The Somerville Retirement Board was placed in contempt of court Thursday for defying a judge's order to reinstate the pension of a man convicted of stealing money from copier machines in a public building, a city official said.
Assistant City Solicitor Matthew J. Buckley said district court Judge James H. McGuinness issued the contempt ruling because the board has refused to pay out the $38,735 annual pension of John Buonomo, a former Somerville School Committee member and alderman who pleaded guilty in October to stealing over $100,000 from copier machines at the Middlesex Registry of Deeds building in Cambridge.
In a May 28 ruling, McGuinness said Buonomo was entitled to the pension, since his conviction was not related to his employment with the city.
Buckley said the board will appeal that ruling. Also, he said, the contempt ruling will not affect the board's operations in any way.