Methuen police chief put on leave after critical inspector general report

Methuen police chief put on leave after critical inspector general report
Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon, pictured in July 2020, is now on leave after a state Inspector General report found irregularities with the way the city handled the contract that led to his $350,000 salary. (Boston 25 News)

METHUEN, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts police chief who is among the highest paid in the nation has been placed on paid administrative leave following the release of a state Inspector General report that found irregularities with the way the city handled the contract that led to his salary.

Methuen Mayor Neil Perry announced Wednesday that he was putting both Chief Joseph Solomon as well as Capt. Gregory Gallant on leave, The Eagle-Tribune reported.

Solomon’s more than $350,000 annual salary was negotiated under a previous mayor.

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Perry said the leave was not disciplinary.

“I intend to follow the appropriate guidance of the Inspector General and will carefully consider this report, the soon to be received audit, and all applicable laws in arriving at a proper course of action,” he said in a statement.

Inspector General Glenn Cunha wrote that his office “found a failure of leadership at all levels” regarding contracts approved in 2017.

“This total failure of leadership by Methuen’s former mayor and city council allowed Chief Solomon and Captain Gallant to put their personal financial interests ahead of the interests of the citizens they swore an oath to protect and serve,” Cunha said in a statement.

Solomon and Gallant could not be reached for comment.

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