Jason Smith, Trask, Simoneau, and the Good Ol' Boys Club November 8, 2019
After reading Jason Smith's response to parents and his lack of action concerning Coach Mike Todd's vile and racist comments, I am not surprised it was "swept under the rug".

Former Selectman Jason Smith has been around for many years and is politically connected to many past and present leaders, who unfortunately put cronyism above doing the right thing.

Framingham leaders talk a good game by displaying signs such as "Hate Has No Home Here" however, when it comes to the "good old boys" network', they could care less about racism, misogyny and homophobia.

One need look no further than Framingham Police Chief Steve "Skippy" Trask as proof of the "good old boys" taking care of one another.

Chief Trask turned a blind eye to racist comments in the past from Brian Simoneau, Assistant to the Chief, who is still employed by the Town of Framingham after many questionable actions and comments.

In 2015, while in a meeting with former Deputy Chief Kevin Slattery and at the time Executive Officer, Deputy Chief Steve Trask, Brian Simoneau referred to President Obama as the "Head Nigger in Charge", yet Trask looked the other way.

Only after the news media was made aware of Brian Simoneau's racist comment did the FPD act and suspend Simoneau for 5 days. Brian Simoneau, who also has a fulltime law practice defending OUI Clients by helping them get Hardship Licenses, was allowed to choose his 5 days and represented clients on those days off. If it were any other employee, they would have been fired.

Prior to being hired by the Framingham Police Department, Brian Simoneau was a Special Police Officer in Hubbardston, Ma.

In Hubbardston, Brian Simoneau was disciplined for many incidents, such as misusing blue lights on his personal vehicle thereby causing an accident, pulling over driver's and keeping their licenses because he was pissed off at them and inappropriate racist comments towards the public.

Brian Simoneau finally resigned from Hubbardston Police after he conducted a Gun Training Exercise with teenagers at night without the Chief's or the parent's approval. This unauthorized Gun Training unnecessarily endangered these kids lives and it proved to be Brian Simoneau's downfall.

Brian Simoneau, after serving his 5 days suspension, returned to his job with the same attitude and beliefs. Just days after his suspension, he was online on Facebook, mocking gay people for being gay in which he posted "Frankly they {gay people} go about in pity for themselves"

Nice to see Jason Smith and the "good old boy" network taking care of each other at the expense of the taxpayers.

One has to wonder what his religion is that makes him hate gays.

There are only two books that teach you to hate gays.

The bible and the quran.

Only religion teaches you to hates gays.

I'm surprised that Jason Smith is anywhere involved with football even if he's possibly good as a linebacker even without running. He looks like a football with a head and little feet.

Assistant to the Chief

Working as a confidential employee, the Assistant to the Chief provides specialized legal, administrative,
and technical support to the Police Chief. The Assistant reports directly to the Chief and, concentrating in
such areas as legal matters, labor relations, technology, liability reduction, he assists in the overall
administration of the Department. He also provides specialized legal consultation, advice, and assistance
on a 24-hour basis, to the Chief, command staff, and other Department members, as required. The Assistant
to the Chief works in concert with the Department's command staff on sensitive matters such as internal
affairs and professional standards investigations. You can reach the Assistant to the Chief at 508-532-5912.

According to this article, Brian Simoneau is the Assistant to the Chief and he seems to have smeared his corporate logo feces pretty much everywhere.

One has to ask how much of a conflict of interest this is to the town. Imagine if you will the advantage
this guy has when a drunk is pulled over.

He seems to be paid by the police department (under Carl's ever watchful eye) while he is collecting his hourly rates.
In addition, Brian Simoneau provides legal advice and services to area towns in an effort to
terminate police officers but also holds himself out as a labor law attorney defending police officers.

I wonder if anyone has reported this behavior to the ethics commision?

Double dipping?

Violating the lawyers code of ethics?

Carl's assistant possibly violating criminal laws all under the watchful and supportive eye of the
police chief and the town managers.

Why is he not working for the town's legal department?

