Chicopee Police Chief forced to vacate position

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Chicopee Police Chief Thomas Charette will have to give up his position this summer.

The state Civil Service Commission ruled in favor of Chicopee Deputy Police Chief William Jebb. 22News talked to Jebb’s attorney who says the Commission made the right decision because Jebb was wrongfully bypassed for the promotion.

After one full year as the chief, Chicopee Police Chief Thomas Charette will have to give up that promotion. The state Civil Service Commission ruled Thursday someone else was more qualified.

The ruling is effective July 1st. That means Chief Charette will serve as the temporary chief starting July 1st until Mayor Richard Kos appoints a new permanent chief.

Former Mayor Mike Bissonnette had promoted Charette to chief last July. But Deputy Chief William Jebb filed an appeal, claiming he was bypassed for the job on purpose.

Jebb’s attorney Thomas Kenefick told 22News, “If you compared the two, Deputy Chief Jebb was the number one candidate of all the candidates. My client had the highest score from the assessment center, the highest score from the interviews.”

Former Mayor Mike Bissonnette sent 22News a statement. It reads in part: “I have no personal or political bias about Bill Jebb who I regard as a fine officer. It would have been better politics to have appointed Captain Jebb, but I have never been one to avoid tough decisions or look the other way at misconduct.”

Meantime, Chicopee residents told 22News they’re fed up with conflicts among city leaders. Lee Gould said, “How can you change that? You’re never going to change it. The chief should be appointed through the ranks. Whoever deserves, who put the time in, they should get it.”

Mayor Kos issued 22News a statement concerning the decision. “In regards to Civil Service Police Chief decision, the decision speaks for itself. The Civil Service decision is being reviewed by the attorneys for teh City of Chicopee. Going forward I can assure the public, and more specifically, the citizens of Chicopee, that my administration will comply with all applicable civil service laws, rules and regulations. This is what the public deserves and this is what the public will get.”

To read the full report from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Click Here.