Ashland police chief on paid administrative leave
ASHLAND, Mass. (WHDH) -- The Ashland police chief is on paid administrative leave following alleged controversies within the police department.
“It's unfortunate. I didn't see this coming. I don't think it's the time to remove me as police chief with the situation within the police department,” said Scott Rohmer, outgoing police chief.
The new town manager who has been on the job just for just one week decided to let Rohmer go.
“Sometimes the environment is such that it takes a different type of leader to lead an organization that I think arguably is in a little bit of distress right now and a different skill set perhaps to do that,” said Anthony Schiavi, town manager.
Chief Scott Rohmer has been with the Ashland Police Department for 28 years. He says controversies within the department led to his dismissal. He’s on paid administrative leave while the details are worked out.
“We have some disgruntled and terminated employees that want to deflect what they’re doing and take their eyes off the misconduct that’s been going on. I think it’s upsetting and it’s turned into a circus and quite frankly it’s embarrassing for the police department and this community,” Rohmer said.
Chief Rohmer has a lot of support in town; people were hugging him and expressing condolences.
“It’s a travesty what happened to the chief today. And I just wish more people knew the truth and I think it will come out, and when it does I think they’re going to realize they made a mistake,” said Michael Campbell, former selectman.
The town administrator, a retired Air Force colonel, would not comment on specific allegations regarding the chief's leadership. He acknowledged state police had been to the department about a week ago and seized some shredded documents.
“If they have cracks in the foundation we’re going to acknowledge them. We’re going to own them, and we’re going to fix them,” said Schiavi.
Retired Wakefield Chief Stephen Dougherty will act as interim chief beginning April 8.