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Springfield City Council President Calls For Release Of Police Hearing Board Reports


The mayor’s office in Springfield, Massachusetts says there is no target date for releasing overdue public reports by the city’s civilian police review panel. 

Springfield City Council President Mike Fenton said it is “unacceptable” that the Community Police Hearing Board has not issued a public report on its activities in almost two years.  

The mayor’s office blames a paperwork backlog in the city’s law department. Fenton says that’s a poor excuse.

"To say it has not been done in two years because we've been too busy, and we don't know when we are going to get to it is not fair to the public," said Fenton.

The seven-member board was created by an executive order from Mayor Domenic Sarno in 2010 in response to the public uproar over a white police officer severely beating a black motorist. Critics have assailed the board for its lack of authority to discipline police officers for misconduct.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.