Annals of public employee tenure, this time from Norwalk, Ct.: “The city will not appeal a state Labor Department ruling to reinstate police Officer Liam Callahan, a nine-year veteran fired last fall for taking a skull fragment from the scene of a May 2005 accident. ‘The laws in the state are such that it’s extremely difficult to overturn a ruling,’ Deputy Corporation Counsel Jeffry Spahr said yesterday after discussing the matter in executive session with the Norwalk Police Commission.” According to numerous press reports, co-workers of Callahan’s said he planned to use the skull fragment as an ashtray. An investigation concluded that Callahan’s statement after being confronted that he had intended to return the fragment was not credible. (Created Things (Jeff Hall), Jan. 16; Brian Lockhart, “City officer in skull-fragment case reinstated”, Stamford Advocate, Oct. 24). And on the sued-if-you-do, sued-if-you-don’t front, note well: “Callahan and the city still face a civil lawsuit from [victim Alfred] Caviola’s family.” Unless Callahan personally turns out to provide a deep pocket, it appears the longsuffering taxpayers of Norwalk may find themselves on the hook for who knows what sort of payout — juries in other cases have expressed outrage at mishandling of decedents’ remains — even as the city is unable to sever the actual perpetrator of the act from its payroll.