Sgt. Michael Marcucilli of the Mount Vernon Police Department has cost the city more than $930,000 in verdicts, settlements and legal fees in police brutality cases, The Journal News/lohud.com reports today. He has been named in three federal lawsuits in the past five years, including two in which juries found that he used excessive force, a review of city and court records shows.
The plaintiff in a fourth case, which doesn’t name the sergeant, accuses Marcucilli of beating him up outside a city nightclub in 2008. The plaintiff claims police crafted reports to hide the sergeant’s name because he had been accused in similar cases.
The city’s legal department told The Journal News Friday that police officials and the city’s outside labor counsel “will proceed with an internal investigation into his conduct and the need for disciplinary action. Sgt. Marcucilli remains on a modified assignment.”
Marcucilli, 42, declined to speak with The Journal News. Sgt. Gregory Addison, president of the Mount Vernon Police Association, would not discuss specific details of Marcucilli’s employment but said that, to his knowledge, Marcucilli had never faced a departmental trial or been charged with any departmental violations.
Marcucilli has been with the department since August 1995. He was promoted to sergeant in March 2006. Paul Weather, a city resident and retired Westchester County detective, accused Marcucilli of throwing him against a wall at a Jan. 12, 2007 Mount Vernon High School basketball game. Weather sued and was awarded $315,000 by a jury in 2011. The city had to pay $81,000 for Weather’s legal fees. After an unsuccessful appeal, a judge last month ordered the city to pay another $34,000 in legal fees.
In another case, 12-year-old Vanney Allen claimed Marcucilli hit him in the head with a baton on Feb. 28, 2009, when the boy and two friends were found inside A.B. Davis Middle School after school hours. A jury last summer awarded allen $500,000. The city appealed, and the boy’s mothre settled the case for $250,000 from the city and $25,000 from Marcucilli. The city also paid $150,000 for Allen’s legal fees and another $26,000 for Marcucilli’s lawyer, Douglas Martino.
Martino said he doesn’t agree with the verdict. “To this day, I don’t think it happened the way the plaintiff alleged,” he said.
Marcucilli’s annual salary is $100,021.