We Predicted his illegal Firing would lead to his return and it has
Valley Patriot Editorial
Love him or hate him, Methuen Police Chief Joe Solomon may not be a saint, but he is certainly not the demon he was made out to be by The Eagle~Tribune and others when he was fired in 2008.
Solomon has been painted as a thief, a corrupt police chief and a danger to the people of Methuen.
In fact, the daily paper published a spate of stories, questioing every expense Solomon oversaw as police chief, even spinning for their own purposes, his purchase of a pretzel while on a conference for the Weed and Seed program. Even a Methuen councilor jumped on the bandwagon, making accusations of corruption against the chief that he later admitted under oath was unfounded.
After more than two years of having his reputation destroyed and his credibility called into question, losing his badge, gun and paycheck, and being the subject of a smear campaign by the Eagle~Tribune, nearly everything that was alleged against Chief Solomon turned out to be nothing more than a political hit.
Joe Solomon and the Methuen Police Department deserved better. The people of Methuen also deserved better.
Solomon has certainly made mistakes as chief and obviously, his political involvement contributed greatly to his own missteps and his eventual termination by Mayor Manzi.
But, Civil Service saw through the smears, rumors, speculation and political attacks that had very little to do with what the facts showed at the end of the day.
Now, Civil Service has returned Joe Solomon to duty as Methuen’s head Law Enforcement Officer saying that, yes, Solomon deserved a reprimand and a suspension for his actions but that they did not rise to the level of being fired under the law.
Mayor Manzi has an exceptional point on this. He says it’s wrong for judges in Boston to micromanage the hiring and firing decisions of a duly elected mayor. And on moral grounds he is correct. Mayors in every community ought to be able to hire and fire their own department heads without interference by outsiders.
However, that’s not the system in place for dealing with civil service employees. Arguing how the system should work and how unfair the process is, however, does not absolve the city from following that process and adhering to the Civil Service laws currently in place.
We welcome back Joe Solomon as police chief in Methuen. We hope that with his return, the animosity by fellow officers, city councilors and members of the public can be left in the past as he now must administer the Methuen Police Department.
And we hope that both Solomon, his supporters and his detractors will cease all hostilities from here on in, move the city forward and tackle the crime problems in Methuen, especially the Arlington Neighborhood.
The taxpayers deserve nothing less.