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Springfield Mayor Removes Election Opponent From Police Hearing Board

Mark M. Murray
The Springfield Republican
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno.
Sal Circosta's term on the police hearing board technically doesn't expire until 2017.

Springfield Mayor DomenicSarno has relieved Sal Circosta of his seat on the city’s Community Police Hearing Board, which reviews complaints against police officers. Circosta was the mayor’s challenger in this last election.

Circosta said the mayor’s office dated the letter November 4, the day after Sarno glided to a win over his little known and under-funded opponent.

“It said, as I conclude my time on this commission, he just wanted to recognize and thank me for everything,” Circosta said. “That was pretty much the gist of it, didn’t really say when my time was ending or has ended.”

Circosta’s term on the police hearing board technically doesn’t expire until 2017, but a spokesperson for Sarno said board members “serve at the will of the Mayor.” He’ll be replaced by Paul Phaneuf, a funeral director.

During his campaign for mayor, Circosta had been critical of the board, calling it reactive and without the necessary power to provide strong civilian oversight.

This story was originally published by New England Public Radio (nepr.net).

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