Brian E. Simoneau
68 Alqoquin Trail. Ashland, MA 01721 508-881-1119
121 Cedar Street, Ashland, MA 01721 508-881-1119

Brian E Simoneau, Esq.
161 Worcester Rd., Suite 200
Framingham, MA 01701

Phone: 508-881-1119
Email: brian@policelaborlaw.com
Fax: 508-302-0212

Phone: 508-656-0057

161 Worcester Rd., Suite 200
Framingham, MA 01701
Phone: 508-656-0057
Fax: 508-302-0212

Phone: 508-656-0057

161 Worcester Rd., Suite 200
Framingham, MA 01701
Email: attorney@rmvappeal.com
Phone: 508-881-1119

161 Worcester Rd., Suite 200
Framingham, MA 01701

161 Worcester Rd., Suite 200
Framingham, MA 01701
Phone: 508-656-0057
Fax: 508-302-0212

Phone: 508-656-0057

Lt. Vincent Stuart seems to have a bone of contention with Brian Simoneau.

25 Investigates: Assistant to police chief pulled over drivers September 4, 2017
Blair Miller, Erin Smith fox25boston.com
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. - A town employee at the Framingham Police Department has been disciplined for using racially offensive language, 25 Investigates has uncovered.

In May, Boston 25 News Anchor Blair Miller first reported on the controversy surrounding Brian Simoneau, the assistant to the Framingham Police Chief with a police badge, a police gun and an unmarked police vehicle he used to pull over drivers.

Now, 25 Investigates has learned that Simoneau has been disciplined for using a racial slur.

The latest allegations stem from a lawsuit filed by a retired Framingham police officer. In the court document, Simoneau is accused of calling then-President Barack Obama the "head n- in charge" - using a racial slur.

The comments were made in 2015 but are just coming out now.

Framingham's town manager told 25 Investigates he only recently learned about it.

He said Simoneau was disciplined but wouldn't provide details, saying in a statement, "Upon investigation of the statement, the Chief of Police took decisive action in the form of discipline. We do not disclose the specifics of personnel actions involving individual employees."

25 Investigates also reached out to Simoneau.

In emails to 25 Investigates, Simoneau defended using the slur, saying, "I quoted a line from Morgan Freeman in the movie 'Lean on Me,' which positively portrays the African-American Principal of a New Jersey High School. This movie quote wasn't said in a pejorative or hateful manner."

Simoneau added, "Any accusation or suggestion that I am a racist is completely false."

A lawyer for Framingham says Simoneau has been mischaracterized over his use of the slur, which he said was taken out of context. He said Simoneau's use of the slur "was not racially motivated."

The Framingham Police Superior Officers Association, a police union, condemned Simoneau's use of the slur and said the discipline he received was "inadequate."

"The Town of Framingham should refuse to allow such hateful comments amongst any of its employees, but especially among high ranking members of the police command staff," wrote Sgt. Scott A. Brown, president of the union.

Framingham Police Chief Kenneth Ferguson told 25 Investigates he has zero tolerance for racially offensive language and immediately opened an investigation after learning about the accusations.

Ferguson also said he's looking for training related to this issue for his staff.

This isn't the first time Simoneau has come under scrutiny.

In May, 25 Investigates uncovered that Simoneau had been pulling over drivers and responding to police scenes as a "special police officer."

Simoneau's official title is assistant to the police chief - his $111,000 town job.

That salary is on top of the $300 weekly stipend he gets as a lawyer for the Framingham Police Department. Simoneau is also an unpaid special police officer with a police badge and a police gun and a fully equipped unmarked police vehicle.

The town's lawyer told 25 Investigates at the time that Simoneau has some law enforcement background and firearm training, but Framingham Sgt. Scott Brown, president of the Framingham Police Superior Officers Association, says his union sent a letter to the chief two years ago warning that Simoneau was "responding to police calls for service and is not a police officer."

Letter from a concerned citizen October 11,2017
Harold J. Wolfe hjw2001@gmail.com
Apparently Attorney Brian Simoneu did not learn his lesson after refering to President Obama as the HNIC, for which he served 5 measly days off.

Today, on his FB page, he commented this clip from the HBO TV Show "Sopranos":


The clip shows Tony Soprano talking about his views on his friend Vito coming out as a Homosexual.

Brian Simoneau comments "Frankly, I think they go about in pity for themselves".

Brian Simoneau thinks that gay people go about in PITY for themseves...Nice

Is the MWDN going to follow up on this racist homophobic employee?

