Disciplinary hearing involving Dracut deputy chief postponed


DRACUT — The disciplinary hearing scheduled for Wednesday on Deputy Police Chief David Chartrand and the administration of the department’s evidence locker has been continued.

“It’s been continued to coordinate schedules of witnesses that have been called,” said Town Manager Jim Duggan, adding that it was a mutual decision between both parties to continue the hearing. Chartrand is represented by Andrew Gambaccini.

The hearing of which Chartrand is the subject was originally scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday at Town Hall. The date for the new hearing has not yet been scheduled.

Sgt. Gregg Byam, also implicated in the evidence locker controversy, is the subject of another separate hearing. Byam’s hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Nov. 6. Duggan said there’s been no discussion to continue that hearing.

The hearings are part of the Civil Service process, according to Duggan. Attorney James P. Hall, the hearing officer, will preside over the hearings and listen to both sides — the town’s and those of Chartrand and Byam.

In a Jan. 3 letter sent to Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan, former interim Chief Neil Ouellette listed issues he said he found relative to the agency’s evidence locker since his arrival on July 26, 2016.

Some of the issues: a records management system was not used for evidence tracking for several years; there was no master list of property and evidence within those areas; and the decades-old evidence/property policy was never followed.

“It should be noted that Lt. (Demetri) Mellonakos, Sgt. Byam and Deputy Chartrand had unfettered access to the Evidence Room, while Deputy Chartrand and Lt. Mellonakos both had access to the Drug Room,” Ouellette wrote. “Sgt. Byam was accompanied by one of them to access the Drug Room. Although the Evidence Room has a video camera, the archiving is only about 30-40 days.”

Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.