John Buonomo
John Buonomo

BOSTON -- The Somerville Retirement Board had the right to deny a pension to former Middlesex Registrar of Probate John Buonomo, who was convicted in 2009 of multiple counts of larceny.

In its decision issued on Wednesday, the state Supreme Judicial Court wrote that there is no requirement in the law that the public office involved in the conviction be the same as the public office from which the person is receiving retirement benefits.

Buonomo, through his attorney, argued that the Somerville Retirement Board was incorrect in withholding Buonomo's pension that he earned while serving in several public positions in Somerville, retiring when he became the county registrar probate. Former Lowell District Court Judge James McGuinness ruled in favor of Buonomo and upheld by a superior court judge, but the SJC reversed the lower court decision and sent the case back to district court.

"Forfeiture of a retirement allowance...is mandatory and occurs by operation of law," the SJC wrote.

For more on this story see Thursday's Sun or visit http://www.lowellsun.com.