May 14, 2017
Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera finally pulled the trigger this week and fired embattled Lawrence police officer William Green for a host of corruption offenses including theft, threats on other police officers, abandoning a prisoner who escaped, refusing to show up for scheduled shifts, and falsely accusing another police officer of committing an armed assault.
Green, who has been a staple at Lawrence City Council meetings has publicly called his fellow Lawrence Police Officers racist and corrupt and laid all the blame on Mayor Rivera for allowing the negative environment at the police station fester.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04L23aaBeO4&t=140s&h’280&w=380]
Green, a black man, sued the City of Lawrence and several fellow officers in the court of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination claiming he was unfairly disciplined after being caught working Private details at city nightclubs and not turning over the money to the city as required.
Police officers who work private security in the city’s nightclubs are to be paid with a check by the club owners made out to the City of Lawrence and then are compensated in their paycheck for the time. They can accept cash if the officer immediately gets a money order, makes it out to the city, and turns it in to the police station.
Green never turned over the money he was paid for the city and when caught, was offered a 30 day suspension for not following police procedures. He refused to accept the suspension. He was also ordered by the dept. to pay the city back all of the money he kept, which he did in one lump sum.
Green claimed in MCAD that he was discriminated against because he was being fired for the same offense as a white officer who also did not turn in detail money but only received a 30 day suspension.
The MCAD ruled against green pointing out that the Green was offered the same 30 day suspension, but refused to accept the punishment, instead seeking to sue the city and file a union grievance.
The white officer produced a stack of money orders that were made out on each night he worked when confronted by a supervisor, and said he had simply forgot to turn them in.
Green, who is a candidate for mayor also uncuffed and abandoned a prisoner in the hospital after telling his supervisors he had a family event to go to and was ordered to continue guarding the prisoner until he could be relieved of duty.
Green also claimed he was the victim of an armed assault by another officer in the Lawrence Police station but that too, the MCAD ruled, was untrue. They cited that video evidence at the station did not prove Green’s claim and, in fact, disproved his claim showing Green was the aggressor and no assault took place.
Green is appealing his firing, but officials in the department say that the mountain of evidence of “outright corrupt behavior” by Officer Green will make it nearly impossible for him to get his job back.
Mayor Rivera also fired Officer Ivan Melendez for seizing a private citizen’s handgun and taking it home, refusing to turn it in as evidence.
A hearing officer ruled that Melendez violated at least nine department policies, including failing to arrest the driver of the car who was intoxicated at the time, and failing to file a report on the incident for the four days he was illegally in possession of the firearm.