Approximately 50 people were interviewed for the report on the Gardner Police Department. Both the Chief and Deputy Chief have been on paid Administrative leave for the past couple months. Until March 11th, an Acting Chief was running the Department. Currently, two lieutenants share the duties.
Gardner MA Mayor Michael Nicholson provides Police update on WGAW’s Hotline Radio
In a live interview on Saturday April 2, 2022, the Gardner Mayor addressed the progress of the report on the Gardner Police Investigation. Individuals involved will be able to review report. Executive Summary might be out at the end of next week. If the Chief and Deputy Chief would like to return to their posts and if the Mayor wants them, they would need to be reappointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the City Council as their 3 year appointments expired in January.
Mayor Nicholson stated, “Have received draft from investigator. It is currently in redaction stage. The Police Chief, Deputy Chief, and Dispatch Director will each get a chance to review the document. However, they’ll only be able to review their specific sections of the document, and then the executive summary will be prepared and released after they have a chance to review the full report, that way they get their full due process rights there, so they can be able to fully understand everything that’s in the report…and then after that the official confidentiality items of the executive summary can be released.”
What will be released: “There will be an executive summary of the report released to the public. The full investigation materials are considered personnel records. Those will have to remain confidential in their own specific personnel files. However, there are certain portions of it, the findings of the report in particular that will be public.”
Regarding whether individuals will return to work, “That’s a decision I think that will start with the individuals themselves after they read the report. I’d rather not make too many judgments before they get a chance to be able to read the report themselves and be able to defend themselves on their own, so those will be discussions that happen after they get a chance to read all the report.”
When report will come out: ”probably end of this week, as long as we can schedule times for them to come and read the report. Now that we have it on hand, making sure they have an opportunity to review everything themselves.”
On appointments: “They are actually not contracted employees, they are appointed employees, just like any other department heads in the city, and those appointments expired in January.” The dispatch director is an employee at will… and deputy chief and chief are appointed employees for a period of 3 years and that time expired this past January.”
Nicholson Goes to Washington: The Mayor stated, ““I’m going to be out of the City this coming week. I’ve been invited down to the White House to have a couple of meetings with the Biden Administration Intergovernmental affairs office. We’ll be meeting with several different secretaries of the President’s cabinet.“