PROVIDENCE — A superior court judge has reinstated a former Rhode Island state trooper’s disability pension, ruling that the colonel’s refusal of benefits was arbitrary and capricious.
Judge Kevin F. McHugh admitted last week to assaulting a Central Falls man in state police custody in 2014 and Jamie, a former police officer who has since sought to vacate that conviction.・The court ruled in favor of Donnelly Taylor.
Donnelly-Taylor was sacked in early 2019 after Colonel James Mani assumed command. A new state police superintendent said Donnelly-Taylor had contracted the illness at work after he refused to claim a disability pension due to his PTSD.
PTSD claim: ‘This is a medical decision’
The McHugh ruling restored the pension retroactively to the December 2018 application date. This was after agency doctors determined that Donnelly-Taylor had had his PTSD disabled and suffered permanent damage as a result of “many incidents” related to his employment. Ifrate said.
“Of course, we are very happy with the judge’s decision. From the beginning, we felt that the law was very clear about what…
“This is a medical decision. This is not a political decision,” she added.
The state intends to appeal, according to Attorney Vincent F. Lagosta Jr., among the team of attorneys representing the state.
“The state is vehemently opposed to the rationale for the decision to overturn Colonel Mani’s denial. We intend to appeal,” Lagosta said.
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McHugh accepted the state’s position that disability pensions are within the power and discretion of the Rhode Island police colonel, Lagosta said.
Ragosta estimated that profits due to Donnelly-Taylor exceeded $500,000.
Lionel Monsanto assault case
Donnelly-Taylor has been at war with the state for years over the 2014 attack on Lionel Monsanto at the Lincoln Barracks.
A grand jury indicted Donnelly-Taylor for simple assault, saying he ultimately did not contest the misdemeanor but did so only on the assurance of then-state police colonel Stephen G. O’Donnell. Monsanto sued. Donnelly Taylor also claimed that O’Donnell wanted to prevent the release of the assault video.
Donnelly-Taylor claimed he attacked Monsanto in self-defense after being attacked himself.
Monsanto has filed a lawsuit in federal court, and the attorney general’s office has refused to defend Donnelly Taylor against these allegations, a stance affirmed by the state Supreme Court.
The state settled with Monsanto for $125,000 in 2018.
Why Colonel Mani Denies PTSD Claims
Donnelly-Taylor blamed part of his PTSD on his treatment by his former employer and the state attorney general’s office in handling the Monsanto case.
By first denying his allegations, Mani concluded: Donnelly-Taylor’s disabling stress was not due to Monsanto’s arrest, but to the assault on Mr. Monsanto. [Lionel] Monsanto and its resulting impact.”
In 2021, former High Court Judge Susan E. McGuirl ruled that Manni’s reasoning was not sufficient and he must specifically explain why he denied benefits.
Mani then issued a complementary denial.
“His conclusion was that his medical condition was ultimately unrelated to his police duties. It was due to an off-duty assault,” Lagosta said.
Donnelly Taylor alleges unlawful retaliation in separate lawsuit
In yet another case, Donnelly Taylor is suing Mani and others, accusing him of allegations of wrongdoing and covering up assaults on a boy in custody by former Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Philbin and Captain Gerald McKinney. After reporting it, they accuse them of unlawfully retaliating against him.
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The incident never led to a formal discovery of wrongdoing, and the video that captured it disappeared. Manni referred the matter to the Connecticut State Police for review in 2019. The Connecticut State Police issued a report that is now sealed in Superior Court.
State police denied the journal’s request to release the Connecticut report under the Access to Public Records Act.
“The fact that the Superior Court pointed out the confidentiality of the report by taking safeguards before it was submitted to attorneys was a RISP decision that denial of this request was appropriate under APRA. further strengthens its position,” wrote Commissioner Adam J. Sholes. State Police Lawyer.
Donnelly-Taylor is seeking to vacate the conviction in another lawsuit.