Marilyn M. Petitto Devaney - District 3 presided
The hearing began with Councilor Devaney administering an oath to the nominee and each of the witnesses, Councilor Cipollini objectd to this procedure.
First to speak was The Honorable Omar Hernandez, Senior Justice for the Industrial Accident Board.
He has known Judge Bean for 20 years, and is now his boss.
The Honorable Omar Hernandez described him as compassionate, as well as being a colleague.
The Honorable Omar Hernandez stated that based on the metrics used by the Industrial Accident Board, Judge Bean is one of the highest producers, in terms of the number of cases processed as well as the turn around for these cases.
The Honorable Omar Hernandez went on to state that the decisions are clearly written.
According to The Honorable Omar Hernandez, Judge Bean sits in the Lawrence Court, and is not a problem judge.
Outside of the office, Judge Bean has volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, he went to New Orleans on such a project, as well as Nicaragua.
Councilors then started to question The Honorable Omar Hernandez about the make-up of the Industrial Accident Board.
The Industrial Accident Board is granted its authority by Chapter 23E of the Massachusetts General Laws.
Concern was aired about the apparent duplicity of duties of the Nominating Committee, and the Advisory Board.
However it was the issue regarding appointment and reappointment of judges that was of most interest.
Unlike other offices held by Judges, this office is not a lifetime appointment. The offices have a specific term and metrics are to be maintained for
each judge by which they may be reviewed for reappointment. Recently judges have simply been allowed to continue in office after their term
expires. No explanation was made for the lapse. It was acknowledged that in addition to the two justices having hearings today, there were five
others whose terms had expired, but were continuing in their office.
The next witness was Ralph Swift. Mr. Swift is a town school committee member. He has known Judge Bean for years and considers him a great guy.
Then Judge Bean spoke, he described his love of the work he does. He is a family man with four children.
His term expired in June of 2011, but he continued to work even after his term expired.
It was claimed that it was the practice of past senior judges, to ignore the expiration of an appointment and just allow the judge to continue serving.
The Honorable Omar Hernandez again spoke stating that he would do what he could to address the issue of holding over judges, once their term has expired.