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City Declares Victory in Case of Ex-Cop Sideris

Another appeal by George Sideris to the Civil Service Commission, seeking reinstatement to the Peabody Police Department, was dismissed in August.

It appears all legal appeals from ex-Peabody cop George Sideris have been dismissed, and the city is calling it a victory. The net result is that Sideris, 41, won't be reinstated to the Peabody Police Department, however he also won't be facing any court-imposed punishment for allegedly beating his late mother into a coma in 2004.

Mayor Ted Bettencourt's office announced Tuesday that an appeal Sideris filed with the Civil Service Commission, relating to his termination from his job in 2007, was recently dismissed and thereby prevented Sideris from being reinstated to the force.

“I instructed our legal department to vigorously oppose any efforts by Mr. Sideris to be reinstated as a police officer,” said Bettencourt in a statement. “I am obviously pleased with the decision by the Civil Service Commission.”

The criminal charges against Sideris, accused of beating his elderly mother for months and finally leaving her in a coma on Thanksgiving Day 2004, were also dismissed in court last year after the case had dragged on for years with Sideris' mental competency to stand trial in question.

Defense attorneys and prosecutors also argued over whether a proper point had been reached when the defendant could legally ask to have the case dismissed. State law allows for that request when mental competency is an issue and the person has already been committed to an institution for half the maximum sentence for the crime.

Sideris was appointed as a full-time Peabody police officer in 2000. He was then arrested in 2004 after confessing to a superior officer that he beat Melpomeni Sideris, whom he lived with, for months before the November assault that left her in a coma.

The case against Sideris finally got underway in 2007 and the city fired him in light of the criminal charges. He appealed that decision to the Civil Service Commission at the time, but that plea was dismissed and commissioners told Sideris he could appeal again if he was successful in the criminal case.

Due to Sideris' deteriorating mental health -- he tried to commit suicide in 2008 and was hospitalized because of that for four years -- a trial was never held and the criminal charges were dismissed in Superior Court in August 2012. He was then transferred from Taunton State Hospital to a group home in Tewksbury.

Melpomeni Sideris had eventually recovered from her coma and died in 2009.

Sideris again appealed to the Civil Service Commission this past March to be reinstated, but a decision released Aug. 8 by the commission dismissed that petition again for two specific reasons.

Commissioners said the window of appeal (30 days) had expired well before Sideris submitted his latest petition and the outcome of the criminal case was not the sort of "success" they had envisioned when offering to reconsider the appeal.

"The fact that the charges against Mr. Sideris were dismissed were due to his involuntary commitment as incompetent and not in any way attributed to the 'successful' defense or the failure of the prosecution or the Commonwealth's proof," commissioners said.

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