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  • WOW! Tv aint even this good!

    Police chief cleared of wrongdoing


    Staff wr

    BOSTON | An assistant clerk magistrate yesterday cleared Salem Police Chief Robert St. Pierre of wrongdoing in filling out an application for a machine gun license two years ago.

    The chief sat in a courtroom accompanied by his lawyer and facing his second-in-command, Capt. Paul Murphy, who was trying to persuade the clerk the chief's application for a machine gun license contained false statements. But after half an hour, the clerk closed the hearing, then immediately announced that Murphy had not presented enough evidence for her to charge the chief with a crime.

    In a statement released by his lawyer, St. Pierre said he was glad that an attempt to discredit him had failed.

    "When someone in a trusted position attempts to discredit their work out of some misguided self-interest, no one wins," St. Pierre said. "Nevertheless, as a department we will move on. We will continue to provide the same high level of public protection that the citizens of Salem have come to expect."

    Murphy, however, indicated he was only trying to be a good cop.

    "All I can tell you is I did my job based on the information I had," he said.

    New details disclosed in court -- and in documents made public yesterday -- show the depth of the rift between the two. The discord apparently flared up last year, when Murphy was placed on a lengthy administrative leave after he apparently became dissatisfied with an internal investigation into complaints made by his daughter, who is a Salem patrolman, against other officers.

    In April, after he had returned to work following the suspension, Murphy left a note on the chief's desk seeking a private meeting.

    "It is in your best interest to have a frank, off the record, talk with me about your future with the department," Murphy wrote. "I am giving you the opportunity to talk with me, before I do what I have to do, an opportunity that was never afforded me. If I don't receive an answer by Thursday, your future with the department and your reputation will be in great peril."

    In May, he filed paperwork that sparked the court hearing.

    At one point, the chief's attorney asked Murphy about a conversation he allegedly had with a retired Salem police officer. Murphy was asked whether he had said that he wanted to stay on the police force "just so you could (explicative) with the chief."

    Mayor Stanley Usovicz said he was pleased with the outcome of the hearing. Usovicz handed Murphy a suspension with pay last month, pending an internal investigation by Capt. Paul Tucker. The mayor said Tucker's work should be complete within the next several weeks. The mayor said Murphy's action was meant to "damage and disrupt" the chief and the department.

    "Accusations of this sort are dangerous, even when they're false," the mayor said. "They're meant to be destructive."

    The hearing was moved to Charlestown District Court after Salem officials sought neutral ground to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest. During the hearing, the chief did not testify, but sat across from Murphy as Assistant Clerk Magistrate Deirdre Saltesz oversaw the proceedings.

    Murphy had filed an application to charge the chief with falsifying his application to renew a license to carry a machine gun in order to obtain a license to which he was not entitled. The chief's lawyer, Randy Chapman, said Murphy was misinterpreting the firearms regulations. He presented several defenses, arguing in part that state law gives police chiefs the power to decide who qualifies for that type of gun license. Lt. Andre Ouellette, the Police Department's special investigator, was also called to testify.

    At the close of the hearing, Saltesz immediately ruled that Murphy had not presented enough evidence for her to issue a formal complaint against the chief.

    The hearing had initially been ruled closed to the public and press. But an attorney for The Salem News, Peter Caruso, arrived at the start of the hearing with a formal motion to open it, and indicated he would immediately file an appeal to a higher court when his motion was denied. At that point, the chief's attorney dropped his objection to opening the hearing. Documents entered into evidence by both sides subsequently were made public as well.

  • #2
    Sounds like the good ol boys club is alive and well!!!!

    Someone explain to me why the Chief would need a machine gun?


    • #3
      Originally posted by LadyCapn

      Someone explain to me why the Chief would need a machine gun?


      • #4
        Originally posted by dfdex1

        Captains who are out for your job?
        IACOJ Agitator
        Fightin' Da Man Since '78!


        • #5
          Lady Capn

          How much more fun is it to say...

          "Stop or I shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot shoot."
          Psychiatrists state 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
          Look at three of your friends, if they are ok, your it.


          • #6
            Someone explain to me why the Chief would need a machine gun?
            To shoot all those "bad people" in his town.


            • #7


              • #8
                Former A.D.A to weigh in on Salem police dispute

                By DAVE GERSHMAN

                Staff writer

                SALEM - Mayor Stanley Usovicz has tapped a well-known former assistant district attorney to sort through charges made by Capt. Paul Murphy against Police Chief Robert St. Pierre. The mayor said getting an independent pair of eyes to review the matter was the best way to settle the dispute.

                "You have a chief's reputation at stake," the mayor said. "And I do not want anything to tarnish that reputation, particularly if it's undeserved and uncalled for."

                The chief's attorney has charged Murphy with trying to stay in the police department only to besmirch the chief's record and tarnish the department, while Murphy has said he's only trying to do his job.

                Into the dispute steps Robert Weiner, whose temporary job was approved by the City Council last week. For 24 years, Weiner worked as first assistant district attorney in Essex County. His most recent cases include prosecuting kidnapper Chad Austin and killer dermatologist Richard Sharpe. Earlier this year, he stepped down to work as a defense lawyer, opening an office in Salem.

                Weiner will work only on this matter, and he will be paid out of the city legal office's normal budget.

                City Solicitor John Keenan said the move made sense to avoid an appearance of conflict of interest. Keenan is paid by the mayor, and he represents the mayor in legal matters. Another of the city's lawyers has represented the police chief.

                "He doesn't work for the mayor, and he doesn't work for the police department," said Keenan.

                He said the mayor is doing his best to treat both sides fairly.

                Weiner's job will be to review a report Murphy submitted to the mayor last month after returning to the force from a 176-day administrative leave. Murphy had allegedly interjected himself into personnel matters in the Police Department involving his daughter, a Salem patrolman. The report, Murphy has said, contains improprieties he discovered in the department. Through his attorney, the chief has indicated that there's nothing to the report.

                Murphy, the chief's attorney has claimed, only wants to make the chief's life miserable. Murphy has devoted time to investigating the chief, sending him a note that said his reputation would be at stake if he didn't meet privately with Murphy. Last week, Murphy's attempt to charge the chief with wrongdoing in renewing a machine gun license was dismissed by an assistant clerk magistrate after a half-hour hearing.

                Right now, Murphy's fate rests in the hands of the mayor, who suspended him with pay on June 2. Whether Murphy returns to the force, or is disciplined or fired may depend on the outcome of an internal police investigation into his conduct. The investigation will determine whether Murphy broke any of the department's rules and regulations.

                The report is expected to land on the mayor's desk in several weeks. The chief will not be involved in the investigation.

                "Typically I would make a decision that would be prudent and timely," the mayor said.

                In deciding what to do next, the mayor acknowledged that he will weigh whether Murphy can work with the chief if he were to return to his job as the department's second-in-command.

                Before disciplining or firing Murphy, the mayor or his designee has to hold a closed-door hearing with Murphy, who can then appeal his sentence to the state's Civil Service Commission or file a grievance through his union.

                City Councilor Joe O'Keefe, speaking before the council authorized Weiner's job, said he believed getting the advice of an outsider would be a good idea. O'Keefe previously served as state Fire Marshal and was involved in personnel disputes.

                "We'd all step back and let someone else, who has no familiarity with either party, see what are the allegations," he said.


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