Erving police sgt. resigns following suspension
ERVING — Sgt. Corey Greene has resigned from the police force, saying the town forced his hand by suspending him from work.
“This is an involuntary resignation because in my opinion I have been, in fact, constructively discharged,” Greene wrote in a letter of resignation addressed to Police Chief Christopher Blair. Greene wrote that he has been suspended since March 10, first by the chief and then by the Board of Selectmen, and has a family to feed, with a wife, two children and a mortgage.
“The reasons for the suspension are allegations of improper conduct by me on Feb. 18, 2014 in dealing with an intoxicated and unruly bar patron at (the St. Stanislaus Society building) in Turners Falls. As you know, I stand by the propriety of my conduct at St. Stans and I deny allegations of improper conduct by me,” Greene wrote.
Blair confirmed Greene’s resignation and prior suspension but declined to comment. Town lawyer Donna MacNicol said she had no comment.
The Montague police log records a single incident at the St. Stanislaus Society on K Street on the evening of the date in question, in which a caller reported he was assaulted, stating there was some issue between himself and his girlfriend and another man stepped in and pushed him on the shoulder. Investigation showed the caller was the aggressor, according to the log.
The Board of Selectmen accepted Greene’s resignation this week with a motion stating that it is the opinion of the board that the resignation is voluntary and rejecting Greene’s contentions that he was treated unfairly and his version of the event in question, with no further elucidation of that event.
“It is the opinion of the select board that the events were different from what is detailed in the letter and as presented in the hearing. The letter states that Mr. Greene was not given a fair hearing before the select board; it is the opinion of the select board that a fair hearing was given as called for in (Massachusetts General Laws) c. 30A Section 21,” the motion reads, in part.
Greene wrote in his letter of resignation that at his March 17 suspension hearing he was denied a meaningful opportunity to defend himself.
The hearing was held in executive session. Greene declined comment through his lawyer, Thomas Merrigan, on Wednesday.
Selectman Eugene Klepadlo, who chaired the board’s latest meeting and proposed the motion said Wednesday, “Unfortunately I can’t give you any comment, due to the fact that all the proceedings were done in executive session. Executive session protects anything that was said — which kind of stinks because like ... with the fire chief, because it was protected by executive session, it appears the town is hiding something and we’re not. W e just can’t talk about it legally.”
Klepadlo was referring to the selectmen opting last year not to renew former fire chief Almon “Bud” Meattey’s contract for reasons the selectmen and MacNicol said they could not discuss in public.
You can reach Chris Curtis at: email@example.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 257