Mayor Sarno provides clarification on ongoing Nathan Bill’s case

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno held a news conference Wednesday afternoon with City Solicitor Ed Pikula to provide clarification on the ongoing Nathan Bill’s case.

“This is in response to a most recent article that intimated that there was a cover-up occurring, which is the farthest thing from the truth,” Sarno said. “We’ve been very aggressive in pursuing this case.”

Springfield City Council President Justin Hurst released a statement Wednesday, calling for the firing of any city employee who failed to follow proper protocols. It reads in part:

“It is my hope that the Department of Justice and the State Attorney General expand their investigation into this most recent scandal to include the City Solicitor and any Attorney in the Labor Relations Department who assisted in the cover-up by destroying and ultimately failing to obtain evidence that may have implicated the 14 officers involved in this incident.”

During the news conference, Sarno had Pikula read aloud a report detailing the actions the city and police department have taken to address the incident. 

“We have worked with every, every agency,” Sarno explained. “We have been told to stand down. We have supplied information to all the agencies. We have early on indicated that hearings and disciplinary action had to be pursued.”

Acting Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood also addressed the ongoing investigation, saying it’s been hard on everyone — the victims, the police department, the families, the witnesses.

“I cannot stop what is happening with these cases that have dragged on for three or four years, but I do promise that I do my best to see that it never happens again,” Clapprood said.

City Council President Justin Hurst’s full statement:

” It is my hope that the Department of Justice and the State Attorney General expand their investigation into this most recent scandal to include the City Solicitor and any Attorney in the Labor Relations Department who assisted in the cover up by destroying and ultimately failing to obtain evidence that may have implicated the 14 officers involved in this incident. In addition, Mayor Sarno should fire any person that works for him who knew that these phone records existed and failed to follow the proper protocols to get this evidence to the IIU department to assist with the investigation. And, if the only way to obtain these phone records was through the City Council, as is insinuated by Solicitor Pikula, and he chose not inform us, then he is part of the cover up and should be fired also.

I intend to work with my colleagues on the Council to summons Mayor Sarno, Solicitor Pikula, Former Commissioner Barbieri, Retired Police Sgt. William Andrew, and any attorney in labor relations who might have had knowledge of the existence of these phone records to testify under oath before this body to find out how the City of Springfield and the Police Department managed to botch this investigation so badly and if it was done intentionally. I’m hopeful the Department of Justice and the Attorney General will do the same.”

City Council President Justin Hurst

Background

Twelve current Springfield police officers, a retired officer, and one former officer who is now a state trooper, were indicted on various charges in connection with an assault on four victims in a parking lot near the bar. The owner and manager of Nathan Bill’s were also charged in connection with the incident.

The 12 active officers were suspended without pay, but further punishment will be determined at a later time. The attorney general’s announced that their arraignment would be held Thursday in Hampden Superior Court. 

NAMES AND CHARGES: 

  1. Springfield Police Officer Daniel Billingsley, age 30, of Springfield
    • Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Shod Foot (4 counts), Assault and Battery, Serious Bodily Injury, Assault and Battery (3 counts), and Conspiracy
  2. Springfield Police Officer Anthony Cicero, age 29, of Hampden
    • Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Shod Foot (4 counts), Assault and Battery, Serious Bodily Injury, Assault and Battery (3 counts), and Conspiracy
  3. Springfield Police Officer Christian Cicero, age 28, of Longmeadow
    • Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Shod Foot (4 counts), Assault and Battery, Serious Bodily Injury, Assault and Battery (3 counts), and Conspiracy
  4. Springfield Police Officer Igor Basovskiy, age 34, of Springfield
    • Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Shod Foot (4 counts), Assault and Battery, Serious Bodily Injury, Assault and Battery (3 counts), and Conspiracy
  5. Springfield Police Officer Jameson Williams, age 33, of East Longmeadow
    • Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Shod Foot (4 counts), Assault and Battery, Serious Bodily Injury, Assault and Battery (3 counts), and Conspiracy
  6. Springfield Police Officer Jose Diaz, 54, of Springfield 
    • Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Shod Foot (4 counts), Assault and Battery, Serious Bodily Injury, Assault and Battery (3 counts), Conspiracy, and Misleading a Police Officer/Investigator 
  7. Nathan Bills Bar & Restaurant Owner John Sullivan, age 34, of Springfield
    • Assault and Battery with a Dangerous Weapon, Shod Foot (4 counts), Assault and Battery, Serious Bodily Injury, Assault and Battery (3 counts),Conspiracy, and Misleading a Police Officer/Investigator
  8. Springfield Police Officer Darren Nguyen, age 40, of Holland
    • Perjury
    • Misleading a Police Officer/Investigator
    • Filing a False Police Report
  9. Springfield Police Officer Shavonne Lewis, age 29, of Springfield
    • Perjury
    • Misleading a Police Officer/Investigator
    • Filing a False Police Report 
  10. Springfield Police Sergeant Louis Bortolussi, age 57, of East Longmeadow
    • Perjury
    • Misleading a Police Officer/Investigator
    • Filing a False Police Report
  11. Springfield Police Officer Derrick Gentry-Mitchell, age 29, of Springfield
    • Perjury
    • Misleading a Police Officer/Investigator/Grand Jury
    • Filing a False Police Report
  12. Springfield Police Officer James D’Amour, age 42, of Hampden
    • Perjury
    • Misleading a Police Officer/Investigator
    • Filing a False Police Report
  13. Springfield Police Officer John Wajdula, age 34, of Springfield
    • Perjury
    • Misleading a Police Officer/Investigator/Federal Agent
    • Filing a False Police Report
  14. Former Springfield Police Officer Nathaniel Perez, age 27, of West Springfield
    • Perjury
    • Misleading a Police Officer/Investigator
    • Filing a False Police Report
  15. Springfield Police Officer Melissa Rodriguez, age 32, of Springfield
    • Perjury
  16. Bar Manager Joseph Sullivan, age 42, of Hampden
    • Perjury
    • Misleading a Police Officer/Investigator   

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