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Selection Committee Finalizes Chief ’s Job Description

In weekly meetings held on April 23 and April 30, the Police Chief Selection Committee finalized and approved an updated

job description for the Police Chief 's position. Once the

Board of Selectmen and the Personnel Board approve the job description, the search committee plans to begin advertising the position. "We're moving in the right direction," chairman Dino DeBartolomeis said at the start of the April 30 meeting. "We've made tremendous movement and we're serving the people well," he added at the meeting's end.

The April 23 meeting started off, however, with about a half- hour of wrangling over whether Selectman Michael Walsh was

or was not a committee member before spending the next hour reviewing the job description. Another 90 minutes was spent

on updating it the following week, ending with a unanimous

vote to approve it. DeBartolomeis explained on April 23 that the revised job description would have to be approved by the Board

of Selectmen first and then by the Personnel Board "Then we're ready to post" the position, he said. On April 23, DeBartolomeis told committee members he contacted Town Counsel Charles Boddy, who twice ruled that Walsh was replaced as a committee member by Donna Niro. "He [Boddy] stands by his opinion," the chairman said. "The Town Counsel's word is what it is, otherwise it'd be total chaos," DeBartolomeis added. He then asked Walsh

to leave the committee table and sit in the audience. "I've hired counsel and I've been recommended to stay here," Walsh replied. "There's nothing in the clause to say, 'Remove me,'" he added, continuing, "Dino, I'm not leaving the table." Walsh said he

would have a judge's ruling on his status by the next selection committee meeting. "Until that comes out of the court, I'm still here," Walsh said. DeBartolomeis again stated that Walsh was no longer a sitting member of the committee. "We go by the rule

of law. We go by Town Counsel's opinion and we go forward,"

he said. "We have no authority to remove or appoint anybody," committee member Donato "Dan" Niro said. The selectmen, as the appointing authority, should decide the issue at hand, he added. "He's [Walsh] legitimately appointed here at our point in time," Niro said. Walsh did not attend the April 30 meeting. Committee members began reviewing the job description in earnest on April 23 after committee member Edward Bertorelli suggested moving forward, "Rather than every meeting venting our feeling about this."At both meetings, Committee Member Jodie Nosiglia and Human Resources Director Maureen Giffin reviewed the changes they made – with Police Chief Thomas O'Loughlin's consultation

– to the current, 2015-vintage job description. DeBartolomeis scheduled a May 7 committee meeting to finalize where the chief 's position would be advertised and to discuss whether an outside firm would assist the selection committee in winnowing applicants and investigating finalists.


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