Thomas Flint, former trial court officer, seeks justice

The Roxbury native worked for the Massachusetts Trial Court for more than 20 years until he was fired in September 2009.

Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil | 5/23/2013, noon

— Questions have also been raised about Connolly’s position. According to the 2008 job description from when he applied, directors of security must have a master’s degree in law enforcement or business or public administration. Connolly, however, only has a bachelor’s, but was promoted to director anyway by Chief Justice Robert Mulligan, who was implicated in the Probation Department patronage scandal for not reining in Commissioner John J. O’Brien’s corrupt hiring practices. Connolly also admitted in his deposition that Flint is not the first Trial Court employee to have a problem with his behavior — “five or six” others have filed similar complaints. And since Flint’s case went public, the Trial Court has been recruiting new candidates for the director position and will demote Connolly to deputy director once it finds a replacement. The Trial Court says this is the result of “several personnel changes to the Office of Court Management.”

The Trial Court declined to comment on Flint’s case.

While Flint is happy that these revelations about the Trial Court are finally coming to light, the three-and-a-half-year battle has taken a serious toll on him. After his termination, Flint put in job applications “everywhere,” from construction sites to restaurants and drug treatment programs, but hasn’t gotten a single offer.

“I really feel that I can’t find work that will equal what I used to do,” he says.

To survive, the Roxbury native was forced to dip into his retirement funds and borrow money from his family — and now, relies on food stamps.

“It’s humiliating,” Flint says. “Going to the stores and pulling out that EBT card, it’s humiliating, because I’m somebody who used to have a secure job, and I still don’t understand why I have to do that.”

The stress of unemployment has also hurt his health. Flint lost 25 pounds and regularly falls into bouts of depression so deep that he doesn’t feel like leaving the house. In addition, his hair, which for years he styled in long dreadlocks that hung past his shoulders, started to fall out in large chunks, so he decided to shave his head — the first time in his life that he’s been without hair.

Still, Flint is optimistic about his upcoming public hearing.

“My hope is to once and for all, finally get the real truth and get justice and have the people decide the course of this fight,” he says.