United States District Court, D. Massachusetts
VINCENT E. STUART, Plaintiff,
TOWN OF FRAMINGHAM and BRIAN SIMONEAU, Assistant to the Chief of Police of the Town of Framingham, Individually, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM & ORDER
Talwani United States District Judge.
before this court is Defendants City of Framingham and Brian
Simoneau's Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings as to
Counts I & II Pursuant to Rule 12(c) [#27].
Defendants move to dismiss Counts I and II of Plaintiff
Vincent Stuart's First Amended Complaint [#20]
for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted. For the reasons set forth below, Defendants'
motion is DENIED.
Factual Background as Alleged by Plaintiff
2000, Plaintiff began working as a police officer at the
Framingham Police Department (“FPD”). First. Am.
Compl. ¶ 12. He was promoted to Police Sergeant in 2008,
and to Police Lieutenant in 2014. Id. Prior to his
suspension, Plaintiff was the Commanding Officer of the
FPD's Weapons Training Unit for roughly 3.5 years.
Id. ¶ 14. He was also the FPD's SWAT Team
Leader, Tactical Operations Commander, liaison to the
Massachusetts State Police STOP Team, and Shift Commander of
the evening shift. Id. ¶¶ 13, 15-16.
Simoneau joined the FPD as a dispatcher in the 1990s.
Id. ¶ 23. During his time as a dispatcher,
Simoneau also attended the Massachusetts School of Law,
passed the bar, and opened a private law practice.
Id. ¶ 25. At some time in the 1990s, Simoneau
was given the honorific title of “Special Police
Officer” by former FPD Chief of Police Brent Larrabee.
Id. ¶ 24. Under former FPD Chief of Police
Steven Carl, Simoneau became the Assistant to the Chief and
provided administrative assistance. Id. ¶ 27.
alleges that in 2013, around the time Chief Kenneth Ferguson
became chief of the FPD, Simoneau's role and authority
greatly increased. Id. ¶ 28. According to
Plaintiff, Chief Ferguson gave Simoneau a gun (after a
one-week basic firearms course for reserve officers),
uniform, citation book, and police cruiser. Id.
¶ 29. Plaintiff raised concerns regarding Simoneau to
Chief Ferguson on several occasions prior to April 2015.
Id. ¶ 47. Around April 2015, Plaintiff informed
Chief Ferguson that Simoneau had been conducting motor
vehicle stops, responding to police calls, and appearing at
active crime scenes, all without adequate screening,
training, and experience, and that these actions were
endangering the general public, compromising police
investigations, and opening the FPD to significant legal
liability. Id. ¶ 46. The specific instances
which Plaintiff contends led to his April 2015 report
included, but were not limited to:
1) Plaintiff alleges that on October 5, 2014, while driving
his personal vehicle, Simoneau allegedly conducted a motor
vehicle stop in which he allowed both occupants to exit the
vehicle, allowed the passenger to walk away, and allowed the
driver to return to the vehicle and spend several minutes
looking for his license, “thereby committing multiple
officer safety violations.” Simoneau did not ask
dispatch to send a marked unit, and he could not issue a
citation because he did not have his citation book with him.
Afterwards, back at the police station, Simoneau asked for
the driver's record and learned that the driver had 26
entries including OUI and numerous drug offenses.
Id. ¶ 48.
2) Plaintiff alleges that on November 11, 2014, while in his
police cruiser, Simoneau allegedly stopped a vehicle for an
illegal U-turn and issued a warning citation. Id.
alleges that Chief Ferguson stated that he would maintain the
status quo and told Plaintiff to ignore Simoneau.
Id. ¶ 49. Plaintiff continued to raise concerns
to Chief Ferguson over the ensuing month. Id. ¶
50. Plaintiff alleges that the specific instances which led
to these further complaints included:
1) On April 22, 2015, Simoneau allegedly responded to a
police call and interfered with an active crime scene
involving a reported breaking and entering, in which two
individuals who were possibly armed fled the scene. A
perimeter was set up and tracking dogs deployed. Without
informing anyone that he was in the area, Simoneau allegedly
drove past or through the perimeter in his cruiser with blue
lights at least 6-7 times. Id. ¶ 50.
2) On May 1, 2015, a radio call went out to Area A cars to
respond to a fight on Hollis Street. Simoneau, without
identifying himself, allegedly used the police radio to ask
for clarification regarding the call and stated that there
was “nothing showing yet” and advised units to
“slow down, it's a simple domestic.” Simoneau
drove to the call location and when other officers arrived,
Simoneau was standing outside of his vehicle, his gun visible
while his badge was not. Id.
Ferguson allegedly told Plaintiff to ignore Simoneau.
Id. ¶ 51.
multiple attempts to convince Chief Ferguson of the
seriousness of the situation, Plaintiff brought his concerns
to his union, the Framingham Police Superior Officers
Association (“FPSOA”). Id. ¶ 52. In
early June 2015, the FPSOA Executive Board sent a letter to
Chief Ferguson detailing specific allegations regarding
Simoneau's actions as a “Special Officer.”
Id. ¶ 53 & Ex. A [#1-3]. The letter
The incident in Tulsa[, ] Oklahoma[, ] in April, where a Part
time Deputy shot and killed an individual was 100%
preventable. Those that allowed him to operate as a
“part-time” officer did so, knowing that he was
not trained or qualified. Having that individual on the road
has resulted in the death of one individual and long term law
suits to come. The supervisors on that agency had ...