Tisbury settles with Roman for $240,000

Town cited desire for amicable resolution as impetus to cut deal.

Kindia Roman, right, will receive a $240,000 check from the town. — MV Times

Tisbury’s insurer will pay former Tisbury Police Sgt. Kindia Roman $240,000 to settle a federal discrimination, conspiracy, and harassment lawsuit filed in 2020. The settlement releases not just the town but also Tisbury Police Sgt. Max Sherman and former Tisbury Police Chief Mark Saloio from all claims. The settlement calls for no admission of liability, and includes a nondisparagement clause. 

While The Times previously reported a settlement had been reached based on court filings, the details of the settlement and the dollar amount of the settlement were only disclosed Wednesday afternoon. 

“The town has reached a full and complete settlement of all claims with the town’s former police Sergeant, Kindia Roman,” a statement from the Tisbury select board states. “With an eye towards resolving this matter amicably, and taking the Town of Tisbury’s best interests into consideration, the town authorized the town’s insurer to engage in settlement discussions with Ms. Roman’s representatives during the course of litigation. The town and Ms. Roman, through counsel, participated in mediation before a senior federal district court judge, who strongly recommended settlement as compared to protracted litigation. While we believed strongly in the town’s defenses, and believed the facts, as we understood them, to be favorable to the town, we concluded that settlement was the best course of action for the town and the police department.”

The statement goes on to stress that it contains no admission of liability. 

“The agreement provides that Ms. Roman will release the town from all claims, and withdraw the pending matters against the town, with prejudice, in exchange for a lump sum settlement payment. The settlement figure arrived at is $240,000, [and] will be paid by the town’s insurer. The agreement … expressly provides that the agreement is not to be construed as an admission of liability, and we firmly believe that to be the case. We wish Ms. Roman the best in her future endeavors. We will make no other comments about the litigation or Ms. Roman, and we consider this matter closed.”

Reached Wednesday afternoon, Tim Burke, Roman’s attorney, said when the Tisbury Police Department lost Roman, it was “a loss to the entire community,” because Roman was “an excellent representative of what community policing is all about.”

Burke also said he and his client are satisfied with the settlement, “and we stand by each of the allegations stated in her complaint.”

Roman, who is a detective with the Westwood Police Department, declined immediate comment, and said she would reserve remarks for some time in the future. 

Neither Saloio nor Sherman immediately responded to voice messages seeking comment. Sherman, who remains on the force in Tisbury, was previously promoted from detective to sergeant with an open Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) complaint against him from Roman. The MCAD complaint was a precursor to the federal suit. A leading accusation Roman leveled at Sherman was that he tried to ruin a job prospect for her at the Walpole Police Department. 

Tisbury town administrator Jay Grande declined comment, and directed The Times to the select board’s statement. 

Roman’s settlement comes after former Tisbury Police Lt. Eerik Meisner settled with the town for $400,000. Allegations that led up to that settlement included standing up for Roman in the face of criticism by town officials, including, allegedly, from former Chief Saloio. 

“I’m glad the situation has been resolved with a positive outcome for Roman,” Meisner said Wednesday. 

Burke also represented Meisner, and has exacted a combined total of $640,000 on behalf of the two former Tisbury cops. 


    • The settlement is paid by the town’s insurers. So the question is: how much does this settlement — and multiple other settlements — jack up their insurance costs, assuming any insurer would want to do business with the town of Tisbury as the suits continue to pile at a remarkable rate. Would love to know if the rate at which Tisbury is sued typical or unusual of similar small towns — Rich?

    • Scott –I don’t like it–
      I’d rather spend it on a tennis court.
      But really, as a dedicated public servant who felt wronged, I would hope Roman would do something with her $240 k to help the cause of abuse, and not just blow it on her own hedonistic desires.

      • What the h_ll are you talking about? Why should this abused police officer spend a penny on the social causes you have designated?
        I don’t see you making that suggestion to the abusers, the Town of Tisbury. Must be more convenient to you that the victim should pay?

        • James-Mr. Peterson asked a question. I answered it.
          It is not uncommon that victims or the families of victims use some of the settlement money they receive to establish funds to raise awareness of the issue that affected them.
          The town of Tisbury ( taxpayers) has already paid– I don’t need to suggest that they pay more.
          And as far as victims paying for things, the Violence against women act of 1994 mandated that the federal government provided funding for among other things , rape kits. It was introduced by a democrat, and signed into law by Bill Clinton. A conservative majority of the SCOTUS struck down the provision to allow victims to sue in federal court. If not for that the feds may have paid for Roman’s settlement and she may have gotten more.
          While all states are mandated to cover the cost of the basic rape kit, it varies by state as to what else is covered.
          For instance only 17 states provide free pregnancy testing, 11 provide emergency contraception ( before Dobbs) and only 3 cover the cost of an ambulance.
          By the way, take a look at the maps on this link, and see which political party voted against the violence against women reauthorization act in 2013.
          If you are so concerned about the victims, (especially females) you should vote straight democrat. Otherwise you are just being the hypocrite that you are eager to accuse others of being.