Also, as a result of Brian Simoneau's comments, Chief Ferguson scheduled Diversity Training for FPD employees.

Yesterday morning, at the beginning of a series of classes on diversity, Brian Simoneau attended at 8:00AM, when he was not scheduled to attend.

As a result of Brian showing up, several African American Officers, Lt Baker and Lt Wareham became visibly and vocaly upset at his presence there and walked out of the class with several other officers.

So much for diversity training.

On 9/7/17 at 2:42 PM, cheryl ryan wrote:

Yes, there was mention of it , however, Brian Simoneau, a town employee and police officer, has admitted to it and gets 5 days and the news doesn't report on it as a separate story?

The Police Chiefs aide uses racist language and keeps his job?

I think the citizens of Framingham deserve better from a Police Officer/attorney and we deserve a follow up.

Thank you Cheryl

Sent: Thursday, September 07, 2017 at 6:20 PM
From: "Haneisen, Robert"
To: "cheryl ryan"
Cc: mdnletters@wickedlical.com, "Anne Brennan" , "Miller, Norman"
Subject: Re: Racism

Cheryl: We reported on this back in July. Here's the link to the story. http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/20170706/former-framingham-deputy-police-chief-sues-town-department

On Thu, Sep 7, 2017 at 12:16 PM, cheryl ryan Metrowest Daily News,

Last week, Fox25 ran a second segment on Framingham Special Police Officer and Attorney Brian Simoneau. Mr. Simoneau is Chief Ferguson's Aide.

The latest segment dealt with Mr. Simoneau's use of a racist and vulgar term towards President Obama.

In a meeting with Rank Police Officers, Mr. Simoneau refered to President Obama as the HNIC and when asked to clarify, he stated " you know, the head nigger in charge".

Sadly, not one Police Officer present reported the matter in an official capacity as per the Town of Framingham Policy on workplace Harassment and it took over a year and several Federal Lawsuits for the incident to come to public light.

Chief Ferguson, who was aware of the incident, waited over a year and only after the Fox25 segment aired, to "punish" Mr. Simoneau for his racist comments.

Mr. Simoneau received 5 suspension days of his choosing and is back at work collecting his pay as an Attorney and Special Police Officer for the Town of Framingham.

I find it reprehensible that The Town of Framingham employs an individual that uses such language and has a gun and a badge.

Since many people in our community do jot watch Fox25, im respectfully requesting that the news follow up with an article in your paper so as to inform the citizenry.

Framingham...Hate Has no Home Here..Except the Framingham Police Dept.

Chery Ryan

*Rob Haneisen*
Deputy Dir. Multimedia - West Unit
MetroWest Daily News, Milford Daily News
Twitter: @Rob_HaneisenMW

25 Investigates: Assistant to police chief pulled over drivers May 24, 2017
Blair Miller, Erin Smith fox25boston.com
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. - An assistant to a local police chief has been pulling over drivers and responding to police scenes, 25 Investigates uncovered.

Boston 25 News Anchor Blair Miller has been digging into questions about police powers given to "special police officers" for months and found police chiefs have broad discretion when it comes to handing out badges and guns.

In Framingham, one special police officer has a badge, an unmarked police vehicle and even a gun.

That special police officer - Brian Simoneau - pulled over driver Cristian Albizurez in 2015.

Albizurez told 25 Investigates an SUV cut him off, so he honked his horn at the vehicle - which he later learned was an unmarked police vehicle driven by Simoneau.

"That turned out to be a mistake because sirens start blaring," said Albizurez.

Simoneau wasn't wearing a uniform when he ticketed Albizurez for failing to yield at an intersection. Simoneau's official title is assistant to the police chief - his $111,000 town job.

That salary is on top of the $300 weekly stipend he gets as a lawyer for the Framingham Police Department.

Simoneau is also an unpaid special police officer with a badge and a police gun.

Police expert raises concerns

"I've never heard of such a thing because it simply doesn't make good police practice sense," said Tom Nolan.

Nolan is a 27-year veteran of the Boston Police Department and former lieutenant and questions why Simoneau has been given police powers, including making traffic stops.

"If he shoots someone, it's a huge liability for the town," said Nolan. "Any chief could see this - any line supervisor could see that this is just a bad idea and the potential is there for missteps."

