Wednesday, June 19, 2013
By MATT HONGOLTZ-HETLING Kennebec Journal
FAIRFIELD — Police Chief John Emery has resigned from his position, effective Friday, following an extended administrative leave.
Then-Fairfield Police Chief John Emery in 2003.
Staff File Photo
On Thursday, Town Manager Josh Reny released a copy of Emery’s resignation letter and a statement about the town’s plans for the position.
“It has become apparent that my continued employment with the Town of Fairfield is almost impossible,” Emery wrote in the letter, which was dated Wednesday and addressed to Reny.
Reny said the town is in talks with Waterville to help administer the department on an interim basis.
Emery went on leave Dec. 26, two days after 15 law enforcement officials responded to a call about a “mental subject” — a police term — on Skowhegan’s Palmer Road, where Emery lives.
Officials have remained silent about the incident and have refused to comment about whether the incident was related to Emery’s leave.
The next week, the town hired an attorney to conduct an internal review related to Emery’s situation, according to Reny. The outcome, Reny said Thursday, is a “confidential personnel matter.”
In his resignation letter, Emery recounted his 27-year career with the Fairfield Police Department and said that it was “a very sad day” for him.
“The police department has been my second home for many years, but I am going to move forward and begin a new chapter,” he wrote.
Emery expressed gratitude to Reny, “the council, the citizens of Fairfield and most of all, the men and women of the Fairfield Police Department,” whom he called “dedicated, kind, caring, generous souls.”
Reny said Emery has been a great asset to the town.
“I hope the residents of Fairfield appreciate how much he has done for our community over the past 27 years,” he said. “We respect his decision and wish him all the best in future endeavors.”
Emery, who started work for the department as a patrol officer in 1986, was promoted to chief in 2000. Since Emery went on leave, leadership duties at the department have been shared by Sgt. Matt Bard and Detective Sgt. Kingston Paul, who is the highest-ranking officer. Paul was authorized Jan 2 to serve as acting chief.
Reny said the agreement with Waterville is being sought because the search process is likely to extend into May or June.
“Kingston Paul is a detective,” Reny said. “He has a caseload he needs to be working on. To pull him from that to do administrative tasks like paying the department’s bills and filling out paperwork reduces his ability to work on his cases."
Emery did not return a phone call to his home seeking comment.
Matt Hongoltz-Hetling — 861-9287