Selectmen voted to hold their final decision on whether their Acting Town Manager, Mike Milanoski, did or did not interfere in a police matter until such time as Suspended Police Chief Mark DeLuca can be interviewed.
Two votes were taken. The first vote was 4-1 in favor of Leland Jenkin’s motion “exonerating Acting Town Manager Mike Milanoski from these charges.” Newly elected Selectman Martha Gjesteby voted NO loudly. Selectman Koed was on the line, saying he thought DeLuca should have an interview, but would go along with his board, none of which had anything to do with the motion.
Select Chair Paul Carlson thought the 4-1 vote was secure until Gjesteby said she had not heard a second to Jenkin’s motion. When Carlson tried to find the “second,” he could not and then some discussion ensued. Selectmen Fred Koed and Diane Kennedy both thought it might be best for Police Chief DeLuca to be interviewed, because of “factions in the community,” (that had defeated former selectman Ted Carr at Annual Town Elections 2012).
Kennedy offered a second motion that lauded Milanoski and stipulated that DeLuca be interviewed before the report on the matter closed. The vote was 3-2. Carlson, Kennedy and Koed voted in favor. Gjesteby and Jenkins voted against the motion for different reasons. Gjesteby did not wish to “laud” Milansoki and Jenkins did not wish to give DeLuca a chance to be interviewed.
The final (maybe) meeting on this issue may be Tuesday, June 26. Selectmen pray that DeLuca and his counsel will be able to meet with the investigators for a final interview early next week. In the meantime, investigations continue over multiple allegations from the police union about DeLuca.
As usual, the best information and advice came from the audience at the Cohasset Selectmen’s meeting last night.
Jim Hussey, who was appointed Acting Police Chief in Cohasset after another police chief incident many years ago, returned to town last night to give Selectmen and their investigator team a lesson.
Hussey, who heads the Bureau of Investigations for the Boston Police Department, told Selectmen and their investigators that this particular investigation was never a criminal investigation and was always an internal affairs investigation.
Select Chair Paul Carlson said that since the “criminal” investigation wasn’t declared criminal until two days after the Acting Town Manager had interacted with members of the police union, that this was much adieu about nothing.
Hussey said not so. He said the investigation started the very second Milanoski complained about an individual policeman having driven the Humvee to the town elections with a sign asking voters to keep the police station “light” as opposed to dark (unmanned). There was no question on the annual town meeting ballot regarding the same. But a budget that would darken the police station had passed at Annual Town Meeting. Cohasset dispatchers will be joining a regional team in Hingham next month. They (not police officers) were the human beings at the police station.
Here’s how it appears to us:
- Jim Hussey is correct. Town Counsel’s firm is good at lots of stuff but police investigations are not one of them. Even Selectman Diane Kennedy questioned why DeLuca was not given a final interview.
- Milanoski had been “toying” with DeLuca’s contract for some time. Maybe he would give it to him after Annual Town Meeting. Did Milanoski “break” DeLuca…. Did Milanoski hold DeLuca’s contract as a carrot for a little too long?
- I happened to speak to DeLuca about the additional reports he requested from his police officers regarding the Humvee incident at Annual Town Meeting. He told me that he was trying to teach his officers about writing a true report. One officer was writing a report on another officer, who was his friend. DeLuca was trying to teach him: you can’t ignore the issues because he’s your friend. Look at all the things that are involved here. DeLuca was teaching. And then he got suspended with pay, but it looks and sounds like a firing.
NOTED: Selectman reappointed Conservation Commission Chair David Farrag for a three-year term.