TIMELINE: Charles ‘Chip’ Dodge investigation

  • Charles “Chip” Dodge

  • The Montague Selectboard prepares for an executive session disciplinary hearing on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018. From left to right are: Police Chief Charles "Chip" Dodge, Town Administrator Steve Ellis, Dodge's attorney Austin Joyce, and Selectman Michael Nelson, Richard Kuklewicz and Christopher Boutwell. RECORDER FILE PHOTO

  • The Montague Selectboard prepares for a disciplinary hearing in executive session on Saturday, Jan. 27. From left to right are: Charles “Chip” Dodge, Town Administrator Steve Ellis, Dodge’s attorney Austin Joyce and Selectman Michael Nelson. RECORDER FILE PHOTO

Recorder Staff
Tuesday, March 06, 2018

This is a condensed timeline of the investigations involving Montague Police Chief Charles “Chip” Dodge:

​​​​​​November 2012 — Dodge becomes police chief.

Jan. 13, 2013 — Montague Medication Dropbox Program begins. Residents are able to deposit unused prescription drugs into this dropbox at the police station. The drugs are stored in the chief’s office and later picked up by sheriff’s deputies for disposal.

June 2016 — The office of the Attorney General conducts a probe into suspicion someone is stealing drugs from the drop box.

June 23, 2016 — Dodge is placed on administrative leave when AG investigators arrive in Montague. They seize his work computer, laptop and data from his cell phone. In the interview with state police, Dodge admits he became addicted to opioid painkillers after taking them for a foot injury as a young patrolman. He also says he has been receiving treatment for this addiction for several years.

June 27, 2016 — Dodge is restored to duty after a closed-door meeting with the Selectboard, and gets its full endorsement.

July 8, 2016 — District Attorney David Sullivan informs Montague Police Department of its suspension from drop box program “for failing to comply with recommended protocols” and from the regional Anti-Crime Task Force, which frequently deals with drug-related crime.

May 2017 — Attorney General’s Office confirms its investigation has yielded no charges against anyone.

Sept. 27, 2017 — District Attorney’s Office reinstates the prescription drop box at the police station after changes are made in how drugs are handled.

Oct. 2, 2017 — Selectboard approves new dropbox policy that excludes Dodge from involvement.

Oct. 12, 2017 — The Greenfield Recorder publishes an article in which Dodge is publicly quoted for the first time about his addiction and recovery.

Oct. 26, 2017 — Montague patrolmen and sergeants unions express “lost trust and confidence in (Dodge’s) ability to lead this department” in a letter to town officials. The letter expresses dismay about the chief’s comments to the Recorder that suggested one of them may have stolen drugs from the drop box.

Oct. 31, 2017 — Dodge is suspended again, and Chris Bonnett is informally appointed as acting chief. He is formally appointed in November.

Nov. 20, 2017 — Dodge is interviewed by Alfred P. Donovan, a special private investigator hired by the town to review police operations.

Dec. 18, 2017 — Closed-door session held by Selectboard to discuss complaints and potential disciplinary action against a public officer, employee, staff member or individual, presumably about Dodge.

Feb. 5 — Another closed-door session presumably to discuss the chief’s situation.

Feb. 12 — Another closed-door session presumably to discuss the chief’s situation.

March 5 — After another closed-door session with Selectboard members and Town Attorney Timothy Zessin, a separation agreement is reached, and Dodge resigns. He will remain on paid administrative leave until Feb. 12, 2019.