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D’Amelio Finally Fired

MIT has fired Joseph D’Amelio, the MIT Police Officer arrested for drug trafficking in mid-March, MIT announced on this week.

Since D’Amelio’s March 14 arrest, MIT has fired one officer and suspended another without pay, both in response to those two officers throwing out issues of The Tech on March 17. It took two weeks to fire one of those officers, but it’s taken three to fire D’Amelio.

The difference appears to relate to D’Amelio’s maintaining his innocence, whereas the other officers admitted guilt. It’s been quite clear that MIT was going to terminate D’Amelio’s employment, but administrative processes were not completed quickly.

Those administrative processes will be part of the scope of the new campus police review panel. The panel’s charge includes reviewing not only police policies, but also police disciplinary systems.

MIT has named two additional members to the review panel this week: Deborah Fisher, Institute Auditor; and Blanche Staton, Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Students. That brings the membership of the panel to eight. Seven of the members are high-ranking MIT officials and professors; the eighth is the Cambridge police commissioner.

The review panel has not yet met, nor has it announced a schedule or a time frame for deliberations. MIT has said that no students would serve on the panel. The panel does not have a chair, MIT said, but the panel reports to President Susan J. Hockfield and Executive Vice President Theresa M. Stone SM ’76. The panel does not report to Provost L. Rafael Reif, as had been previously announced.

—John A. Hawkinson