government wasted our tax dollars by foolishly litigating that case for 10 years (1988 to 1998) resulting in a $250,000.00 judgment against the Town? Doesn’t it also trouble you that Chief Moran had to bring her own litigation against the Town asserting that she had been retaliated against by Town officials for having supported Ms. Baldelli? Doesn’t it also trouble you that when she sought the Police Chief’s position in 2009 that she was the target of an internet smear campaign by one or more individuals who, according to Mr. Walker, in his November 2009 Boston Globe article, “complained, absurdly, that [Chief] Moran’s role in [the] suit against the town should disqualify her” from being Police Chief? Sadly, I guess not.

Leo Bartolini Jr
9 years ago

Taylor, I find your comment about Chief Moran and this article to be completely unprofessional, disrespectful, and cowardly. I would like to point out that your proposed “facts” are completely incorrect. You call out the BOS for painting over an ugly picture and not telling the truth by posting on a blog the day after the meeting. You use words like “courage”, “integrity”, and “truth” and your comment exlempifies none of those characteristics. The truth is that instead of having the courage or integrity to say this in person at a town meeting you hide behind the identity of Taylor on a blog.

Mr. Rooney exlempifies integrity, honor, responsibility, and has worked hard to better the town of Southborough. How dare you put both his name and reputation as a selectman in the mud with your LACK of knowledge. I have known Chief Moran since the first grade and have grown up together as residents of the town of Southboro, I find it completely cowardly and disrespectful that you tarnish her image with such a comment. She has done an excellent job as chief and has been able to keep the department in unique condition without any controversies with its personel.

I find it insulting that town politics has turned to a blog where people like “Taylor” can sit and post comments tarnishing images of great people with a computer and hide their identities like cowards. I have the utmost respect for Dan Kolenda, Bill Bolland, John Rooney and Chief Moran. I wish Jane the best and hope she is happy with whatever she decides to do next. With my 30 year experience of town politics, my knowledge of late police chief Frank Mattiloi and as close personal friends of late police chiefs Colleary and Webber (who are all beyond exceptional police chiefs) I have no problem adding Chief Jane Moran to that list.

I would also like to add that unlike Taylor I have no problem signing my name on this thread.

Taylor
9 years ago

I could simply respond by inquiring: If Jane Moran’s tenure as Chief went wonderfully why only offer her an extension during contract renewals when everyone else received a three year renewal? And, why did she not receive a contract by deadline when she so openly stated she desired one?

Nonetheless, I will respond with facts taken from transcripts and the newspaper.

Firstly, Sal, I do not doubt for a moment that the Chief “did the best job she knew how to do.” I do not doubt she was a good police officer while serving the town. However, one doing their best does not qualify someone for a job. Her best may not have been Chief worthy. I do not mean that as an insult. Not all workers have the skill to take over a leadership role such as a Chief in a workplace. Moreover, in small town such as Southborough, Sergeant’s are used as patrol officers. They are in the same union as the patrol officers and are not utilized as managers. This was why the LT. position was sought and funded; So the Chief had someone to help with administration within the police department. Chief Moran was the FIRST Southborough Chief to have a LT. actively working while she was running the department and yet things did not progress smoothly. The current Board of Selectman did not give her another contract; therefore you should go and ask them the details on how or why she failed.

As far as how I inquired the information regarding policy and negotiations, the six month mark was quoted in the paper and was not held as a secret. Also out in the open was her desire for a contract. May was the deadline for such negotiations. The Chief spoke openly about her desire for a contract renewal. I do not need to be privy to those sessions to do the math.

As far as the test scores go: I do not know for a fact what the scores were. However, since the town refuses to produce a copy, I believe that also speaks for itself. And, please do not pretend I am the first person to bring this up. The scores have been requested and the town has continually refused to produce a copy showing each individual’s score/ranking.

I am not surprised by your position, and the more I take from your comments above in correlation to a portion from the article below, it appears your mind was made up long before the tests were even given:

“Moran, who was named an automatic finalist last spring after then-Selectman Sal Giorlandino, said he would not approve any other process, was named Southborough chief on Nov. 17.”

If you insisted, both in the paper and in meeting transcripts, she was to become an automatic finalist (therefore not citing credentials) AND BadgeQuest scores were not used as the deciding factor, what was?

I will stand by Leo’s statements about Rooney’s integrity as far as the selection process was concerned: He wrote a great letter after his resignation from the police chief search committee citing the Badge Quest controversy, prior to running for and taking your seat on the board with the promise of transparency. During an interview prior to his election, On May 4, 2010, Rooney expounded on his reasons for resigning: “Every city and town that has hired BadgeQuest used BadgeQuest in the interview process. Autonomy of the committee should have been secondary to acting in the best interests of the town.”

