Great Barrington hires law firm in relation to police issues

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GREAT BARRINGTON — Great Barrington has moved to hire a specialized law firm to deal with police personnel issues.

Town Manager Jennifer Tabakin and Select Board Chairman Sean Stanton said this week the hiring of Deutsch Williams of Boston was a temporary measure. Tabakin said she was sure the law firm's work would conclude quickly.

"Overall it's a recommendation to reduce legal costs," Tabakin said.

The board and the town manager declined to say whether the decision was related to a recent incident in which an off-duty town officer was suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol. Great Barrington police officer Daniel Bartini was pulled over Aug. 20 by a Sheffield police officer.

Citing a strong odor of alcohol and a driving pattern consistent with alcohol use, the officer concluded that Bartini was driving under the influence, but he did not to conduct a Breathalyzer or field sobriety test; Bartini was allowed to call for a ride home.

In the wake of the incident, Tabakin said she and Police Chief William Walsh would conduct an investigation into the matter. The results of that investigation are pending.


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