THREE RIVERS, Mass. (WWLP) – The Three Rivers Prudential Committee delayed their decision on possible disciplinary actions against its fire chief, Scott Turner, for another week.
Chief Turner was notified two months ago there were possible allegations against him. He didn’t find out what those allegations were until the Prudential Committee’s July meeting on July 20th. Chief Turner requested that meeting be in “executive session,” or closed to the public. He was then given ten days to review the allegations against him and respond to the board. Those responses were delivered to the board at the meeting on Monday, August 3, which Chief Turner determined would be open to the public. 22News was there for the meeting, but less than 5 minutes into it, the discussion about Chief Turner’s future was over. The Prudential Committee Chairman, Ray Domey, said he hadn’t received email copies of the responses from Chief Turner in advance and that the board needed time to review his lengthy answers. The meeting was adjourned moments later.
Outside the Three Rivers Fire Station, Chief Turner told 22News the allegations were first called charges against him, but his attorney confirmed these were not charges. Instead, Turner said they were more like questions into his practices as fire chief. He said he responded to those questions, which the board then was given time to review.
Despite the meeting lasting just minutes, the meeting room was filled with firefighters from several communities in Western Massachusetts, including Ware, Belchertown, Palmer and Springfield’s Fire Commissioner Joseph Conant. Many said they were there to support Chief Turner. Turner told 22News he had hoped a decision about his future as chief would be made at Monday morning’s meeting. He had hoped the three-member Prudential Committee would call a recess, review his responses to their questions, and make their decision at once.
The Prudential Committee meets again at 10AM on Monday, August 10. They’re expected to discuss their final decision and reason for any disciplinary actions they suggest against Chief Turner.