Dracut won’t rush for outcome with hearings for police officers


DRACUT — There is still no outcome to the disciplinary hearings for Dracut police Sgt. Gregg Byam and Deputy Chief David Chartrand, who are both implicated in the Police Department’s evidence-locker controversy.

The hearing for Byam took place on Jan. 18 and the hearing for Chartrand took place on Nov. 20. Attorney James P. Hall served as the hearing officer.

“I’m sorry but I can’t provide further information about these personnel matters,” Hall said Tuesday in an email to a Sun reporter.

Town Manager Jim Duggan said Hall is doing his due diligence.

“Honestly, I’m not in a rush for this. I’m glad that he’s taking his time and being extremely careful about it because you’re talking about people’s careers here and I want to be very, very sure that whatever is imposed or recommended — everything that was presented — was vetted thoroughly,” Duggan said. “I’m OK with it taking a little longer than something that is open and closed, not a problem.”

Messages left for both Byam and Chartrand were not returned. Andrew Gambaccini, Chartrand’s lawyer, said closing briefs were submitted to the hearing officer in January due to a delay and that he had no substantive comment at this time.

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan last fall found no indication that the integrity of any evidence had been compromised. In a letter to Ryan dated Jan. 3, 2017, however, 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.

According to the letter obtained by The Sun through a public-records request, some of the issues include that:

– 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.

– The decades-old evidence/property was never followed.

Duggan has expressed hope that this is the final step to what’s going to put the outstanding issue of the evidence locker room to rest.

Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.