Board of Selectmen Chair Francis Cavaco said a vote would take place at next week's meeting in open session on the hiring of a police chief to replace Ronald Charron, who will retire March 15. Cavaco would not say if that vote would be to hire a replacement or to determine a selection process. Various sources told Seekonk Patch a vote took place last week during executive session to hire Capt. Craig Mace for the job.
"All I'm going to say is that a vote will take place at the Jan. 23 meeting," said Cavaco in an interview Monday with Patch.
Charron said at last week's selectmen meeting that Mace should be appointed as his replacement, and that there was no reason to seek a person from outside the department. Mace is ranked second on the department's chain of command.
The Sun Chronicle reported Friday that Mace was likely appointed during an executive session, which took place last Wednesday behind closed doors after the public portion of the meeting. The newspaper stated Selectman David Parker said the board decided to promote someone from within the department and that Selectman Bob McClintock was unhappy with how the process went.
Cavaco told Patch the Chronicle's article was "misleading." He declined to specify what he meant by that or discuss what vote, if any, was taken during the executive session.
Various sources have told Patch that Mace has been chosen as the new police chief, and this has been told to the members of the police department.
Retired Seekonk police officer and current Board of Health member Doug Brown wrote in an opinion piece submitted to Patch and various other local media that the selectmen acted with "despicable" behavior by voting behind closed doors last week.
"What is the damn hurry to choose a new chief?" he wrote. "Past practice has always been to appoint an interim police chief until a search committee could be selected and dozens of candidates could be interviewed."
Go here to read the submission.
Cavaco declined to respond to Brown's statements. He also declined to say whether the board would appoint a search committee.