In an opinion published earlier today, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld a lower court’s judgment in favor of the Springfield City Council’s efforts to assert control over the police department commission. The court’s opinion states,
This appeal requires us to determine whether the city council of Springfield (city council) can reorganize the Springfield police department to be headed by a five-person board of police commissioners rather than a single commissioner under the provisions of the Springfield city charter passed in accordance with G. L. c. 43, §§ 46-55. The city council contends it can do so pursuant to its legislative powers, and the mayor of Springfield (mayor) disagrees, claiming it infringes on his executive appointment authority. We conclude that the city council may so reorganize the police department, based on the plain language of the relevant statutes and city ordinances, and therefore affirm the Superior Court’s entry of declaratory judgment in favor of the city council.
To read the 18-page opinion in its entirety, click here.