The MetroWest Daily News printed:
“The four candidates publicly put their names out there in an effort to win the
chief’s job,” he said. “This is not personal information. The town paid for this service, and the results should be disclosed.”

Rooney added that Lynnfield hired BadgeQuest in 2009 to assess the operations of its police department and decided to make the entire report public. The report can be viewed on the town’s website.

Prior to becoming a selectman, Rooney last served the town as a member of an appointed police chief search committee. On Sept. 18, 2009, Rooney resigned from the committee, citing philosophical differences.

In his resignation letter, Rooney wrote that he “was the sole committee voice in support of taking advantage of BadgeQuest during the interview process.”

Why does Southborough refuse to?

Furthermore, it was not initially unanimous as transcripts will show that Bill Boland initially voted for Shastany before being swayed to cast the unanimous vote for the sake of unity.

You misquote me regarding Bill Boland recusing himself from proceedings in regard to PizzaGate. What I take issue with is that he did NOT recuse himself but, instead, participated in the investigation while, according to transcripts, you accused him of “minimalized and marginlized these issues”. He went on to state, according to transcripts, that he approved of the meetings as long as no one is being disciplined. Of course, because he himself was present at Uno’s. He should have been forced to abstain as he was involved in the investigation being discussed and voting on.

I am not dismissive of the case Jane was involved in. However, it does not speak for qualifications to lead a police department. Turnover was high. Moral was low. And it is cases such as PizzaGate and the quote in the Globe article that should not have disqualified her for the position, but they should not have qualified her for the position either. But, unfortunately, such items undoubtedly taint the process.

I am not hiding behind a first name. I do not plaster my last name for privacy issues that have nothing to do with this, or any, blog. I will not be bullied into breaking my own standards. Additionally, friends and employees of the town that has spoken of events within the town would prefer I not out them and I will respect that as well. Why you ask? It is not because this individual is a coward. Simply put, they have seen the way past employees were retaliated against for bringing forth concerns about well liked individuals over the past few years. If Jane was such a trailblazer against retaliation and misconduct, why did she allow (and take part in) such conduct under her tenure? You can paint any picture that you want, but when four employees of the police department left following such complaints and/or frustrations due to them and officers can state (in jest or not) they would not report a well liked officer for robbing a 7-11 in front of them because it is not worth it, you have issues that can’t stay hidden forever.

I am not smearing her name. I am stating facts that were said and occurred. Transcripts and reports are made public so that citizens can look for themselves and not rely on a tainted view.

Leo, the only thing “unprofessional, disrespectful, and cowardly” is a professional decision based on personal feelings.

Again, if she had a perfect record of leadership and job performance, why was she only given an extension during negotiations and refused a contract renewal this past May after openly stating she desired one. Let the facts speak for themselves.

Taylor
9 years ago

*acquired.

Sal Giorlandino
9 years ago

“Taylor”:

Since July 10, 2013, you’ve made three postings here (see above) in which your positions changed in response to Mr. Bartolini’s Mr. Hamilton’s, and my postings. However, one thing did not change, namely that you never supported Chief Moran’s appointment as Police Chief from the start.

In your first posting of July 10th, you questioned Mr. Rooney’s integrity because of the kind words he had for Chief Moran when she announced her retirement. You said: “Too bad he didn’t have the integrity to say what was actually going on in the police department.” In your recent post of July 14th, you were effusive in your praise for Mr. Rooney. Hence, which is it? Does Mr. Rooney have integrity or not?

In praising Mr. Rooney, you did not cite to the Minutes of the 2009 Police Chief Search Committee, which accurately portray what transpired during the Police Chief Interviewing Process. You also offered no praise for the other Committee members, who like Mr. Rooney, are good people and devoted much of their private time to assist the Town in the Selection of a new Police Chief. Unfortunately, those Committee members were the subject of an internet smear campaign by one or more individuals who wrongly questioned their integrity.

Your comments about Chief Moran’s prior position as a Sergeant on the Police Department and the creation of the Lieutenant’s position are surprising in a number of respects. First, Chief Moran’s immediate two predecessors, that late Chiefs William Webber and William Colleary, were also Sergeants on the Police Force before becoming Chief. Based on your logic neither Chief Webber nor Chief Colleary should have been appointed Chief. Additionally, your statements regarding why the Lieutenant’s position was created are wrong. It was Chief Moran who requested that the Town create the Lieutenant’s position. Your comments are insulting to both her and Lt. Sean James who currently holds that position.

Your statement that “my mind was made up long before the [Police Assessment Center tests] were even given” to the Chief Police finalists is also wrong. Also, as one of three Selectmen, I did not control the appointment process as you suggested in your post of July 14th. The vote to make Chief Moran an automatic finalist was unanimous because Selectmen Bonnie Phaneuf and Bill Boland supported it. Hence, using your logic, Mrs. Phaneuf’s and Mr. Boland’s minds were made up as well. Moreover, you left out of your posting that the Selectmen made clear to Chief Moran and the public at the time that her standing as an automatic finalist did not give her an advantage because she had to go through the interview process as every other candidate and earn the position.

Regarding Mr. Boland, you’ve taken different positions about him in your three postings. In the first posting of July 10th, you appeared to praise him when you stated that he supported someone else for the Police Chief’s position in 2009. You praised him again on July 11th when you said that “a selectman was involved in Pizzagate and did recuse himself from investigating himself.” On July 14th, you criticized Mr. Boland. Which is it? Was he noble or not?

Matthew
9 years ago

Thank you Taylor for speaking up when others don’t know both sides and the one side that is speaking the loudest seems to have the most to hide. I’m not a “townie” so I will never get the response from the police or the town that my neighbors do (based on actual personal experience) and everything you have said speaks to the larger issue of the corruption of power present to some degree wherever you go.

From the landlocked sheds at the transfer station that Karen won’t allow the use of when it rains or snows and the cameras that will never be able to capture a license plate, to the untouchable school budget that is at the heart of our financial problems. There is no end to the issues and I have a very bleak view of politics in this town.

Time to hire a strong outsider to bring a higher standard to the police department. The BOS should make public everything anyone asks for that is permissible by law. The townspeople need to show up in force the next time the school budget is up for a vote and certainly start voting out the pro-union school committee. With a town this full of republicans I’m surprised they’ve lasted as long as they have.

Trixie
9 years ago
Reply to  Matthew

To vote out the current school committee, we would need some contested elections. When was the last time we had one of those?

Frank Crowell
9 years ago

2010 Review – Two of the top ten stories

1. Southborough Eight investigation
Call it Unogate, Pizzagate, or (my personal favorite) Deep Dish, the investigation of eight town employees for comments made at a gathering at Pizzeria Uno one evening was without doubt the most talked-about story of the year. It was also one of the most divisive. In the end, the employees under investigation were cleared of any wrongdoing.

4. Comments spark legal threats
The blog itself made news in 2010 after then-Selectman Giorlandino took exception to remarks made by an anonymous commenter. Giorlandino said he was considering legal action in what was characterized by many as a free-speech issue. The story garnered attention from the Boston Globe, local talk radio, and industry publications. For me it was an uncomfortable 15 minutes of fame.

Taylor
9 years ago

I am not going to continue to go back and forth. The facts are the facts. I had nothing to do with her failure to get a new contract. I will, however, point out corrections in your assertions:

I do not feel Rooney had integrity during this current process. In the July 14th posting, I was very specific in stating “I will stand by Leo’s statements about Rooney’s integrity as far as the [police chief search committee] selection process was concerned.” Unfortunately, his promise of transparency did not carry over into his tenure as Selectman. My comment regarding his “integrity” while accepting Jane’s retirement was in regard to his not claiming his own praise for her, but in true lawyer fashion, twisted the words to state the townspeople have nothing but praise (see the quote in the MetroWest Daily News). And there were clear quotes around “integrity” in an attempt to show a bit of sarcasm.

If any of you felt you were “smeared” it was only because you refused to release the test scores and therefore people felt you lacked integrity. The town paid for those tests; if the board had integrity they would release the scores and let them speak for themselves. Otherwise, you feed the notion you are all hiding something.

Again, to prove the doubters that feel your minds were made up prior to the process, release the scores as all other towns do and prove to them that she earned it.

Former Chief’s Webber and Colleary stepped into the position with clear leadership qualities she never had. Webber had the backing of the department…not just “some of the department.” The use of a Lieutenant for administrative duties is clearly stated. On June 1, 2011, the MetroWest Daily News stated “She [Moran] said that under the new arrangement, the lieutenant will have mostly administrative duties, which will allow the four sergeants to spend more time on patrol and less time on paperwork”. It was not meant as an insult, but was based on fact.

As far as Mr. Boland goes, my post on July 10th left out the word “not.” He did NOT recuse himself. I never praised him. The contexts -and facts of the case/transcripts- clearly show that I was upset that he did NOT recuse himself. I also clearly corrected that in the July 14th post.

Your attempt to twist my words and challenge the most mundane of issues clearly shows something that I do not need to attempt to say on my own.

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