What’s wrong with this state?
Among the last three in a row Speakers’ of the House being indicted, and corruption discovered anywhere there is an investigation, (in the rare event there actually is one), i.e., the Probation Department, and now the Lottery guys . . . here’s who’s getting pensions that are helping to bankrupt the state:
Former chief’s retirement pay OK’d despite town’s request (and yesterday’s news from the same town: Salisbury officer faces discharge Mark Thomas called to disciplinary hearing for alleged misconduct) Click here for portion of the Mark Thomas report. “The review of Thomas was prompted by information that initially came to light after St. Pierre was first called by Harrington to investigate former police Chief David L’Esperance’s four-year tenure with the Salisbury department.
L’Esperance was accused of criminal activity and relieved of duty in early December 2010 based on allegations made by individuals with criminal histories that he had traded drugs and favors for sex.”
*UPDATE on Dirty Police Chief Watch
MEANWHILE: the beat goes on from the ‘origins’ of L’Esperance and those who helped his rise to power:
West Newbury selectmen, ousted official hold private meeting …Against the wishes of one board member, selectmen met behind closed doors with former Finance Director Tracy Blais late …Atwood brings complaint over ‘off-record’ discussion » Local News …Atwood filed a formal Open Meeting Law complaint to the town clerk’s office Monday …Selectmen need to practice open government » Opinion … Yet West Newbury selectmen refused to release the audit to the public. The town’s lawyer is arguing that the audit is a draft, and, …
Documents discovered about police » Local News » NewburyportNews …The file, found in the selectmen’s office by Selectman Tom Atwood, may indicate a … Atwood, who said he discovered the folder in a desk drawer one evening while …
Officials seek answers on probe of former police chief » Local … L’Esperance, 51, was arraigned last week on two felony and two misdemeanor counts of larceny. Three of the charges stem from allegations he …
Justice moves too slowly in police probe » Opinion …Since December, when L’Esperance was placed on paid leave from Salisbury police and the probe of the allegations began, there has been a …
L’Esperance investigation digs deeper » Local … Prior to being hired five years ago as Salisbury’s chief, L’Esperance had worked for more than 20 years in West Newbury. He retired earlier this …
Wading into West Newbury’s political quicksand » Opinion …West Newbury’s political turmoil has opened a Pandora’s box. Now it’s time for it to live with the detritus…
From Daily News August 30, 2011: A request by Atwood to have a discussion on the status of the audit put on the agenda for last Wednesday’s meeting was rejected by Knowles. Atwood asked that the chairman provide a list of outstanding actions that need to occur before the audit can be released and a time line for when they will be completed, to which Knowles responded, “so noted.” A public documents complaint filed by The Daily News after a request for the audit was denied by town counsel is being reviewed by state officials.
The board acknowledged receipt of a letter from Kristi Devine calling for a forensic investigation into the police department and possible abuses of power by L’Esperance and other officers. Both Knowles and Cushing declined to discuss the letter in detail until they had a chance to review it with town counsel and notify the police chief so she could be present for the discussion.
“It advised L’Esperance that he was not going to be covered by the town’s professional liability insurance coverage for a lawsuit from plaintiff Jeffrey Phaneuf,” Harrington said. “The particular letter would have raised a level of concern on my part if I’d seen it during the background check.”
September 9, 2011:
(Special note: on all of the links to newspaper articles provided, there are bloggers, often adding to information not otherwise in the articles.)
