This evening, WCVB-TV’s Mike Beaudet will run a story about a former Newburyport Police officer who was investigated in connection with allegations of inappropriate behavior made by a resident in 2013. This incident was reported to police, but the resident was unwilling to press charges and move forward with a criminal case. Despite that, the department’s internal investigation quickly led to a longtime police sergeant. After the sergeant denied any involvement in the incident, a subsequent lie detector test determined he was not being truthful, and he eventually confessed. However, in consulting with the Essex County District Attorney’s Office, we did not have enough court-admissible evidence to move forward with a criminal case. It was determined that the fastest way to remove this person from the police department, without court cases, law suits, or appeals, was to allow him to resign his position.
When the department suspected that the sergeant was lying, he was offered immunity from prosecution in exchange for his ultimate confession. As a liar, this person was no longer suitable to carry a badge and a gun for our city. Our goal was to remove him from the department without delay.
His removal happened quickly, without unnecessarily dragging this case out in the courts and potentially costing the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars in legal and other fees. Within 90 days of the initial reporting of the incident, this individual was rooted out and was no longer an employee of the Newburyport Police Department.
We were honest and forthcoming in talking to the WCVB reporter, and we relied on the advice of our legal counsel for guidance on how to comply with a complicated public records request that accompanied his inquiry.
I want to assure our residents that this individual absolutely did not receive special treatment. This individual was no longer fit to serve on the Newburyport Police Department, and the department’s internal investigation and actions ensured that would be the case.
I regret that you are hearing about this case for the first time on the news, but internal personnel actions are often legally required to be done out of the public spotlight. However, I fully support the investigative process and procedures utilized to achieve the goal of removing this officer from our Police Department.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Donna D. Holaday, Mayor