United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Nathaniel M. Gorton Judge
case involves allegations of retaliation against city
officials who purportedly decided against reappointing
plaintiff to another annual term as a school crossing guard
due to his efforts to unionize the crossing guards.
before the Court is defendants’ motion for summary
judgment. For the reasons that follow, the motion will be
allowed, in part, and denied, in part.
Background and procedural history
Clifford Pisano (“Pisano” or
“plaintiff”) is a resident of Revere,
Massachusetts who worked as a crossing guard for the Revere
public schools from 1994 to 2010.
Thomas Ambrosino (“Ambrosino”) was the mayor of
the City of Revere during the period of the alleged events.
As mayor, Ambrosino was authorized to appoint and to
reappoint individuals to work as school crossing guards every
Michael Murphy (“Murphy”) was the Captain of the
Revere Police Department during the period of the alleged
Paul Capizzi (“Capizzi”) is the city solicitor
for the City of Revere.
City of Revere employed the individual defendants Ambrosino,
Murphy and Capizzi during the period of the alleged events.
The decision not to reappoint plaintiff to a new
June, 2010, Ambrosino decided not to reappoint plaintiff to a
new term as a crossing guard for the 2010-2011 academic year.
Plaintiff asserts that Ambrosino made that decision solely on
the basis of plaintiff’s union-related activities.
deny that assertion and insist that Ambrosino decided against
reappointment based upon plaintiff’s disciplinary
record which included rules violations, suspensions and a
“pattern of poor behavior”. Defendants claim that
Ambrosino found plaintiff unsuited to a position that would
require him to direct traffic, guide children, interact with
the public and follow the directives of the police
department. They deny that his union-related activities had
anything to do with their failure to reappoint.
to defendants, plaintiff’s disciplinary record lists
incidents in which Pisano:
1) received a one-day suspension in December, 2008 for
insubordination and disrespectful behavior towards his
2) was the subject of a formal complaint by a “senior
citizen volunteer” in August, 2009 who claimed that
plaintiff chastised and assaulted her for wearing a
florescent vest while she helped pedestrians cross the street
near a farmer’s market,
3) failed to report to Captain Murphy’s office at the
Revere police station in September, 2009 to discuss the
formal complaint against him,
4) refused to accept notice from “Sergeant Graf”
of a scheduled disciplinary hearing while plaintiff was on
duty and “became disrespectful to the sergeant in
5) agreed to two 10-day suspensions during a subsequent
meeting with Captain Murphy and a union representative from
the American Federation of State, County and Municipal
Employees (“AFSCME”), as a result of disciplinary
charges of a) assaulting a senior citizen, b) failing to
report to the police station as ordered and c) refusing to
accept service and behaving disrespectfully toward a
6) directed vehicle traffic through red lights and confronted
drivers, without authority, several times during the
2009-2010 academic year, and
7) unlawfully audio-taped a union membership meeting at the
Revere police station despite demands that he not do so.
does not dispute defendants’ summary of his
disciplinary record other than by general assertions in his
affidavit that 1) defendants charged him with assault without
sufficient cause and for the sole purpose of interfering with
his employment and unionizing efforts and 2) ...