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At his arraignment, L’Esperance stood before the same prosecutor and judge he worked with over the last decade plus to bring charges against those ‘he’ was charging and arresting. He was ordered to reappear to the same courthouse in August. (In sharp contrast to L’Esperance, a Police Chief who is alleged to have traded drugs and money for sex, and has thus far only been charged for larceny, a former police officer in Plainfield, MA has been indicted by a grand jury for drug possession following an investigation by the AG’s office – http://www.norwichbulletin.com/news/crime/x311102151/Former-Plainfield-cop-indicted-in-Mass#axzz1Rqv5QqQk)
Ex-Mass. police chief faces criminal charges
A more chronological report, including links to news articles, videos, and further updates follows this recent report of his ARRAIGNMENT (from when his badge and gun were finally removed after a 24 plus year career in law enforcement). During this time, taxpayers funded his tuition to LAW SCHOOL, and now this corrupt, disgraced Police Chief currently practices law in the very courts he is being arraigned in when he is a known threat to public safety.
Read more and see video: http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp/news/crime_files/crime_watch/ex-mass-police-chief-faces-criminal-charges-25-apx-20110711
(in unrelated, but “related” news, the forensic audit regarding the former finance director of West Newbury, wife of former police chief who L’Esperance mentored and was empowered by, has been released. The public has not been allowed to see what they paid $25,000.00 for, because the same selectmen who still refuse to do an independent investigation of their police department where L’Esperance was a police officer for 20 years before becoming Salisbury’s Chief, are on their third revision and will not say when the public can see it: http://www.newburyportnews.com/local/x614900220/Financial-auditor-Its-pretty-bad )
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Posted July 4, 2011: We can only hope that the former Police Chief of Salisbury, David L’Esperance, is the worst of the corruption in Massachusetts’ police departments, but there is little reason to have confidence in that being the case given what’s known of L’Esperance’s corruption and crimes, and that he has not even been charged for a single one of them. Fact is, after he was stripped of his badge and gun, and put on paid leave pending an investigation, things have only gotten better for L’Esperance. He resigned from police work when the scheduled interview with the investigator was to commence so that he would not be obliged to cooperate. This provided that he could collect his close to $60,000.00 annual taxpayer-funded pension at the tender age of 50, in addition to receiving a windfall of almost $50,000.00 for back sick and vacation days. All the while, those who knew him said he ‘worked’ very few hours a day, and likely committed more crimes than most of the “alleged” criminals he put behind bars.
But, it gets better, or more accurately WORSE for citizens and taxpayers of the Commonwealth. L’Esperance, has joined a law office in Lynn, and literally practices law in the very courts that he prosecuted those, who according to the article below, may or may not have done anything wrong. While we read everyday of people arrested for things that pale in comparison to what witnesses, including police officers, claim in a long list of crimes committed by L’Esperance when on the police department, he walks among us freely as a known threat to public safety. That he practices law screams to the fact that something is very wrong with our system. At its root is that throughout L’Esperance’s career, he was empowered and emboldened to commit more and more crimes and wrongs with raises and promotions from public officials who ignored the outcry from their citizenry, as well as police. Most chilling is the lives he’s affected and destroyed as this article from a newspaper details the story of just one of what is likely to be many of those who suffered as a result of this corruption: (More information on L’Esperance can be found with links to various news sources at LAWLESSAMERICA, as well as elsewhere on this site)
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Police Department Personnel SPD Brief Bios | Employee Photographs
Chief L’Esperance joined the department as its Chief on April 24, 2006. He came to the department from the West Newbury Police Department, where he held the rank of Sergeant. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Springfield College and a law degree from the Massachusetts School of Law. He passed the bar in 2003.
2011 INVESTIGATION: 31-page scathing report reveals more than a dozen instances of abuse of power, according to the Lawrence Eagle Tribune. It concluded that former Salisbury police Chief David L’Esperance, 50, not only exchanged drugs for sex, falsified police records and interfered with crime scenes and arrests. The report, conducted by former Salem police Chief Robert St. Pierre, also painted a picture of a chief described by his own officers as a “Jekyll and Hyde” character who ran the department through fear and intimidation.
