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Manchester Cuts Check To Fired Cop, Ending Legal Battle

Police car
Dan Tuohy/NHPR

The City of Manchester says it has paid a disgraced former police officer $181,700, ending a years-long battle between the municipality and Aaron Brown, who was fired for sending racist text messages.

City officials say the payment was made on November 20, less than two weeks after the Board of Aldermen approved the transfer of funds.

Brown was fired in 2018 after an internal investigation uncovered racist messages, including texts to his wife, on a department-issued phone. There were also messages in which he claimed to have intentionally damaged property while executing search warrants.

After appealing his termination, an independent arbitrator ruled that Brown’s conduct didn’t warrant dismissal. The binding ruling required Manchester Police to rehire Brown and provide him with back pay.
A second ruling in August confirmed that Brown was entitled to back pay and rehire, having already served a 30-day suspension from the force.

The Manchester Police Department and city officials criticized the arbitrator’s decision, including Mayor Joyce Craig who called the ruling a “serious error.”

With no avenue for appeal, the city’s Board of Aldermen approved paying Brown approximately two years of back pay.

Despite the order that Brown be rehired, Manchester PD has refused to bring Brown back on the force.

“He will never set foot in this building again,” said Chief Allan Aldenberg earlier this month.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.

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