It’s confirmed – Cohasset Police Chief ad never ran anywhere*

*See caveat on comments page

Late last week, after he started getting flak about it – Cohasset’s acting town manager (ATM) attempted to put an ad in Mass Chiefs of Police bulletin – a password protected site that only paid members of a police department can enter.

But it was too late for the April bulletin. Final applications for the Cohasset job are due April 8 -this Monday. That means the ATM  attempted to advertise it about 8 days before the deadline for resumes. Normally municipal ads run for a 30-day period.

Nor was any ad for a Cohasset Police Chief e-mailed anywhere.  We checked Hingham, Scituate, Hull and some police departments west of Boston. Nobody had seen an ad for a police chief in Cohasset.

And, we  found nothing on the On-Line Municipal Career Center site.

Under our Town Manager Act a Town Manager can hire his own police chief. It doesn’t say he has to talk to the selectmen about it, seek their advice, put together a screening committee, or bring in an outside consultant to find candidates, or even notify selectmen. However, all of that and more has been done in the past. Maybe the ATM thinks this is de rigueur ; after all this is how he was hired. No ads, no selection committee, no vetting, When Selectman Martha Gjesteby joined the board last year and asked to see the ATM’s resume, no one could produce it.

It is our opinion the ATM has made what may be a fatal error. The degree of fatality will be determined Tuesday night, when the ATM reveals how many resumes he has received for police chief after his state-wide search. He did say he would be appointing a selection committee.

Selectmen have a 15-day window during which they can vote to not accept the ATM’S choice, at which point he would have to present his second choice. We recently learned that a police lieutenant from Hingham may have applied. So maybe we will have two candidates!

The ATM has lied to his bosses many times.

1. At the Selectmen’s March 26th meeting he told his board that he had advertised for a police chief. He gave them a copy of the ad he had at that point been sent nowhere, except perhaps to the Cohasset Police Department. So maybe that counts as half a lie.

2. At the Selectmen’s April 2 meeting the ATM told his board he had advertised the job for Cohasset police chief in every police department in the Commonwealth, including the Mass Police Association’s prestigious newsletter.

3. Several weeks ago the ATM blamed the Tinytown Gazette for blasting the news of the Red Lion’s brief closing by the health agent  all over creation. At 10 a.m. on a Monday, 2 1/2 hrs. after the health agent had closed the Inn over an unpaid bill,  Milanoski himself handed a copy of the Inn’s cease and desist order to the Cohasset Mariner editor.  The Mariner tweeted it immediately, and hysterical brides and the TV and radio followed suit. ATM told his bosses that nothing had left his office with regard to the Red Lion.

4. ATM decided he would fire Town counsel one day. Only problem is, he hadn’t discussed this with his bosses, who had other ideas. Selectmen nipped that in the bud.

In our opinion the ATM and the Deputy Police Chief are made for one another. We are not sure they can exist separately. After all, they have been through so much together.

They appeared to work in tandem to crush a perfectly fine Chief of Police, Mark DeLuca.  One of the charges they floated was that there were distasteful photos of the former chief so awful that if you saw them you might faint. Do you know who took those photos?  Cohasset’s Deputy Police Chief, and he was paid to take them for a brochure. Another one – DeLuca stole the Toys for Tots Christmas toys.  Nobody stole the Toys for Tots Christmas toys. They were delivered to needy families at a school in Boston and the Marines gave DeLuca permission to take them there.

ATM eventually dropped his forgery charges against DeLuca because he discovered it was actually someone else in the police department who had signed an exit letter for an officer who had long left the department and didn’t want to be bothered returning to sign it. It was hardly forgery.

The letter said: I’m leaving, I resigned, I had a good time here, I’m not coming back, goodbye you goofy people.”  It is not forgery to sign another’s name, fill in blanks, or alter a genuine writing in the honest, though mistaken, belief that such conduct is authorized. But this letter signing was authorized.

The ATM certainly does have a lot of problems.

Most of us stop telling fibs around 10 years old or so because it is very difficult to remember them. Perhaps smarter children tell them for a longer period of time.

I blame the selectmen (with the exception of Selectman Gjesteby) for illegally hiring a person who had no experience as a town manager, an assistant town manager, an executive secretary – nada. And they paid him top dollar to boot – $150,000. In your face. Cohasset. 

Last night the ATM told his board that they had to agree to whatever the Governance committee recommended with regard to changes in the Town Manager Act. Members of the Governance committee in attendance looked shocked. Governance person Sam Wakeman quickly covered ATM’s gaffe, saying the committee was advisory only. And that it is.

It is time to bring this interesting, expensive experiment called Anyone Can Be Town Manager to an end.


© Copyright 2013 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed

  4 comments for “It’s confirmed – Cohasset Police Chief ad never ran anywhere*

  1. Joni Conte
    April 9, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Go Fred Koed !

  2. Karen
    April 6, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Am I dreaming then….did I not read an announcement in the middle of page 3 of this week’s mariner (that would be the APRIL 5, 2013 issue) – in it’s own little box “Search for new chief underway” where Mr. Milanowski states that that “He has advertised for a new Police Chief. The position as posted with the Mass Police Chief Association and in police departments statewide, he SAID Tuesday”. Was this a misprint on the Mariner’s end?? Will there be a “retraction” do you think? Gosh, hate to be thinking that the ACTING Town Manager may have lied just a bit – heck I’d hate to think that an ACTUAL Town Manager would as easily lie to the townspeople for whom he (or she…) may work and receive a generous salary.

