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Former Transit Police lieutenant claims he was fired because chief hates white people and his second in command hates unions

Michael Rae, a former Transit Police lieutenant, has sued the MBTA, Transit Police Chief Kenneth Green and Transit Police Superintendent Richard Sullivan over the way he was fired in 2017, charging he was fired not for sleeping on the job but because Green, who is black, is biased against whites and veterans like him and that Sullivan, who is white, is biased against union officials who complain about working conditions.

Rae, hired in 2002, was promoted to lieutenant in 2013, after which he became president of MBTA Police Superior Officers Association. He was fired in March, 2017. WCVB reported it was because investigators had found he had skipped out on nearly 180 hours of work and had even constructed a small, locked area where he could take naps.

In his suit, filed in US District Court in Boston, Rae alleges that Green vowed to "darken" his force because there were too many whites and veterans, in an interview on Big City FM in 2016.

Rae alleges that after somebody circulated a photo of Sullivan "allegedly asleep while on duty" around the T and that Sullivan blamed him and vowed to "crush" the superior-officers union, and that his superiors did nothing to investigate when a sergeant allegedly favored by commanders threatened him with "severe physical harm." In his complaint, Rae denied having anything to do with the photo.

Rae, who now works for Verizon, is not seeking his job back but is instead seeking unspecified damages as well as the value of comp time he had built up before he was fired in March, 2017.

The T has yet to respond to the suit, which was only filed on Friday.

Complete Rae complaint (1.6M PDF).

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Comments

A law enforcement officer thinking he's above the rules... unheard of

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A commenter on uhub with a lack of respect for law enforcement? Unheard of

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...you respect cops who sleep on the job? Is that a Republican thing?

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They just have an instinctive reaction to get triggered whenever someone doesn't bow down to authority.

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He was fired, and apparently there was hard evidence. He's not a law enforcement officer anymore. Question: do you believe that criticizing law enforcement officers should not be allowed?

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Adam you are showing your slip here.

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And did you read the complaint?

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"Its so hard being a unskilled white male who barely graduated high school and is paid $100K+ for taking naps. How dare you question me stealing from taxpayers? Cops are above the law #bluelivesmatter #imabigdumbbaby"

Michael Rae, probably

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so go ahead and make fun of him if that makes you feel better.

(FYI I posted this on my phone while driving 45 in a 35)

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Had to ask.

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Those are right hand passing lanes I thought.

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It is unless you decide to use it as a loading zone :P

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Oh hi Pete I think I passed you. I was driving my large sized suv (although I could have easily walked to and from where I was going) while eating chick fil a and taking on the phone. I’m a multitasker!

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Nice try, though.

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It’s actually rare to be on our job and not have a college degree these days. Of the top of my head I know of a multitude of police officers who are graduates of BU, Hofstra, NESL, Northeastern, Stonehill, BC, Curry, Seton Hall, and Quinnipiac, etc etc.

Sure not exactly Ivy League, but at least they’re more open minded and not as hateful as you.

- a Boston Cop

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The Sullivan guy got caught napping, but it looks like Rae only had a nice sleeping lounge set up while doing his last half shift. Which is worse?

But it looks like there are days of missing time that Rae couldn't account for. I'm guessing he was coming in late or leaving early. That being said, if that kind of thing is common practice (sometimes a boss can let people go home early if there are special circumstances), I'm wondering if he has a case. I mean, if Sullivan can sleep and not get fired, why should Rae.......

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Somehow I read the complaint before reading Adam’s writeup, but I would say getting caught napping once is worth a written warning or short suspension tops, while constructing a sleeping area and/or having unaccounted for time when you should be at work gets a bit stronger a punishment.

Between Civil Service and the MCAD investigation into his civil rights issues, I see a summary judgement in the future.

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I'm guessing the sleeping setup was just a minor part of the problem with this guy. Not being there at all is the problem. A last half CO sleeping (not with a cot, that is kind of throwing it in your face) isn't the worst thing in the world. Probably safer than a firefighter sleeping as a police CO doesn't do much except make a major decision if something goes wrong (from his desk). I'm not saying they should be sleeping most of their shift but if they nod off in their chair from 3:30 to 5:30 am there probably isn't much harm being done (if they can hear the radio/phone calls coming in)

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Good story, Adam, but you should fix the typo in the 2nd paragraph, where you put "week" for '"work".

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The chief appears on a radio station and makes racist hateful statements about white officers and officers who are veterans and receives no discipline?
Someone sends a photo of the Superintendent Sullivan sleeping and he receives no discipline.
Rae is threatened with physical harm and files a complaint and no discipline is handed out and he is retaliated against.
Why wasn't Rae or any other officer charges with larceny if they stole time? An audit should be conducted to see how many officers are stealing time.
Is this the same department where officers are facing criminal charges for beating up homeless passengers and lying on reports?
Didn't U-hub do a story on an officer who was found guilty of sexually assaulting female employees?
When is Governor Baker going to address the rogue police agencies under his command there is no way he can defend the Chiefs racist comments if the allegations are true.

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So I'm guessing that is what he did.

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There is evidence of his racist comments.. the interview was video recorded, before it circulated around the department and he had the interviewer remove it from YouTube. But it still exist.

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I admit I haven't, but I'm a bit leery of accepting a disgruntled ex-employee's description of the contents of that recording (setting aside for a moment the question of whether or not he has a legitimate reason to be disgruntled).

I can certainly see how a black police chief, speaking on a radio station aimed at the black community, might express frustrations about the difficulties of increasing minority representation on a mainly white force when he has to deal with issues of civil service and veterans preference. It's hardly a unique viewpoint and by itself doesn't mean the speaker hates white people, it just means he might be trying to explain why the goal of increasing minority representation is not being met.

Shorter version: Context is everything, and I'd really want to hear the way the chief said what he allegedly said before casting judgment on him.

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why does his race matter?? i don't care if he is red black brown or orange, just report the facts!!

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I reported that somebody had filed a lawsuit. If you take the time to read the guy's complaint (it won't take that long, there are no complex legal issues to wade through), you'll see he makes two basic arguments: The chief was out to get him for racial issues and the superintendent (basically, the deputy chief) was out to get him for union issues. It's kind of hard to discuss a lawsuit that alleges racial discrimination without discussing race.

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He also alleges that the chief thinks there are too many veterans on the force. That's the second count. that the chief discriminated against a veteran of the Coast Guard who left service before 2002.

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sorry, this was heavy handed sarcasm on my part.

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I didn't realize George Costanza moonlighted as a T cop.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W__qCFWi1KA

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