Townsend police chief ‘very concerned’ about executive session

FILE PHOTO
DeMoura
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TOWNSEND — On Oct. 8 interim Police Chief Robert DeMoura placed Police Department Records Clerk Patty Clark, the wife of Selectmen Chairman Gordon Clark, on paid administrative leave for what The Sun has learned was an allegedly threatening text she sent to a police dispatcher.

The Board of Selectmen is scheduled to meet in executive session, or behind closed doors, with DeMoura during its meeting Tuesday night to discuss a contract issue.

DeMoura declined to comment on both the Clark matter, saying it’s a personnel issue, and the executive session, except to say: “I am very concerned about the executive session. I am hearing in town there could be a movement against me. I am very concerned about that.”

DeMoura, a Chelmsford resident who rose to the rank of captain in the Lowell Police Department and was chief in Fitchburg, earns $1,800 a week in Townsend. His contract runs until Jan. 16.

According to sources, Mrs. Clark has worked at the police department for nearly three decades and has an “unblemished record.” She has not returned to work since.

“She is very upset by this,” said one source.

Selectman Clark, a former captain in the Middlesex Sheriff’s Department and part-time officer in Boxboro, said there are two executive sessions scheduled for Tuesday evening, one involving the police department. But it does not involve DeMoura’s job status.

Asked if the interim chief’s job status will be discussed in the future, Clark declined to comment. He also declined to comment on any matter involving his wife.

The other selectman is Carolyn Smart. Like Clark, Smart said the scheduled executive sessions “have nothing to do” with any personnel matters involving DeMoura.

Furthermore, Smart said, any such matters are in the hands of the town’s labor counsel, Kopelman & Paige, because it would be a conflict of interest for Clark to participate in any official town matter involving his wife. Smart is also a town employee, working in the town clerk’s office.

The third seat on the board is vacant due to the resignation earlier this year of Colin McNabb, who left to join the seminary.

A special election to fill McNabb’s unexpired term is scheduled for Nov. 17. Three candidates are running: Ed Howard, Cindy King and Steve Spofford.

Follow Scott on Twitter @cscottlowellsun.