Salisbury Town Hall February 14, 2011
A large crowd gathers at Salisbury Town Hall last night, as the selectmen allowed comments on the St. Pierre Report regarding former police Chief David L’Esperance. Ben Laing/ Staff Photo February 15, 2011
By Angeljean Chiaramida The Daily News of Newburyport SALISBURY — Selectmen asked residents to attend last night’s meeting and comment on the scandal surrounding former police Chief David L’Esperance, and selectmen ended up being taken out to the woodshed, accused of turning a blind eye to problems with L’Esperance for years before the recent crisis broke . . .
But last night, what L’Esperance did wasn’t at issue. The major concern is how he was hired in 2006 in the first place, and why selectmen and Harrington didn’t act when rumors arose of serious problems with L’Esperance, many allegations brought by his own police officers.
SALISBURY, Mass. — The board of selectmen in Salisbury invited the public to speak about the scandal in a meeting Monday evening. Salisbury police Officer Dan McNeil stood before his town selectmen asking why former Police Chief David L’Esperance was not investigated when police unions raised concerns years ago. “Until we all stand up and take responsibility, (we cannot leave this) behind us and move forward,” McNeil said . . . The report also alleged L’Esperance abused power by protecting some suspects and trophy hunting, or taking items at crime scenes. The investigation was launched after police in New Hampshire heard reports of wrongdoing.
Kristi Devine, of West Newbury, said she was harassed by the former chief when she complained. “If you can imagine that your life would be destroyed by one bad cop, I’m the living example,” Devine said.
West Newbury Citizen Devine followed by Sgt. Scione who rattles off what he and other officers did for years to report their Police Chief L’Esperance’s crimes. Refers to him as “Criminal with a badge”
@4:14 Devine of WN, @7:12 Michael Goodridge
@4:10 Freeman Condan When report came out, shocked and angered, but not surprised, because he had heard it all before. “You had to know what was going on, everybody knew.” He started talking to Board of Selectmen about L’Esperance’s criminal behavior in 2007, February 1st. . . “We have to add accountability and responsibility to the Board of Selectmen”
0 – 2:30 Brian McMannimum – Vice Chairman of Liquor License Association “three years, everybody knew”… “Somebody could have gotten killed” then forward to 11:50 Devine requesting that Selectmen ask AG to come in.
Paul Greany, 67 year life long resident and business owner in town, Retired Police Officer of over 30 years, 5 years as a Chief, 5 years as Major in Mass State Police as Bureau Commander, Life member of Mass Chief’s of Police Assoc., and Int’l Police Assoc. and graduate of the FBI academy. The system has failed, integrity at an all time low, system is broken. Two years ago, letter of vote of no confidence of Police Chief, Board and Town Manager took no action except to ridicule Police Department in the Daily News … followed with the Chief is held in high esteem by all the other Chiefs, “I almost fell off the coach”. “As time went on, you could not go into a public place in town without people talking about the daily escapades of the Chief.” Spoke with a selectman who had gone to other agencies and no one was willing to take on the police chief. If the system worked this would never have been allowed to go on for so long. Vicarious liability = immediate supervisor knew, or should have known that this criminal activity was going on.
Devine on Personnel file and asks if he was qualified to carry gun at very beginning, then Paul Greany @5:55, Harrington @ 7:10, “no control of what FBI & DA choose to do”
Devine @ 0 -5:12 answering questions from Board. Board apologizing.
For entire public meeting visit this link: http://www.salisburyma.gov/communityTV/SCTselectmenvideo.html
The piece — boldly identified as editorial and bearing the headline “REPORT: Salisbury Police Chief Dirty Cop” — appears on the front page of the February issue of Beyond the Badge, which calls itself New England’s Premier Law Enforcement Publication in its masthead.
. . . and there’s always more points of interest in the blogs affiliated with every L’Esperance story:
vikings85 in reply to joecranny:I just went back and watched the Youtube of Freeman Condon’s speech at the February 14 Salisbury selectmen’s meeting. Anyone interested in this case- please watch this. The whole meeting is on there at the town’s website: www.salisburyma.gov/communityT…
According to Condon’s testimony, four years ago- February 1, 2007, Mr. Condon alerted town officials about the same criminal actions which were in the St. Pierre report and nothing was done. I hope that the reason no indictment has gone down yet is because all the years of L’Esperance’s criminal activity is being carefully investigated, and maybe the people over the years who have helped his “career” along are being investigated too.
