By Christopher Scott
LOWELL -- On paid administrative leave since mid-June as internal-affairs investigators probed his handling of sex charges against another police officer under his command, the status of 32-year Lowell Police Department veteran Lt. Edward Dowling could change soon.
The Sun has learned that Police Superintendent William Taylor and Human Resources Manager Mary Callery personally served Dowling with termination papers at his Lowell home late last Friday.
A hearing in front of City Manager Bernie Lynch is now scheduled for Thursday at 3 p.m. The city manager is only involved in disciplinary cases in which a city employee is facing a suspension of five or more days, or termination.
Taylor could not be reached for comment and Callery did not return an email message to her office. Solicitor Christine O'Connor declined to comment, except to say Dowling remains on paid administrative leave. City Manager Bernie Lynch could not be reached for comment.
Dowling said that neither he, or his lawyer, would comment. Dowling, 57, who has served as interim captain previously, joined the force on Jan. 1, 1981.
Dowling was placed paid administrative leave on June 11 by former interim police superintendent, Deborah Friedl. Friedl served in an interim capacity between the March 2013 resignation of Kenneth Lavallee and the December 2013 appointment of Taylor.
The case centers around the actions of former Lowell police Officer Aravanh Lakmany, 32, of Dracut -- and what Dowling did, or didn't do.
Last April, Lakmany was sentenced to two years in jail after pleading guilty to charges of extortion by threat and three counts of solicitation of prostitutes. He was sentenced to two years in the Middlesex House of Correction followed by three years probation.
A former six-year veteran of the department, Lakmany was suspended without pay in June 2011 following his indictment. He resigned from the department on Nov. 24, 2011.
In a taped confession, Lakmany admitted he had sex with prostitutes about 20 times while on duty in his cruiser and numerous other times in his personal car, but denied it was rape.
Lakmany allegedly told his fellow officers he felt no one could "touch" him because he is a police officer, prosecutor Thomas O'Reilly stated in court documents.
O'Reilly alleges in court documents that the Lowell Police Department received information last year that Lakmany had been involved with a number of prostitutes while on duty. A number of women were interviewed, and four of those testified before a grand jury that Lakmany had allegedly solicited sex from them between 2010 and 2011.
Lakmany worked the 12:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. overnight shift, the same hours Dowling has worked since being promoted to sergeant on May 12, 1991.
According to sources, several police officers who had knowledge of what Lakmany was doing told Dowling what they knew, but Dowling did not take appropriate action.
At the time of his indictment in late June 2011, then-Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone said in a statement: "This defendant is alleged to have taken advantage of his position of authority by soliciting prostitutes while on taxpayer time and allegedly raping them. These are very troubling allegations and a direct violation of the public's trust. We thank these victims for coming forward to reveal this defendant's alleged illegal and troubling actions and are committed to making it clear that no one is above the law."
Dowling was promoted to lieutenant on Jan. 5, 1997. He earned about $98,300 this fiscal year.
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