Residents want Fanale barred from votes on police

Facebook posts bring councilman's objectivity into question


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  • The screen shot shows the opening of a Facebook note by Franklin Councilman David Fanale detailing an encounter he and his fiance had with Roxbury police in 2013.




  • This screen shot shows an exchange where Franklin Councilman David Fanale insults a former Newton police officer during an argument beneath his Facebook note regarding Roxbury police.



Several Franklin residents requested first-year councilman David Fanale be barred from voting on police matters due to derogatory Facebook posts he made about police in recent weeks.

A letter from life-long Franklin resident and retired Newton police officer Gar Van Tassel to borough administration dated March 20 asks that Fanale be banned from voting on motions concerning the Franklin Police Department due to his “discriminatory and prejudiced comments” towards police personnel.

His most recent post, dated March 19, recounts an encounter Fanale and his fiancée had with the Roxbury Police Department in 2013.

“There was a time when I, like most of you, was deceived into believing that cops were good guys,” the post begins. It continues to describe how Fanale believed they were mistreated by two of that’s department’s officers.

He also previously criticized Franklin police officer Rafael Burgos, who entered a burning pet store on Feb. 25 to save the animals and suffered smoke inhalation injuries on his Facebook timeline.

Van Tassel’s letter argues Fanale cannot cast an unbiased and fair vote if he “carries such bitterness and discrimination in his heart.” This is no less of a conflict of interest than Councilman Gilbert Snyder, the letter continues, who recuses himself from voting on police matters because his son is employed by the Franklin Police Department.

Van Tassel wasn’t the only resident upset about Fanale’s Facebook comments.

Jennifer Kovach said it was puzzling that nothing had yet been done to remedy the problem of Fanale’s “alienating” of borough residents.

Retired Department of Public Works employee Mike Gunderman recounted his 42 years as a borough employee, where “not one time did the mayor and council chastise an employee for doing his job.”

Nicole Van Tassel Miller, who read her father’s letter to Mayor Paul Crowley, also pointed out that Fanale personally insulted her family during a Facebook conversation in which he told Van Tassel he was “probably a pretty [bad] cop” when he was on Newton’s police force.

Crowley informed the public that there was no way a councilman could be stripped of his voting rights and recusals from votes are made on the voter’s own accord.

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