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Abington town manager defends police chief, who faces multiple lawsuits

Abington’s police chief is the subject of several lawsuits, but Town Manager Richard LaFond says the claims in part involve people trying to cast a negative light on a good public servant.

A lawsuit filed in Plymouth Superior Court last month by Abington Police Officer Tom Delaney, head of the local police union, says that Chief David Majenski and other superior officers in the department ordered officers to write more traffic tickets and fewer warnings, instituting a quota system. The lawsuit seeks $1 million or “whatever a jury of his peers decides is appropriate,” said Delaney’s lawyer, John Hightower.

Majenski did not return phone calls seeking comment. LaFond said the town had not received notice of the lawsuit, but he believes it is similar to a complaint dismissed by the state attorney general’s office.

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Separately, a complaint was filed with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination by a female officer alleging discrimination. H Harrison, assistant to MCAD commissioners, said it was filed in November, but because it is an active investigation, he could not discuss specifics of the case.

LaFond said the dispute stemmed from a disagreement about payment of academy training costs.

Another lawsuit involves Majenski’s son and allegations of bullying in the Whitman-Hanson Regional School District, where the son was a student. The lawsuit was filed by Daniel Strautman, a former student at Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, last September, and involves an incident from October 2010 as well as allegations of other bullying.

Strautman said in his civil complaint,pending in Plymouth Superior Court, that he was physically assaulted on Oct. 29, 2010, by five students, including Majenski’s son, off school property. He also said he was bullied at school for three years by some of the students.

He said he was threatened, called names, and had food thrown at him, according to a copy of the complaint provided by his lawyer, Mitchell Notis.

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The complaint states that Chief Majenski in September 2011 met with Hanson’s police chief, Edward Savage, and “pressured Chief Savage and the Hanson Police Department that the ‘bullying investigation’ had to be closed. In relation to these actions, defendant Majenski was not acting in his official capacity.” As a result, the complaint alleges, the bullying investigation ended. The lawsuit asks for a jury trial to determine an unspecified amount of money to compensate for emotional pain and suffering, attorney’s fees, and other costs. Savage was also named in the lawsuit, as were school officials.

LaFond said the town is providing legal coverage for Majenski as it would other town officials who might be sued because of the position they hold.

According to reports in the Patriot Ledger, Strautman’s father, William, complained to Hanson selectmen that Savage failed to investigate the alleged bullying. Savage has since resigned from the town’s force.

Attorney Christopher Cifra, who represents Savage and Whitman-Hanson district officials in the case, called the complaint “baseless” and said the officials acted appropriately, and he believes they will be vindicated.