An agreement between Mayor Dan Rizzo and former Police Chief Terence Reardon last month paid out a lump sum $125,000 so that the former chief would step down immediately, rather than waiting seven months for his contract to expire in August.
In records obtained by the Journal from the City, an agreement signed on Feb. 1st by Reardon and Rizzo stipulated that in order to get the former chief to abandon his contract immediately, he would be paid $125,000 by Feb. 2nd.
“The City will provide Reardon on or before Feb. 2, 2012 with a severance payment in the amount of $125,000 reduced by all appropriate withholding deductions for State and Federal taxes,” read the agreement.
It was one of several stipulations contained in the agreement between the two parties that effectively removed Reardon from his position and reinstated him as a captain under Civil Service.
Rizzo appointed former Lt. Joe Cafarelli to be Acting Chief of Police on Feb. 6th.
Yet, the key question all along – even before the terms of the agreement became public – was why not just wait it out and put someone new in place after the contract’s expiration – seeming saving a lot of money.
Reardon’s contract would have been up on Aug. 31st and it would have been easy to inform him on Feb. 1st (as his contract requires) that the contract wasn’t being renewed. In the meantime, a formal process could have been undertaken to pick a new chief, with that person being chosen around the end of Reardon’s contract.
However, this week Rizzo’s office issued a statement saying that the department had been in bad shape and the mayor felt major changes needed to happen quickly, not gradually, despite the cost.
“Mayor Rizzo felt that in the interest of public safety, the appointment of Chief Cafarelli and a change of leadership was immediately necessary,” read the statement. “The reality is that without the concessions given up by the city, there was no incentive for the prior Chief to terminate his contract. Any short-term financial costs will be offset by a new strategic vision and efficiencies that are already being noticed by the general public. Bottom line, the Mayor could not wait to make these much needed changes within the Police Department.”
Initially, some in the City’s leadership had some hesitation about the agreement and the way in which it was executed. However, nothing much has been said of those early misgivings over the last month, since the change was made.
The only leader to speak publicly about the agreement and the process was former Chief Reardon’s brother, Stephen Reardon, the Ward 4 City Councillor.
Stephen Reardon said last month during a City Council meeting that he respected Rizzo’s right to choose a new chief and had no problems with it. However, he did say he didn’t care for the process in which it was done, calling it “ham handed.”
Other stipulations in former Chief Reardon’s agreement include:
•The former chief will be allowed to attend this year’s International Association of Chiefs of Police Conference in downtown Indianapolis May 21-23. The costs of that conference, including tickets, meals, entertainment and other customary expenses, will come on the City’s dime.
•The City will continue to provide the former chief with a vehicle (perhaps the same vehicle) he used while he was chief until Dec. 31st. The City will be responsible for paying for gas, insurance and maintenance on that vehicle. If the City fails to provide him a vehicle, it will have to pay him $50 per day.
•Capt. Reardon can only be assigned to work shifts that are on Monday through Friday and are in the day or evening shifts, at his choosing, until Dec. 31st.
“At no time during the tenure of Reardon’s employment with the Revere Police Department shall Reardon be required to work the midnight to 8 a.m. shift,” read the agreement.
•In addition to a lot of legal language to protect each party from a lawsuit, there is one stipulation that calls for the agreement to remain confidential as much as possible.
“The parties agree that, to the extent feasible and permitted by law, they will maintain the confidentiality of this agreement,” it read. “Reardon, however, will be permitted to share the agreement with his spouse, accountant and investment advisor…”
The agreement is deemed a public document available to the public.