      • Don, I hope she takes a vacation to a gorgeous, remote spot, has luxurious spa treatments, and sips peach-colored cocktails with little paper umbrellas floating on top. If any of that can begin to help heal the pain, suffering, and damage she endured from abusive pigs, all the better for her. Wish she had gotten more money, but to be sure, no amount of money can compensate for that kind of disgusting abuse.

        • Jackie… totally agree. What kind of fantasy land does someone live in to think that after being abused you should somehow put aside your abuse to make someone else feel better. Sorry I don’t get that thinking. Also I could be wrong but most government agencies are self insured with a catastrophic umbrella. So most likely the tax payer is on the hook for this type of settlement.

      • I’m glad she got paid but it’s ridiculous for the taxpayers to be put in this position. I really would love to see what tisbury pays for insurance compared to the other towns.

      • I think with all she had to put up with we shouldn’t be telling her or suggesting to her how to spend her money..

        • Don, no matter how you frame it, the idea that a victim of a civil tort should be required to redistribute compensatory and punitive damages awarded to them, rather than the perpetrator, is antithetical to justice.
          Where does it end? Punish a robbery victim because their clothing suggested affluence?
          Nowhere in American justice is the innocent party the subject of such punishment. Personally I am happy her rights were vindicated, but disappointed Max Sherman still has a taxpayer funded job.

  1. I believe the money should come out of the selectmen`s, pockets & the Town Administrator`s pockets for starts. Including the one who just got away just in time!
    Nothing has changed for the better since we got rid of McCarthy & obviously Wasserman`s suggestions and reccomendations all these years have been useless and very, very costly!
    I have nothing against the police officers, I personally know several of them and they are top shelf! It is definietly all those in leadership rolls beginning with the selectmen!!

  2. The Town paid out $640,00 to two of it’s Finest because they did nothing wrong?
    This is how Tisbury backs the Blue?
    Pay them to go away…

  3. “Town cites desire for amicable resolution”?
    I guess it was just too much bother to actually run an AMICABLE police Dept, saving the taxpayers a quarter million dollars?

  4. As a former investigator of sexual harassment and discrimination, I have seen these stories all too often. And, all too often, they could have been prevented from ever getting to litigation if leadership had acted responsibly and in a timely manner. Why did this have to continue for so long and interfere with a person’s right to seek employment elsewhere? What was the motivation? It appears the court did the right thing, but what about the taxpayers? Should taxpayers be paying for these preventable offenses? It’s not that difficult for leaders to stand up and say/do what’s right to maintain a respectful work environment. Just Do It!

    • What I’ve observed elsewhere is a perpetrator may be accepted by the community or workplace as their misbehavior is directed completely at the victim. Might some in the community have the ability to read people, recognize this flaw in a leader? Yes, but then need enough to vote the person out of office. It is not unreasonable for a responsible attorney to weigh merits against time and cost of pursuing, and recommend the client take a settlement.

  5. wow when you have such a “solid” case like hers and you blink and settle for peanuts and yes this is peanuts you know what? it wasnt so solid after all. good to see mark and max have their reps restored.

    • A quarter of million solid.
      Maybe another quarter of million after another five years in court.
      Court costs money.
      Another five years in court will cost the Town’s insurers at least another quarter of a million.
      This case has already cost the town over half a million.
      The cost of incompetent leadership, in and out of uniform.

  6. Ms Lane, Mr Charette is correct. Her case , if strong would have gained her more than 1 million. If all this really happened she would have taken this before a jury and likely won.. The lawyer takes some of the 240k and her winnings is taxable as ordinary income. In addition, fair or not she becomes a red flag in her current job. Her lawyer advised her to take the offer based on what he saw in Discovery. The irony here is that none of us know what really happened.

    • We really know what really happened.
      The town’s insurance lawyers saw the red flag and said let’s settle for 240k, with court costs and lawyers this could cost us over 2 million.

      As far as her current Law Enforcement employment position goes, they were well aware of her red flag long before she was hired.
      A Tisbury Police Department red flag has no currency in a professionally staffed law enforcement agency.

    • This line of thinking can be very easily turned right around. If the town had such a good case and knew nothing happened why offer to settle?

      • You do the court case if the plaintiff wants say 2million. But negotiating to 240k is a no brainer. Court case will cost lots of money and if it goes to mediation they often split the baby. Even if you have a strong case is not worth pursuing particularly if you have a liberal jury on MV. 240k is much easier.

  7. Yes, to be amiable, innocent people always agree to pay out a quarter of a million dollars to settle an abuse lawsuit. It’s like pretending that people who ask for a presidential pardon did nothing wrong.
    That’s their story and they’re stickin’ to it.

    Most discrimination and harassment cases settle out of court for less than if they went to trial– for all kinds of reasons, even though that doesn’t fit in with the misogyny playbook.

    Mistreatment, discrimination, and abuse are traumatizing. Dragging in out in long court battles (where the lawyers make out like bandits) is re-traumatizing. I’d settle, too.

  8. The Town cited a desire for a least cost resolution.
    All that dirty laundry out in open court…

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