Each community sets its own rules for special police officers, but these officers largely go untracked by the state.

In Massachusetts, state law exempts all special officers from police academy training, but a lawyer for Framingham told 25 Investigates Simoneau trained as a reserve cop, has taught police training classes and once served as a part-time officer in two Central Massachusetts towns.

Simoneau hasn't just been pulling over drivers. Special officer responded to police scenes

25 Investigates obtained dispatch recordings showing Simoneau responding to police scenes. During one call on May 1, 2015, he tried to slow other officers heading to the scene of an alleged assault:

SIMONEAU: All units responding to Dom's can slow down. Slow your response. It's under control.
DISPATCHER: Uh, who's this? We don't have you on the roster here.
SIMONEAU: Brian Simoneau

Framingham Sgt. Scott Brown, president of the Framingham Police Superior Officers Association, says his union sent a letter to the chief two years ago warning that Simoneau was "responding to police calls for service and is not a police officer" The letter also stated that Simoneau had "no in-service trainings."

Brown said there is no public safety reason why Simoneau would need to carry a badge and police gun.

"For whatever reason, the chief wants to allow this," said Brown. "I think common sense would say, 'Does it seem like the right thing?' Because it doesn't to me."

Officer has past history of suspensions and reprimands

25 Investigates also learned Simoneau was suspended at least twice and reprimanded three times while working as a part-time reserve officer in Hubbardston in the mid-1990s.

25 Investigates anonymously received Simoneau's disciplinary records - later authenticated by the former Hubbardston police chief who wrote them.

The files show Simoneau was written up for causing an accident by "misuse of a blue light" in his personal vehicle and for illegally taking a driver's license away from a driver he pulled over and keeping it.

Simoneau was also reprimanded for holding an unauthorized gun training exercise with teenagers at night without the chief's knowledge or parental approval.

The police chief at the time wrote that Simoneau "unnecessarily endangered these kids."

Simoneau eventually resigned in Hubbardston after less than two years

Lawyer and town defend 'special police officer'

A lawyer for the Town of Framingham said Simoneau disputes these complaints from more than 20 years ago and said he has a strong record of performance as a police officer.

25 Investigates asked the Framingham Police Chief for a sit-down interview. He agreed, but then later called back to cancel.

In a statement, Framingham Chief Ken Ferguson told 25 Investigates Simoneau "has sufficient training and experience to serve as a special police officer."

The Framingham Town Manager told us he stands by the chief and said Simoneau was appointed a special police officer in 2001.

"I support the chief of police in his decision making and in my interaction with him, he has assured me that Brian Simoneau meets all of the qualifications to be a reserve, intermittent, special police officer," said Town Manager Robert Halpin. 'Trained and qualified with the firearm'

Brian Simoneau declined interview requests, but 25 Investigates caught up with him outside the Framingham Police Department.

When asked why he has a badge and police gun, Simoneau would only say, "It was issued to me by my employer, the Framingham Police Department."

He also told 25 Investigates, "I'm trained and qualified with the firearm. I've met the qualification standards."

The town gave Simoneau a police gun just two years ago and records obtained by 25 Investigates show Simoneau completed 20 hours of reserve officer firearms training for Framingham in April 2015.

He also completed 96 hours of reserve police basic training in 1993, according to state records.

That was enough training for reserve officers at the time, but that's far different from the 372 hours of training required for reserve officers today. And that's only a portion of the 920 academy hours required for full-time police officers.

When asked whether he should be pulling people over and giving citations, Simoneau told 25 Investigates, "I need to go because I'm late for a meeting. So I have to go."

Cristian Albizurez paid his ticket, but now questions whether he should have been pulled over in the first place.

"Now I feel like strongly I was not at fault," said Albizurez. "(I'm) not angry - just very surprised and shocked that this could even happen."

A lawyer for the town insists that Simoneau is qualified to be a special police officer. He let 25 Investigates look at Simoneau's training records but wouldn't allow any copies to be made or for the records to be taken out of his office.

The lawyer also says Simoneau is being unfairly targeted because he's named in a lawsuit filed by a former Framingham officer.

