Embattled Methuen Police Chief Retires Amid Salary Investigation

METHUEN, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Methuen's Police Chief Joe Solomon has announced his retirement, after he was put on paid administrative leave during an investigation into the department's salaries.

Chief Solomon and Police Captain Gregory Gallant were both put on leave on Dec. 23, 2020 by Methuen Mayor Neil Perry. The move came after a report from the Massachusetts Office of the Inspector General, that outlined allegations that Solomon and other city officials may have committed misconduct in negotiating contracts that paid him and senior police officers sky-high salaries. 

The report was generated after several calls from city councilors and other local officials to investigate corruption in the department. It found what the office calls a "failure of leadership" at all levels of Methuen's government.

"The contracts, approved in 2017 by then-Mayor Stephen Zanni and the Methuen City Council, included excessive raises for longtime Methuen Police Chief Joseph Solomon as well as the department’s sergeants, lieutenants and captains," the report reads.

Solomon was one of the highest paid police chiefs in the nation, holding his position for nearly two decades. 

Following Solomon's retirement announcement, Steve Saba, Chair of the Methuen City Council said, "I forward to continuing to work with the council and the mayor, as we move forward to reshape the Methuen Police Department."

It is expected that the City Council will soon examine the commissioned independent report, to look into the events and actions that led to the situation.

WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal (@KarynRegal) reports.

Written by Rachel Armany

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(Photo: Karyn Regal/WBZ NewsRadio)

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