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Fired Quincy officer to receive $44k a year in retirement benefits

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  November 15, 2012 04:16 PM

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A former Quincy police officer who was fired after numerous complaints about his work will receive approximately $44,000 in retirement payments annually.

According to a State Board of Retirement Board document sent to Joseph McGunigle, the former Quincy officer will receive $43,917 annually until his death. After that, his wife will receive $29,278 annually.

The payment will be received monthly in equal sums. The document was obtained through a Freedom on Information Act request.

In September, the retirement board voted to grant McGunigle his pension. According to the state’s retirement guide, pensions are available for terminated employees unless they are convicted of a crime related to their job.

While McGunigle, 55, is of retirement age, the retirement system mandates that employees need to have worked for 32 years to get 80 percent of their highest three consecutive salaries, said Edward Masterson, executive director for the retirement board.

As McGunigle had 23 years of service within the retirement system – 15 years as a police officer and the remainder split between Boston Housing Authority and Boston Municipal Police – the pension payment had to be determined by the board.

The decision to grant McGunigle $44,000 was issued last week. The amount is a little more than half his highest three consecutive annual base salaries, which fell between $82,000 and $84,000.

While McGunigle is currently going through arbitration to appeal both the suspension of his firearms permit and termination, the retirement decision takes effect immediately.

According to Quincy officials, McGunigle was terminated due to numerous complaints on his work record. His firearms permit had been revoked mid-March also due to complaints from neighbors.

Prior to this most recent batch of complaints, stemming from a dispute with a neighbor over traffic cones, McGunigle butted heads with neighbors in 2007, handing out citations for residents failing to clean up after their dogs.

Though McGunigle was suspended for continuing to hand out citations after he was told not to, an arbitrating judge later cleared him of the incident. McGunigle received back pay for the suspension.

Additionally, McGunigle was put on suspension in 2001 for ticketing a Hull officer who ticketed his daughter.

In addition to the current arbitration, McGunigle has filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming the city violated his civil rights.

Though the case was dismissed, McGunigle’s attorney, Timothy Burke, said he has asked for the dismissal to be rescinded. Since then, it has been assigned to a different judge and the parties are awaiting a decision.

Burke was not immediately available for comment after a decision was given regarding McGunigle's pension.

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