Hired, then fired and rehired, Pittsfield cop remains on paid leave

Officer Dale Eason might collect up to $185K in back pay

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PITTSFIELD — A city police officer who was ordered back on the force by the state's highest court after being dismissed remains on paid leave pending further action from the city.

Officer Dale Eason was fired in September 2016, after a department investigation determined that he included misleading information in a police report about a shoplifting arrest.

The matter went before an arbitrator, who determined that Eason should have incurred only a three-day suspension and was entitled to reinstatement and back pay.

The case faced further legal challenges from the city all the way to the Supreme Judicial Court, which ruled in favor of Eason on Oct. 3 and said the arbitrator's decision must be abided by.

Eason was reinstated to the force but placed on paid administrative leave Oct. 21, pending the completion of an administrative review and an "essential functions analysis," according to a Pittsfield Police Department personnel order.

On Monday, Eason's attorney, Timothy Burke, said he and the city have been in discussions regarding Eason's status within the department but wasn't at liberty to discuss details.

Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Wynn also said he was unable to comment on the ongoing personnel matter.

Among the unresolved issues in Eason's case is exactly how much money he will be entitled to as a result of being reinstated. Burke had previously said the amount could be up to $185,000 or more.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@berkshireeagle.com, at @BobDunn413 on Twitter and 413-496-6249.

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