EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

February 26, 2014

Fight for personnel records rages on

Jackson at center of Melix Bonilla case

(Continued)

However, Romero, who retired in September after 15 years as chief, previously denied there was any truth to Cain’s allegations regarding Jackson.

In February 2013, after obtaining police department internal affairs documents, the Eagle-Tribune reported that Jackson was disciplined in 2012 for sexually harassing men he commanded as auxiliary chief. One complaint alleged Jackson parked his cruiser under a bridge while on a midnight patrol with another officer and graphically described sexual torture by Afghan terrorists.

“He informed me of their torture methods and one of them happened to be to single out homosexual men and then take gorilla glue and then squeeze bottles and bottles of the glue up their rectum, causing their stomach to explode,” William DeBenedetto Jr. wrote in one complaint on May 1, 2011, after he had resigned from the force.

“He then proceeded to question my opinion on the subject matter along with my views on homosexual men. I was immediately uncomfortable with the situation,” DeBenedetto wrote.

Sgt. Emil DeFusco, commander of the Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division, interviewed 22 past and current members of the auxiliary force, including Jackson, after receiving the complaints in 2012, according to the documents.

The Eagle-Tribune obtained a copy of DeFusco’s investigation after requesting it under the state’s Public’s Records Law. City Attorney Charles Boddy redacted information about how Jackson was disciplined, which the law allows.

In September 2013, Jackson was relieved of his duties as auxiliary chief amid an unspecified police department investigation. He never regained the auxiliary chief’s position, which he held for 26 years, prior to his firing as civilian facilities manager in January.

When he was called before the grand jury in Bonilla’s case, Jackson testified that Bonilla threatened to have him fired if he didn’t help the then deputy chief with an illegal swap of 13 city-owned cars for four Chevrolet Impalas.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Merrimack Valley

Eagle-Tribune News Videos
Photos of the Week