The Salem News, MA
By Mike Stucka
April 23, 2008
[Excerpts] The town's former police chief ousted Robert Peachey Jr. from the force. Last night, the present chief was at Peachey's side at Fuller Meadow School when the patrolman - whom the former chief found ill-suited to carry a gun — got his job back. Peachey, 39, quietly shook the hands of Middleton selectmen and then quickly left with Chief James DiGianvittorio. Selectmen reinstated the 10-year police veteran, who was once dubbed "NOT A SUITABLE PERSON" TO CARRY A GUN. Former police Chief Paul Armitage pulled Peachey's firearms license in 2004 after the officer was suspended on domestic abuse charges. A judge later CLEARED PEACHEY of those charges, but Middleton's government argued Peachey shouldn't be armed because he had been in a Tweeter Center brawl that left a man with 15 stitches, and because the patrolman ONCE FIRED HIS GUN IN HIS HOME. However, NO CHARGES were filed against Peachey in those incidents... Peachey said: "I am happy to be back to work and put the past behind me, and now I understand why the town acted as it did and no longer have a problem with their action." Before last night's selectmen's meeting, Town Administrator Ira Singer said that neither Peachey nor the selectmen would answer any questions about his rehiring... Selectmen did not provide a copy of the settlement agreement. Selectmen Chairman Timothy Houten said Peachey was being rehired on the condition he meets all training demands and other requirements, and with an 18-month probation period through June 30, 2010. Houten did not say when Peachey would return in uniform. DiGianvittorio has spent most of his career with the Middleton Police Department working with Peachey, who is the son of another retired police chief. In 2005, an ex-girlfriend who is the mother of two of Peachey's children, printed 200 bumper stickers calling for Peachey to be reinstated. Many of those bumper stickers went to police officers' personal cars in Middleton and surrounding towns. That woman, Stacey MacPherson, did not return a phone call yesterday seeking comment... [Full article here]
Anti-anger class ticket to reuniting fired cop with his job, gun
By Mike Stucka
April 24, 2008
[Excerpts] Ousted Middleton Patrolman Robert Peachey Jr. was compelled to take an anger management class before he could get back his job - and his gun. According to a three-page settlement agreement between the officer and the town, Peachey also was required to be screened by a psychologist, Sam Migdole. The settlement agreement was released by the town of Middleton yesterday in response to a public records request from The Salem News. Whether Peachey has already met the requirements of the settlement could not be determined last night. The agreement prohibits Peachey, the town and the police union from discussing their settlement, which could end a lawsuit and a pending arbitration case... The settlement agreement between Peachey and the town laid out five conditions for the patrolman's rehiring:
- Peachey has to finish an anger management course selected by him, the town of Middleton and police Chief James DiGianvittorio.
- Migdole has to evaluate Peachey's fitness for duty.
- If Migdole determines that Peachey is fit for duty, the police chief will review the psychologist's evaluation and determine whether to issue a gun permit to Peachey.
- If a gun permit is issued, Peachey will be rehired and placed on 11/2 years of probation, "during which time his employment could be terminated for any reason." He would be rehired as a patrolman, the same status he had in 2004.
As part of the settlement, all parties involved agreed not to make any public comments about the case, other than those set forth in a press release. If Peachey is not rehired, the lawsuit and arbitration cases can continue, and everyone involved is allowed to discuss what happened... [Full article here]