Belchertown Police Chief finalist named in ongoing lawsuit

Decision on the new chief may not happen by April 15th goal

BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WWLP) – 22News has new information on a lawsuit involving one of the candidates for Belchertown’s Police Chief.

The 22News I-Team first broke the story one year ago, of a student allegedly being hazed at the police academy in Springfield. Northampton Police Lt. Robert Powers is one of the defendants named in that $5 million lawsuit. He’s also one of three finalists for Belchertown’s Police Chief.

The former cadet, Timothy Turley, claimed in the suit Lt. Powers among other instructors, “ridiculed” and “hazed” him. Turley claims Lt. Powers specifically “deprived him of the right to eat his lunch” on several occasions, among other claims.

Two other people named in that lawsuit were no longer employed at the academy as of March 2015.

22News called Lt. Powers Thursday evening but he has yet to return our call.

We also called the Vice-Chairman of the Select Board, George Archible. He said the lawsuit has not been discussed among the select board yet. However, Lt. Powers has a final interview Friday, April 8th, and Archible believes it will be addressed then.

The Belchertown Select Board planned to announce the new chief Friday, April 15th. However, Archible said, “It’s a very important decision. I don’t care if it takes another month, two months three months. I want to get it right. If it takes longer, so be it.”

22News will continue to follow this story for you. We’ll bring you any updates as soon as we have them.

To read the entire legal complaint against Lt. Powers, Click Here.

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