Framingham police lawyer juggles city job and private practice June 24, 2018
Jim Haddadin 617-863-7144 Metrowest Daily News
Brian Simoneau knew the allegations against his client were troubling.

Inside a hearing room in Marlborough District Court, Simoneau listened as an employee from the Registry of Motor Vehicles described the day - a year and a half earlier - the man attacked his estranged wife.

Witnesses said he slammed his GMC Sierra pickup truck into his wife's car, pushing it over the curb, striking a fence and snapping a light pole.

After serving time in jail, the man was piecing his life back together. He hired Simoneau to help him regain his driving privileges.

Since earning his law degree in 2001, Simoneau has developed a niche representing clients before the Board of Appeal on Motor Vehicle Liability Policies and Bonds, a panel that serves as a last resort for drivers whose licenses were suspended or revoked by the RMV.

On that Friday morning alone, Simoneau argued three cases before the board, which meets in Marlborough and other locations around the state. Audio recordings reviewed by the Daily News indicate the hearings lasted a little more than 45 minutes in total.

But Simoneau, who also holds a full-time job at the Framingham Police Department, wasn't finished with his workday.

According to police records, on Oct. 28, 2016 - the day Simoneau represented three private clients in Marlborough - he was also logged as working for the Framingham Police Department, where he earns more than $100,000 a year as an assistant to the police chief.

Simoneau did not use personal or vacation time that day, nor did he document his time away from the office in the department's scheduling system.

An investigation by the Daily News found that on numerous occasions over the past eight years, Simoneau juggled the obligations of his public and private work, taking time during the business day to work on civil cases, administrative appeals and other matters for his private clients.

Police officials say that as a salaried employee, Simoneau was granted permission by his supervisors to conduct private business during the workday, as long as he made up the hours at other times in the week.

But Simoneau's ability to run a side business raised questions among some employees of the police department. In a whistleblower lawsuit, one former Framingham police lieutenant accused Simoneau of conducting his private business on police department time.

Bob Halpin, who served as town manager before Framingham established a city government, also issued a pointed directive regarding Simoneau's schedule. Halpin instructed then-Chief Kenneth Ferguson in November 2016 that Simoneau should not be allowed to work for his private law practice during the business day.

"I want to state clearly that Mr. Simoneau is expected to dedicate his complete 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM work week to his duties ... and under no circumstances may he perform legal services for private clients during this work day," Halpin wrote.

Despite that edict, Simoneau continued to appear in court for his private clients during business hours on a handful of occasions, the Daily News found, allowing him to supplement a salary and benefits package that ranks on the high end of the city's pay scale, and includes a future public pension.

Neither Simoneau nor Ferguson, who retired at the end of April, agreed to be interviewed in person or over the phone for this story regarding Simoneau's work history, despite numerous requests from the Daily News. In statements issued to the newspaper, both defended Simoneau's conduct, saying his work ethic has never been in doubt.

"I am proud to have served the citizens of Framingham as an employee of the Police Department for the past 26 years," Simoneau wrote. "I have worked in a number of capacities during my tenure, but have always placed the interests of Framingham, its citizens and the public safety paramount."

Accounting for time

Through an extensive review of court records and other material, the Daily News documented more than 100 examples of Simoneau representing private clients at hearings on days when he was recorded as being on duty for the Framingham Police Department. The instances occurred both before and after Halpin's directive.

Many were brief appearances before the Board of Appeal, which convenes regularly on Friday mornings in Marlborough District Court, an 18- to 30-minute drive from the Framingham police station.

Other matters took Simoneau as far away as Boston, Worcester and Attleboro.

On the morning of Feb. 10, 2010, for example, Simoneau participated in oral arguments before the state Appeals Court in Boston. He represented a former State Police trooper whose ability to carry a firearm was revoked after he was accused of slapping another police officer in the head and dragging him down the street with his cruiser.

Several months later, Simoneau argued a case in Suffolk Superior Court on behalf of a Barnstable police sergeant who was passed over for a promotion. Simoneau persuaded Judge Thomas E. Connolly during the July 2010 hearing that his client should be moved to the top of the eligibility list.

In many cases reviewed by the Daily News, Simoneau used vacation or personal days when his private hearings were scheduled. But the newspaper identified numerous instances when he didn't.

