NEW BEDFORD — Whether the City of New Bedford can recoup funds it claims terminated Deputy Fire Chief Paul Coderre Jr may have falsely obtained is a question making its way to the state Attorney General’s office.
Coderre has been out on work-related injuries since 2020.
However, Mayor Jon Mitchell fired Coderre on Jan. 25 after an investigation and surveillance video conducted by the city showed him lifting a heavy box containing a smoker grill out of the back of his pickup truck unassisted. The video was shot last summer.
Michael Lawrence, spokesperson for the city, said an inquiry was being sent to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office to see if the city has any recourse to recoup any of the funds Coderre received under alleged false pretenses.
Gregg Miliotte, spokesperson for the DA, said the department received the city’s inquiry on Wednesday and is “assisting the city with a referral to the Attorney General’s Office, which handles allegations of disability insurance fraud.”
On Thursday morning, the city’s Retirement Board met to act on a list of superannuation retirement applications. A superannuation retirement is described as the process of being retired upon reaching a certain age and meeting other requirements, including the length of creditable service, according to the Massachusetts state website.
There were 12 applications before the retirement board, which the board voted 3-2 to approve in one motion for all 12.
Coderre was on that list.
James Allen, board member, made the initial motion to approve the list in its entirety and member Susan Mandra Thompson seconded his motion.
Angela M. Natho, board member, in discussing the motion, said she wasn’t sure how to do it, but she wanted to amend the main motion to include having Coderre’s name taken off the list and tabled until the board’s February meeting.
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Chairman Leonard Baillargeon asked Allen if he would accept the amendment and he said no.
According to Roberts Rules of Order, Natho could have made a motion for her amendment anyway and have the board vote on it as long as she received a second.
She didn’t make that motion and the chair proceeded to call for a vote on the main motion to approve the entire list as submitted. Natho and board member Brennan Morsette voted in opposition.
The meeting was held remotely via Zoom. Coderre and his attorney, James H. Quirk Jr were present, but neither spoke.
Standard-Times digital producer Linda Roy can be reached at mailto:email@example.com You can follow her on Twitter at @LindaRoy_SCT. Support local journalism by purchasing a digital or print subscription to The Standard-Times.
This article originally appeared on Standard-Times: New Bedford seeks AG's help in possible Paul Coderre insurance case