EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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August 21, 2013

Termination hearing set for police officer

PELHAM — Selectmen hold a hearing tonight on the possible dismissal of police Patrol Officer Eugene Stahl.

Stahl, as is his right under public labor relations law in New Hampshire, requested the hearing be open to the public.

Selectmen announced the hearing yesterday.

It is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Town Hall, 6 Village Green.

The public notice said the session is “to determine if there is just cause for the removal” of Stahl.

Selectmen’s Chairman Ed Gleason said the hearing relates to Stahl’s “conduct in the line of duty.”

Those circumstances will be detailed during the hearing, he said.

“That’s what the hearing is about,” Gleason said.

Police Chief Joseph Roark has recommended Stahl be dismissed, Gleason said.

Roark confirmed he is recommending Stahl’s dismissal and said he will present his reasons at the hearing tonight.

The chief said he was reluctant to discuss those reasons beforehand because the issue remains a personnel matter and Stahl could change his mind about the hearing being public.

“I’m in a unique position,” Roark said. “I’ve never, in these type of hearings, had a person request that it be public.”

Gleason also could not recall such a public hearing in his eight years as selectman.

Stahl did not return a phone call, but Officer Thomas Goulden, president of the Pelham chapter of AFSCME Local 3657, which represents patrol officers, said he will have union representation.

Goulden would not discuss the circumstances of the disciplinary case against Stahl, but said the union, which includes about 20 members, is concerned that Stahl receive legal due process.

Stahl in the past year has been involved in a shooting incident and a verdict being overturned in a road rage case, though it is unclear at this point whether those factored in the consideration of his dismissal.

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