In 2013, for example, Simoneau represented a Waltham man who filed an appeal with the Civil Service Commission after he was passed over for a firefighter position. According to state records, an administrative magistrate heard the man's case over the course of two days in November and December 2013.

Simoneau used a vacation day when the hearings began in November. He did not use time off during the second day in December. The hearing, which took place in Boston, lasted one hour and 49 minutes.

Inside the department

Inside the Framingham Police Department, Simoneau's legal expertise also proved valuable.

He began working as a dispatcher in 1993. Simoneau was promoted by former Chief Steven Carl in 2001, the same year Simoneau passed the bar, to the position of assistant to the chief - a civilian job created to handle administrative work and provide legal advice.

In his new role, Simoneau advised the chief on matters such as labor relations, internal affairs and civil service cases. In recognition of his increasing responsibility, Carl allowed Simoneau to drive a police vehicle and in 2007 began paying him a stipend of $300 per week, in addition to his regular salary. The stipend was paid out each month, based on the legal work Simoneau performed for the police department within the past several weeks.

A two-page agreement authorizing the perk did not explicitly prohibit Simoneau from working on private cases during the business day. It stipulated only that Simoneau should be available for his normal assignments and duties on weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., with the exception of holidays, personal days and vacation days.

Responding to written questions from the Daily News, Simoneau wrote he had "standing approval" to attend court hearings and legal proceedings for his private clients since 2001. In Simoneau's view, that authorization was further documented in the stipend agreement, which was signed by Carl and former Town Manager Julian Suso.

Carl, now the director of public safety at Assumption College in Worcester, declined to say whether he granted Simoneau permission to work for his private law firm during the business day. He referred questions to the city solicitor and current police administration.

"Brian was a good employee," he said. "He was really smart. He's dedicated. If I needed him, he was there."

Craig Davis, a former deputy police chief in Framingham, said he believes Carl granted Simoneau latitude to set his own schedule as an incentive to keep him in the job.

Davis, now chief of police in Ashland, said it was pretty well known in the department that Simoneau worked in private practice. However, Davis said he is confident Simoneau made up his time out of the office by working long hours.

"He was there all the time," Davis said, "so there was never any inkling that Brian had shortchanged the town or the department in the amount of hours that he had put in, or the amount of effort that he had put in."

Private clients

Simoneau's police department base salary grew from about $74,000 in 2010 to about $94,000 last year. On average, he earned an additional $16,700 per year from his stipend during that time, bringing his total annual earnings above $100,000 since 2014.

As Simoneau's role at the police department grew, so too did his list of private clients.

Simoneau specializes in labor and employment law, and frequently handles contract negotiations, employee discipline and disability retirements for private clients, according to a website advertising his services, policelaborlaw.com.

Simoneau also advertises his experience handling cases before the RMV and the Board of Appeal, which evaluates license suspensions and revocations. The Division of Insurance, which provides administrative support to the board, identified more than 400 cases on which Simoneau was listed as the attorney of record for the appellant.

James Milligan, a Norwell lawyer, said Simoneau has developed a strong reputation in the field of motor vehicle law.

"He's probably one of the most prepared lawyers you're going to find in front of that board," Milligan said.

As a part of his private practice, Simoneau also worked for a roster of public sector clients, including the city of Attleboro and the towns of Ashland and Sherborn, which collectively paid more than $43,000 for his services. Sherborn Town Administrator David Williams said Simoneau was special labor counsel to the town, helping to finalize contracts with public works employees and police officers.

Mary Flanders Aicardi, a senior associate at the Edward J. Collins Jr. Center for Public Management at UMass Boston, said government workers typically don't have the flexibility to adjust their schedule to accommodate a private business, although there's nothing illegal or improper about the practice, provided they have permission.

Aicardi, who leads the center's Human Resources practice, said it's important for municipalities to establish clear policies regarding working hours, and to ensure employees don't use city resources, such as a computer or phone, for their private business.

"That's the only worry that people would have a legitimate issue on," Aicardi said.

Public, private work

Responding to questions from the Daily News, Simoneau wrote that he spends an average of two to three hours per week representing private clients in court, or at other hearings. Simoneau said he usually performs legal work, such as writing briefs and researching case law, at his law office, located at 550 Cochituate Road, or home office - primarily during evening hours and on weekends.