    And although it’s not easy for me to admit – I will stand up and say that I thank Mr. Coughlin for his call to justice in regards to both Sgt. John Conte and (gulp) ex Chief Deluca….Those are matters that do need to be carefully and judiciously examined before the town dare to move forward with the anointing, I mean appointing of the “strong internal candidate” we’ve heard so very much about these past weeks. To do anything else would be a further black mark against the Town of Cohasset – let’s try to keep some shred of integrity shall we? Integrity looks well alongside the pretty ocean, beautiful homes and lovely town common I think…Hey – remember those property values can only climb higher as a result!

  3. April 5, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Cohasset Acting Police Chief William Quigley, a strong internal candidate for the position for Cohasset Police Chief, told Tinytown Unleashed today that an ad for Chief was posted on the CJIS Extranet site on 3.25.13 – giving interested candidates a 14-day window to apply. Most employment ads have a 30-day window.

    CJIS is a work site that can only be accessed by CORI certified police personne. Neither the public, the press or the Cohasset Board of Selectmen could see the ad on this site.

    On April 2 Cohasset Acting Town Manager Mike Milanoski told selectmen he had advertised the police chief position in every police dept. in Massachusetts including the Mass Police Association. The Mass Police Association is a public site and nothing was posted on that site as of a few days ago.

    Milanoski (or perhaps Quigley) did contact the Mass Police Chief’s Association late last week (March 28 or 29) about posting the police chief job on their site. Like CJIS, the newsletter on that site is password protected. The position was never posted. We checked with Mass Chief’s today.

    Milanoski has posted other jobs on the Mass. Municipal Association Career Center but he did not choose to post the Police Chief position on that site. As of two days ago it was not posted.

  4. Mike Coughlin
    April 5, 2013 at 11:35 am

    As many know, I recently wrote a letter seeking justice for Sgt Jack Conte. Moreover since last May, I have continued to be outspoken in my support for Chief Mark Deluca. These are two separate cases but in a sense they have a common thread–both involve the same players, both trigger a discussion about whether justice was done and both are relevant to the selection of the next Chief of Police.

    While many assume that the Town Manager is the most powerful man in town, this may only be an illusion. In a practical sense, the most powerful man in any community is the chief of police. While a Town Manager can issue directives and decisions, a Chief of Police has that very unique ability to take away one’s freedom. As a consequence, the Chief of Police is the most important appointment any community can make.

    There are no perfect people, all of us have issues but any prudent person must question the fact that the two most senior officers of the Cohasset Police Department were taken out within a year. As an attorney, former prosecutor and as Town Manager sitting in the quasi judicial position of a hearing officer, I have a continuing duty to seek justice. I would suggest the Board of Selectmen has that same duty.

    With respect to Sgt Conte, I sat in a quasi judicial capacity and it’s well settled anytime a judge finds out new facts which may result in a different finding he has a duty to act. Those not liking that fact fail to realize that I am covered by the town for acts which I performed in an official status– the Conte Case was one of those. So I must speak out.

    With respect to Chief Deluca, my role was different. The most troublesome issue for me is why most of the allegations against him were never brought to my attention as Town Manager. I recognize the issue with Sgt Trainor happened after my dismissal but most of the other allegations took place while I was Town Manager.

    In my career as a Town Manager, I have been usually viewed as pro public safety. This was no different in Cohasset. Everyone in the department knew the flack I took for approving the K-9 unit, was aware of my battles with the both the Advisory and Capital Budget Committees on their behalf and supported my successful initiative to create the post of Deputy Chief. As to ethics most officers also knew that I had taken out a police chief for misconduct in another community.

    So the members of the Police Department and staff knew I would not tolerate such behavior in Cohasset, yet– not one of them came forward. My door was always open at Town Hall– yet not one of them came forward. I was with any number of social situations with these same officers-they were even in my condo– you guessed it- not one ever came with any allegation or derogatory comment against Chief Deluca while I was Town Manager.

    So one has to question the timing of the allegations and as a consequence their credibility. In other words, if Chief Deluca’s conduct was so bad, his acts so illegal– why didn’t officers come forward immediately? Why wait until the Chief was weakened by the fact he stood up at Town Meeting against closing the police station?

    A police department is said to operate on a paramilitary. As such the #2 has certain responsibilities. So it also begs the question, why didn’t the Deputy Chief come forward while I was Town Manager? After all, I had promoted him to this position and even gave him my Army Captain’s bars. In the selection process, we even explored a hypothetical situation of the deputy taking over the department. So I would assume it was clear to him that he had a duty to come forward but why did he wait?

    I will admit at my “unofficial” farewell party at Star’s in late May some officers did express concerns about Chief Deluca’s hard charging approach and style but at no time did they allude to any reportable misconduct. Indeed, they attributed it to the uncertainly the chief had about his contract and the games the acting town manager was playing by dangling a contract over the Chief’s head. I told the officers to sit down with the Chief and advised the Deputy Chief to talk to retired Chief Hussey. Instead, they apparently went to the Acting Town Manager.

    I hindsight I am extremely concerned about that. Chief Deluca had recommended the promotion of the Deputy, had pledged to work with the Chief as a Team and in a paramilitary model except in the cases of wrongdoing, the Commanding and Executive Officers are supposed to be self supporting in times of stress and difficulty. So in any sense, these matters and resulting actions go to heart of making a determination as a candidate’s fitness for command and/or selection as Chief.

    So the cases of Sgt Conte and Chief Deluca must be discussed in the context of the selection for the next chief particularly as it is assumed that “the strong internal candidate” referenced in the advertisement for the position was involved in both. It goes to the heart of the matter. Above all other things, a Chief of Police must be just so its only appropriate that both the appointing authority– the Town Manager and the confirming authority– the Board of Selectmen–seek answers on both cases.

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