Deputy Police Chief Todino Suspended
By: Michael C. Bailey
Town officials are remaining tight-lipped about Deputy Chief Albert E. Todino’s sudden suspension from the Mashpee Police Department.
According to Rodney C. Collins, chief of the MPD, Deputy Chief Todino was placed on paid administrative leave last week “by me pending the outcome of an investigation as a result of a serious allegation.”
An anonymous source informed the Enterprise this week that the investigation was launched after it became known Deputy Chief Todino was allegedly in possession of a firearm he had stolen from the police department. A third party close to the case also confirmed this claim.
Chief Collins declined to confirm or deny the the allegation.
The chief met with Town Manager Joyce M. Mason and the Mashpee Board of Selectmen last week to inform them of the suspension. He clarified that the meeting was strictly informational and there was no hearing of any sort as, under section 5-3 of the town charter, the police chief is “responsible for the appointment, promotion and discipline of all officers and subordinates” in his department.
Ms. Mason confirmed that neither she nor the selectmen would have any official say over any disciplinary actions, but did not comment further on the situation. Selectmen John C. Cahalane and Theresa M. Cook were contacted for information but also did not wish to comment on the situation.
Chief Collins said the investigation, which he is conducting personally, is “in progress…I don’t want to comment further because I don’t want to compromise the investigation.” He did not speculate as to how long the investigation could take.
Should the investigation yield sufficient evidence for a formal disciplinary hearing, a third-party certified arbitrator would be brought in to serve as the hearing officer. The chief explained that he would normally act as the hearing officer but could not fill that role in this case since he is conducting the investigation, and has asked a former police chief of his to serve as arbitrator should the need arise.
If a public hearing is warranted, it would be closed to the public unless Deputy Chief Todino requested an open hearing, the chief said.
The Enterprise was unable to contact Deputy Chief Todino, a Bourne resident, for comment as his phone number is unlisted.
Deputy Chief Todino, who also serves as tactical commander for the Upper Cape Cod Special Response Team, has been with the MPD since 1995. A Watertown native, Deputy Chief Todino began his law enforcement career in 1979, serving as a summer police officer in Falmouth.
From there he served with the Beaumont Police Department in Texas for five years, then returned to Massachusetts and took a job with the Babson College police in Wellesley, where he rose to the rank of deputy chief. He started in Mashpee as a part-time dispatcher before becoming a full-time patrolman.
In 2000 Deputy Chief Todino graduated from the Southern New England School of Law and passed the state bar exam on his first try.
He was promoted to Deputy Chief in 2001, over the objections of four sergeants—three of whom have since left the department—who challenged then-chief Maurice A. Cooper’s authority to appoint his second-in-command without input from the unions or town officials.
In 2004, following Chief Cooper’s retirement, Deputy Chief Todino applied for the top spot but was not selected as a finalist by a three-person search committee. Town officials cited his relative lack of experience as a factor, a claim the patrolmen’s unions and several sergeants disputed, along with 325 residents who signed a petition supporting Deputy Chief Todino.
That same year he was also a finalist for chief of police in Dennis but was not selected, and an outstanding sexual harassment lawsuit may have influenced the selection process.
That lawsuit, filed in 2001 and dismissed last October, was filed by Holly M. Clancy, a former Mashpee officer who left the department on disability leave in 2001. Ms. Clancy—the wife of Matthew M. Clancy, one of the four sergeants who protested Deputy Chief Todino’s promotion—claimed the deputy chief referred to her by derogatory sexual terms and thus created a hostile work environment.
She also claimed that Deputy Chief Todino did not properly expedite her request for paid injury leave based on her gender. She was eventually awarded leave with full benefits, which is her full annual salary, tax-free. Ms. Clancy left the town payroll last spring after her request for early retirement was approved by the Barnstable County Retirement Board.
The two-day jury trial ended with the jury finding insufficient evidence to support any of Ms. Clancy’s claims against Deputy Chief Todino. Several other charges in the case had been dismissed two years earlier.
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