Chicopee Police Chief Thomas Charette could lose his position on July 1 after the state's Civil Service Commission ruled Thursday that former Mayor Michael Bissonnette did not fairly promote the chief back in 2013.
The ruling shows that Deputy Chief William Jebb scored highest on his assessment and interviews, but didn't get the job.
Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos said the decision is beingreviewed by the attorneys for the City ofChicopee.
"The decision speaks for itself," Kos said. "Going forward I canassure the public, and more specifically, the citizens of Chicopee, that myadministration will comply with all applicable civil service laws, rules andregulations. This is what the publicdeserves and this is what the public will get."
Jebb's attorney Tom Kenefick said the decision was not fair.
"This process was essentially toxic, it was corrupt," said Kenefick.
He says there was political and personal bias in the way Bissonnette chose the current police chief in 2013.
"Bill Jebb was the most qualified candidate for the position of chief," Kenefick said.
Jebb filed an appeal with the state's Civil Service Commission after Police Chief Thomas Charette was chosen.
The commission's ruling shows that Jebb had more seniority and experience and scored higher on his assessment and interview.
"The political and personal bias that Mayor Bissonnette had played a central role in choosing Chief Charette," Kenefick said.
The report shows Bissonnette was concerned Jebb was involved in the release of criminal information during his 2005 campaign for mayor.
According to the commission, Jebb also supported Bissonnette's opponent.
"During his testimony during the trial, he said, 'this didn't have anything to do with my decision to choose Chief Charette over Bill jJebb,' but it had everything to do it," Kenefick said.
Bissonnette would not go on-camera but says he chose Charette in hopes of changing the culture of the Chicopee Police Department. He released a statement on Facebook that said in part, "I have no personal or political bias about Bill Jebb who I regard as a fine officer. What was I supposed to do? Ignore the truth because one part of it involved "politics?"
The commission granted Jebb's appeal Thursday and has ordered that as of July 1 Charette's promotion as permanent police chief shall be vacated.
Charette could not be reached Thursday and Mayor Richard Kos' office says they have no comment at this time.
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