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Weare officials start search for new police chief

Last modified: 4/1/2015 12:47:16 AM
In the coming weeks, Weare officials will start their search for a new police chief.

At their meeting Monday night, selectmen signed a contract with Municipal Resources Inc., a consulting firm that will head up the search, Chairman Keith Lacasse said.

Municipal Resources, which is the same firm hired to recruit the town’s last crop of police chief candidates, will soon start advertising the position, he said.

This time, one thing will be different: In addition to a search panel composed of officials from Municipal Resources, there will also be a separate panel of Weare residents looking at candidates.

“We’re trying to get a broad spectrum of people” on the resident panel, Lacasse said. He added town officials have reached out to John Stark Regional High School Principal Christopher Corkery to be on the panel and are aiming to have about five to six residents vet candidates.

Lacasse said the idea of the panel was first brought up by residents after a public meeting about the police department in November.

“We held a public meeting with the citizens for the expressed purpose . . . just to talk about the police department, because we’ve been plagued with some bad news,” he said.

Lacasse said a few people interested in serving on the panel have already come forward, and he anticipates town officials will start interviewing and setting up the group in a few weeks.

Town officials are looking for a new police chief after former chief John Velleca resigned in October, amid allegations he assaulted his secretary and brief romantic partner Jennifer Posteraro.

After an investigation, the state didn’t find any evidence of criminal wrongdoing, but discovered Velleca had erased Posteraro’s cell phone. Posteraro claimed Velleca assaulted her when she tried to stop him from taking the phone, which she said contained evidence of their brief sexual affair.

(Ella Nilsen can be reached at 369-3322, enilsen@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @ella_nilsen.)


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