DRACUT — The disciplinary hearing on Deputy Police Chief David Chartrand and the administration of the department’s evidence locker took place Monday, and now the wait begins.
“I have complete faith in the process and the hearing officer and I will just wait to get his recommendation,” said Town Manager Jim Duggan on Tuesday in reference to the hearing officer, James P. Hall.
Duggan added that he couldn’t comment on the hearing.
Hall, in an email, said: “I cannot comment on this matter other than to say that the hearing occurred on November 20 and the matter is under review.”
Early this month, Duggan said it was a mutual decision between both parties to continue Chartrand’s original hearing in order to coordinate the schedules of witnesses that have been called.
Andrew Gambaccini, who represents Chartrand, did not respond Tuesday to a request for comment.
Sgt. Gregg Byam, also implicated in the evidence locker controversy, was the subject of a conference earlier this month. Duggan said both parties met to see if they can come to a resolution with the imposition of some form of discipline on Byam. No updates were available Tuesday in Byam’s case.
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.”
Ryan, the DA, found no indication last month that the integrity of any evidence had been compromised.
Duggan has said that this is going to be the “last outstanding, sensitive, high-profile issue dealing with the police department.”
Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.