Council Approves Using Bonds For Payment

Syracuse Common Council votes 7-1, only Denno votes “No”

By James Gloria

Originally reported on February 27, 2012

SYRACUSE (NCC News) — The Syracuse Common Council voted Monday to use bonds to pay a policewoman more than $600,000 she won in a federal court case against the Syracuse Police Department. Councilor-At-Large Lance Denno was the only member to vote no, saying the money should not be paid through bonds.

Councilor-At-Large Lance Denno

Who is financially responsible for the decision of a case should be decided on a case-by-case basis, Denno said. One option in cases like Lee’s would be to have the person who does wrong be financially responsible.

“The City of Syracuse has made no attempt to put the liability where it belongs – on the shoulders of those few individual officers whose malicious acts have caused harm to their fellow officers, the department, and the community at large,” Denno said.

In 2010, Officer Kathy Lee won a case against the police department that said the department retaliated against her for complaining about sexual discrimination. The retaliation included anything from “petty, fictitious” postings in the common areas of the department, to job assignments, Denno said.

District Five Councilor Nader Maroun

Part of Denno’s argument against using bonds was they make future generations responsible for the payment.

“It is fundamentally wrong and a monstrous injustice to burden our children with the costs of our failings,” he said.

If the money did not come from bonds, it would have to come from city funds, Lee’s lawyer, A.J. Bosman, said in 2010.

District Five Councilor Nader Maroun voted yes because he did not want “to put the other departments and city employees in jeopardy,” he said.


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