Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Southbridge Council Asks State For Police Department Audit

Chief Daniel Charette
Following a sometimes tense discussion the Southbridge Town Council voted 6 to 3 to adopt a motion requesting that the State Auditor conduct an audit of the Southbridge Police Department from July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2012.

The motion had been presented by Councilor Laurent “Butch” McDonald and was signed onto by all eight other councilors.

During discussion, council chair Catherine Nikolla conceded that she had signed off on the request but that she regretted it almost as soon as she did. 

Similar sentiments were expressed by vice chair Denise Clemence and councilor Pamela Regis.

Councilor Shawn Moriarty added an amendment, which the council adopted, calling for the hiring of a private firm to supplement the audit in any areas that the State Auditor’s office thought were outside their purview.

The motion was strongly supported by councilor Darlene Marcucci. It also garnered the support of councilor David Langevin who essentially argued that if there was nothing to hide it could only serve to reinforce confidence in the department while providing the council with useful information.

Strong opposition was mounted by Nikolla along with town manager Christopher Clark. Clark even raised the far-fetched specter of the State Auditor recommending the hiring of additional officers.

The most amazing spectacle, however, was provided by Chief of Police Daniel Charette. In what can only be characterized as a plaintive monologue, he begged the council to let him have time to smooth over any differences within the department that may have given rise to the request.

The vehemence of the opposition to the proposal from Charette, Clark, Clemence and Nikolla seemed to only strengthen the resolution of McDonald, Vandal, Moriarty, Peloquin, Langevin and Marcucci in voting to approve the request. Councilor Regis joined with Clemence and Nikolla in voting against the motion.

It will be interesting to see if any further efforts are made to block the audit and what results emerge if and when it is carried out.


  1. Charette never answered councilor Marcucci's question as to whether there had been specific safety issues raised in accordance with the contract.

  2. sick of greedy town employeesSeptember 25, 2012 at 8:44 PM

    Citizens the action of the Southbridge Town Council Monday night was wrong. The action taken is a result of employees not getting their way with management so go to council for help. The Firefighters are doing the same but are using the social media site Facebook for their attempt to sway management to their side again a poor way of doing business. The town spends a lot of money every year to have the books audited the town also pays a person a great deal of money to watch the books. One has to wonder is it because the police are without a contract so make noise cast doubt so management gives in. In private business one would be FIRED if they went on facebook and said things against an employer it also has happen in public service out on the Cape. So beware what you say on facebook firefighters it could happen in Southbridge. Councilor McDonald you should be ashamed of the way you do things also after all the hard work that the charter review committee did and you support the manager to wait till next year shame on you. You will NEVER be like your Dad

  3. Shame on Clark for trying to scare the general public with an over ride but thats what he does best he needs to go along with ely this town needs a douche starting with the council chair oop's did i say douche well if the shoe fits wear it i guess! Oh and Marcucci brought up a good subject on living within 15 miles in MASSACHUSETTS and clark said that it was negotiated in the contract they could live out of state, shame on clark hes now breaking the law hes not a town manager hes a janitor.


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