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Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos Reacts to Chicopee Police Chief Ruling

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WGGB) — Chicopee Mayor Richard Kos speaks out on the civil service decision that says the selection of the city’s police chief was tainted.

The commisison’s decision in effect overturns the selection of Thomas Charette as chief.

Former Mayor Michael Bissonnette selected Thomas Charette for the chief’s job over Deputy Chief William Jebb.

Jebb appealed that decision and Thursday, the state civil service commission ruled in his favor.

The civil service commission says the selection of Charette as chief was the result of personal and political bias by former Mayor Michael Bissonnette.

Charette was chosen over Jebb, who scored higher on civil service assessments and was recommended by an interview panel and former Chief John Ferraro.

Kos commented briefly on the civil service decision, saying it speaks for itself.

“The city attorneys are reviewing that civil service decision involving the police chief, but going forward, I want the public to realize that the city of Chicopee will comply with all civil service rules, regulations, and laws as they apply to these promotions and any other,” Kos says.

Chicopee State Representative Joseph Wagner says when the commission looks at an issue like this, they exercise due diligence.

“These things are a matter of law, so when a decision is made, the decision isn’t based on conjecture, or subjectivity. That decision is based on law and objective measures and standards,” Wagner adds.

Jebb’s attorney Thomas Kenefick says Bissonnette mistakenly believed Jebb was involved in publicly releasing information about his criminal background while he ran for mayor in 2005.

Bissonnette testifed the question of integrity did play into his police chief decision saying in a statement “his political actions in 2005 were part of the ongoing pattern of conduct that led me to believe that a change in leadership from the Ferraro ways was in the best interests of both the city and the overwhelming number of Chicopee officers.”

Chief Charette didn’t want to go on-camera today, but he told me he was disappointed by the civil service ruling. He adds that he stands by his record as police chief.

Chief Charette will remain in his position until July 1. After that, it will be up to Kos to choose the city’s next chief.

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