Simoneau acknowledged he has used his city-owned vehicle to travel to private court hearings in the past. In an email to the Daily News, Ferguson also acknowledged he allowed Simoneau to use his taxpayer-funded vehicle for private purposes.

"In late 2014 or early 2015 (Simoneau) was allowed reasonable off-duty use of the vehicle, as his duties and responsibilities require him to maintain availability," Ferguson wrote in response to written questions from the Daily News. "This was consistent with the use of take-home vehicles by all of the command staff."

After reviewing records compiled by the newspaper, City Councilor Judy Grove questioned why Simoneau was granted perks in addition to his salary and benefits. At a minimum, the police department should have required Simoneau to provide a more detailed accounting of how his hours are spent, said Grove, a member of the Finance Subcommittee who is serving her first term on Framingham's new City Council.

"You'd want people to be dedicated to their jobs," she said, "and is working for the police department a side business, or is it his business that he's doing? What's going on?"

History of stipend

Simoneau's $300-per-week stipend, first authorized by Suso, the former town manager, was intended to be reauthorized each year after it was created in 2007, according to the original memorandum of understanding. But the city was unable to locate records showing that Suso reauthorized the payment.

Suso, now the town manager in Falmouth, said he could not recall the details of the stipend, or reauthorizing it in subsequent years. Nor could City Clerk Valerie Mulvey, who served as interim town manager for several months after Suso's departure in 2011.

"I never would have done that without approval from the Board of Selectmen," Mulvey said.

The stipend was increased to $400 per week after Ferguson was named chief in 2013. Human Resources Director Dolores Hamilton and former Assistant Town Manager Jennifer Thompson signed off on the pay hike, which was granted to reflect the increasing volume and complexity of Simoneau's legal work.

"The Police Department had a new internal affairs officer and a new administration, which benefited from the additional support," Hamilton wrote. "Also, around this time, other communities had an interest in recruiting Brian, so it was a retention issue."

But Simoneau's perks later came under scrutiny. In a pair of letters sent to the police chief in November 2016, Halpin, the former town manager, wrote that he never reauthorized the original stipend agreement, which had expired, and asked that the chief rescind Simoneau's authorization to drive his city-owned vehicle home at the end of the work day.

Halpin also addressed Simoneau's work for private clients, writing that in his view, nothing contained in the original 2007 stipend agreement allowed Simoneau to conduct private business during the work day.

Halpin stepped down as town manager in January when Mayor Yvonne Spicer took office. Reached by email in April, Halpin declined to answer questions about Simoneau's private practice work, saying it would be inappropriate to comment on a personnel matter.

"I do not believe it is at all appropriate for me to comment on this matter and particularly so as it relates to confidential personnel communications," he wrote.

Documenting time off

After Halpin raised concerns about his private practice work, Simoneau agreed in late 2016 to begin using vacation and personal time for his private practice work.

A review of police scheduling records indicates Simoneau indeed used time off more frequently after Halpin issued his memo to the police chief, including on many occasions when he was due to appear in court for his private clients. However, the Daily News found some exceptions.

On March 31, 2017, for example, Simoneau participated in two hearings before the Board of Appeal. He did not use time off on that day, and there is no record of his time away from the office in the police scheduling system.

Asked about the hearings, Simoneau wrote that he "must have forgotten to deduct the time on that particular day."

"This appears to be a single instance where I inadvertently failed to enter my time out of the office," he wrote.

The Daily News documented three other instances last year in which Simoneau appeared at hearings for his private clients without using time off from the police department. As recently as Feb. 9, 2018, a Daily News reporter observed Simoneau entering Marlborough District Court, where he represented two clients before the Board of Appeal. Simoneau did not use vacation or personal time on Feb. 9, timekeeping records from the police department show.

Union tensions

In a written statement, Simoneau said he always worked more than 40 hours per week for the police department after becoming a salaried employee, often putting in more than 60 hours on the job.

He pointed to a track record of assembling "solid and well-prepared cases" for the town, resulting in settlements, terminations and resignations by police personnel.

Because of the nature of his work, Simoneau wrote that his job places him at odds with "certain employees or bargaining groups," and said he believes past employees who are suing the police department prompted the "recent media attention" into his position.

