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Complaint against police chief goes into exec. session

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AYER — A complaint against police Chief Richard Rizzo filed by former police Sgt. Mark Coulter led the Board of Selectmen into executive session on Feb. 27

Since the complaint was against Rizzo, it was his choice to address the matter in executive session. Rizzo’s attorney, Austin Joyce, of Worcester, told the board that would be the case.

Coulter resigned from the Police Department in 2004. He began issuing complaints against a previously-unspecified department head shortly thereafter.

After the meeting, Coulter confirmed he expects a return visit, but wouldn’t say much past that.

“I hope, collectively, (the selectmen) will make the right decision,” he said. “I want them to be fair. That’s all I’m asking.”

He also reiterated concerns over how long it took for the board to take this matter up.

“The first complaint was brought to the board’s attention in the spring of 2004, and several more complaints have been brought forward to the board from that time until now,” he said. “It’s taken the board about two-and-a-half years or more to finally air the issues. I appreciate the board is hearing the issues, but I’m concerned about the time it took to get here.”

Rizzo declined comment.

“I can’t comment on executive session discussions,” he said.

Board Chairman Frank Maxant confirmed Coulter will be back before the board in March. Otherwise, he only indicated that discussions have just begun.

“We heard a lot of words but didn’t cover a lot of ground,” he said. “I didn’t verify from Mark’s attorney what conclusion she wants us to reach, but I think it’s pretty clear what she wants, and now she has to present information to support that conclusion.”

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