State official recommends town revoke costly union contracts

METHUEN, Mass. (AP) — Massachusetts’ inspector general says Methuen officials should rescind costly police contracts that could lead to layoffs.
Inspector General Glenn Cunha said Friday that former Mayor Stephen Zanni and the City Council may have violated state and local regulations and breached their fiduciary duty to taxpayers when they reached union contracts with police officers starting in 2017.
Cunha’s office says the original contract paid some captains more than $400,000 a year while the second one “far exceeded” the department’s budget even though it lowered some of the pay raises.
More than half the city’s police force has received layoff notices, and officials warn more could be coming.
Mayor James Jajuga says his office is reviewing the findings. The City Council is considering a resolution to restore the police budget Monday.