Three current or former officers have sued the department, including Lt. Vincent Stuart, who accused Simoneau in a federal complaint of retaliating against him. Simoneau's private practice work has been a focus of the suit, which is pending in U.S. District Court.

After being contacted by the Daily News, the city's lawyer, John J. Cloherty, sent newspaper staff a "non-disparagement" letter on April 26, advising the paper to be "completely truthful, impartial and unbiased" in its reporting regarding Simoneau.

"Please be advised that should your newspaper print or publicize any information that disparages, defames, or casts Mr. Simoneau in a false light, he will vigorously pursue all legal remedies available to recoup any damages to him and preserve his reputation and standing in the community," Cloherty wrote.

Unwavering commitment

During his last week as police chief, Ferguson initially agreed to be interviewed at his lawyer's office, but later canceled the appointment and issued a written statement addressing Simoneau's work.

"Policing is a 24-hour operation," Ferguson wrote. Simoneau "always made himself available both during and outside regular work hours," he continued. "He is hardly ever out of reach or inaccessible to me, regardless of whether he's on-duty or not. Brian has a reputation of having an exceptional work ethic and he's known to work nights, weekends, and holidays. He's often the last member of the management team to leave the building."

Simoneau, in his written remarks, said his job at the police department has always taken precedence over his private cases.

"My dedication and commitment to Framingham is, and has always been, unwavering," he wrote.

Send comments to: hjw2001@gmail.com

JOP/ED: Brian Simoneau, a Better Layoff May 21, 2020
OP/ED: Brian Simoneau, a Better Layoff
By Framingham UnFiltered Admin 9 hours ago


Mr. Simoneau has a position in the Framingham Police Department. He ALSO has his own law businesses advising and representing people who have broken the law. My opinion? His position with Framingham needs to be assessed especially in light of these times.

Brian Simoneau - Assistant to Police Chief

Here is a May 25, 2017 Fox 25 news investigation report regarding Brian Simoneau who is a full-time attorney but working (as an employee for the Town as "Assistant to the Police Chief." Not only does he work as a private attorney in his "firms**." but he also plays the role as a Town policeman, given a pistol and unmarked town vehicle and has a police badge. I think he stops and arrests people for a personal thrill.

He had been receiving $111K in salary plus $300 weekly stipend (what for???). He has his own law offices Questions abound on this matter: acting falsely as police officer, abuse of town vehicle and operating costs, while busy working in his private practices. His job as Assistant to the Police Chief may be as acting a legal counsel however Simoneau was "responding to police calls for service and is not a police officer."

Here May 24, 2017 video link to the Fox25 investigation about Simoneau. Be sure to click on the smaller picture shown with an arrow, in order to see the actual video:
Click on smaller picture

His salary is on top of the $300 weekly stipend he gets as a lawyer for the Framingham Police Department. Simoneau is also an unpaid special police officer with a police badge and a police gun and a fully equipped unmarked police vehicle.

The town's lawyer told 25 Investigates at the time that Simoneau has some law enforcement background and firearm training, but Framingham Sgt. Scott Brown, president of the Framingham Police Superior Officers Association, says his union sent a letter to the chief two years ago warning that Simoneau was "responding to police calls for service and is not a police officer."

Boston 25 News Anchor Blair Miller date September 4, 2017 has been digging into questions about police powers given to "special police officers" for months and found police chiefs have broad discretion when it comes to handing out badges and guns.
Racial slur

Here is description of "Assistant to the Police Chief" that I found on the City's website: "Working as a confidential employee, the Assistant to the Chief provides specialized legal, administrative, and technical support to the Police Chief. The Assistant reports directly to the Chief and, concentrating in such areas as legal matters, labor relations, technology, liability reduction, he assists in the overall administration of the department. He also provides specialized legal consultation, advice, and assistance on a 24-hour basis, to the Chief, command staff, and other department members, as required. The Assistant to the Chief works in concert with the department's command staff on sensitive matters such as internal affairs and professional standards investigations. You can reach the Assistant to the Chief at 508-532-5912."

Police chain of command

Police Department staff chart

Some of Simoneau's websites for his private work as an attorney:

additional information: