BrameSun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.
Brame

Sun staff photos can be ordered by visiting our SmugMug site.

By Christopher Scott

cscott@lowellsun.com.

LOWELL -- Two of the five Lowell police officers implicated in the Jan. 13, 2013 jail cell death of Alyssa Brame who did not accept city offers of less-serious punishment in exchange for forgoing lengthy and costly appeals hearings are scheduled to have their hearings begin July 21, Solicitor Christine O'Connor said.

The officers who rejected the city's offers are Lt. Thomas Siopes and Sgt. James Fay, both of whom are facing termination, as favored by Police Supt. William Taylor, who has said repeatedly, and publicly, that what he found most appalling about the behavior of all five officers that evening/morning was their disregard for the Brame 's well-being.

To Siopes, the city offered a demotion to patrolman plus a 180-day unpaid suspension. Siopes was the officer in charge when Brame was brought into the cellblock and was alerted to concerns about the woman's condition, the board of inquiry found. Brame had been arrested on Appleton Street late the previous night on a prostitution charge.

To Fay, the city offered a demotion to patrolman for a year, plus a 60-day suspension. Fay, the board found, was in a position to see Brame in both a semiconscious and conscious state.

The police department's well-publicized handling of Brame has fueled concerns of police neglect.


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The precise mechanics of the hearing process, such as will they be done separately and will they be open to the public, should be resolved during a July 9 meeting between O'Connor, Development Services Director Eric Slagle, the city's hearing officer, and two lawyers representing the superior officers' union, Gary Nolan and his partner, Peter J. Perroni.

The three officers who are close to accepting the city's offer are:

* Sgt. Michael Giuffrida: Giuffrida, who was facing a one-year unpaid suspension, will be suspended for 15 days, 10 of which will be served as punishment days. The difference between a suspended day and a punishment day is that under the latter, the officer remains on the payroll and can, for example, work a paid detail. The three-member Board of Inquiry that investigated Brame 's death found Giuffrida was in a position to see Brame semiconscious and conscious. He was present, for example, when Brame was "mumbling or talking incoherently" and a few minutes later, when she lay unconscious.

* Sgt. Francis Nobrega: Also facing a one-year suspension, Nobrega accepted the same deal as Giuffrida. The inquiry board found Nobrega was also in a position to see Brame semiconscious and conscious, including when she was "barely able to walk, bumbling or talking incoherently." The report called it "troubling" that Nobrega "seemed inclined to blame the Police Department and/or the hospitals" for medical care not being provided to Brame .

* Lt. Michael Kilmartin: Kilmartin, who was facing a demotion to patrolman, plus a one-year unpaid suspension, is now looking at a temporary, three-month demotion to sergeant, plus a 45-day unpaid suspension. The board found that Kilmartin also saw Brame semiconscious and conscious, and was present when conversations took place as to whether Brame was sober enough to have committed the alleged sexual conduct she was arrested for. Kilmartin had a duty to act, and provided "very little appropriate information" to other staff, the inquiry found.

While none of the three officers have definitely settled with the city, it is anticipated the sides will indeed come to terms.

The Board of Inquiry, which was overseen by Capt. Kevin Stavely, found that police officers had discussions among themselves as to whether Brame , 31, was sober enough to allegedly offer a sexual act to an undercover officer, as charged, on the night when she was arrested and brought into the police station where she would later die due to alcohol poisoning.

One officer noted how Brame could "barely speak" and another called her "severely intoxicated." When officers removed her handcuffs and loosened her jacket to make her more comfortable, she barely responded while being moved around.

But despite being aware of her condition, those responsible for her at the station also went 66 minutes without checking on her -- more than double the required length -- as her condition worsened, according to the report.

Follow Scott on Twitter @cscottlowellsun.