Good for the editorial for being “harsh by journalistic standards”-a show of righteous indignation is surely merited in this case. Big time.
SALISBURY — Former Salisbury police Chief David L’Esperance may have retired under the dark cloud of controversy due to allegations of criminal wrongdoing, but the town has paid him almost $44,700 in unused sick/vacation leave, as state law requires.
SALISBURY — Turmoil continues to swirl in the Salisbury Police Department with the abrupt resignation of acting police Chief Kevin Sullivan yesterday.
The only entity in Salisbury that can arrest the chief is the PD, but they lack the intestinal fortitude to do so and they continue to cover his butt and their butts.
MORE LINKS: WEASEL AWARDS #579 goes to Salisbury, Massachusetts POLICE CHIEF – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iu1a7LQdz_g , 7 News – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQbGTVMGZYA&feature=related ,
TWISTS & TURNS: L’Esperance’s twenty years of serving as a police officer in West Newbury’s Police Department is being questioned because his criminal career is believed to have begun there, and may have been concealed by officials. Unlike in Salisbury where L’Esperance was the highest ranking officer in the Police Department, in West Newbury, L’Esperance had three supervisors he was accountable to, Former West Newbury Chief John Dennis, current West Newbury Chief Lisa Holmes, and retired Sergeant Courtemanche, all of whom were L’Esperance’s superiors for the several years prior to his becoming Police Chief of Salisbury.
Dennis, named by L’Esperance as “his mentor”, took early retirement in Mass in 2007, about a year after L’Esperance became Salisbury’s Chief. (Dennis currently travels over the border where he is South Hampton, NH’s current Police Chief allowing him to collect his pension in Mass while working out-of-state). Meanwhile, Dennis’ wife, Tracey Blais, the Finance Director of West Newbury for the past 19 years has just recently learned her contract will not be renewed, and has herself come under scrutiny: http://www.newburyportnews.com/local/x977544217/Board-disputes-Blais-bonuses and Blais denies any wrong-doing.
Many wonder if this is the beginning of the domino effect. West Newbury resident, Kristi Devine, who spoke out in Salisbury about the abuses of L’Esperance in her town while Selectmen there turned a blind eye, consistently complained to Selectmen of L’Esperance’s and other police improprieties since moving to town in 2000 when she faced her first false charges where the key witness in her trial was Police Chief Dennis. She was acquitted, but that was only the beginning of the multiple false charges that would ensue over the next decade continuing right up to the present day.
Meanwhile, Devine’s frustration of the ongoing lack of transparency and accountability from the Board of Selectmen pertaining to anything they don’t want to deal with continues uninterrupted to date. Most recently Selectmen refused to release a forensic audit that taxpayers paid $25,000.00 for relative to matters concerning their finance director of 19 years, http://www.newburyportnews.com/local/x357285017/Officials-wont-release-town-finance-audit, and just prior to that, taxpayers learned of Blais’ intention to sue the Town, http://www.newburyportnews.com/local/x236810601/West-Newbury-selectmen-ousted-official-hold-private-meeting. Concurrently, while West Newbury officials continue to pretend everything is fine in their town, Salisbury has expanded the investigation and time frame for the second, follow-up report on L’Esperance’s criminal activities under their watch, http://www.newburyportnews.com/local/x1692752061/Police-report-delayed
Stay tuned, because this story will likely never end. Where is:
This page is continually updated with new developments in these various stories emanating from L’Esperance’s recently unveiled abuses of power. Many more people may go down if ever the investigation of him is expanded to all who aided and abetted in his criminal activities and his rise to power as this is just tip of the iceberg. Check back later and frequently.