PLAISTOW — Police Chief Douglas Mullin no longer works for the town, according to Interim Town Manager and Finance Director Greg Colby.

In response to an email from The Eagle-Tribune, Colby wrote only, “I can confirm that Douglas Mullin was separated from his employment with the Town of Plaistow.”

Colby noted, “the Town is not (currently) at liberty to provide any further comment on this personnel matter.”

He did not respond when asked who is running the police department or about the status of a longer-term promotion or hiring plan. None of the Board of Selectmen’s five members responded to the same request for information.

Mullin’s departure is not the first this year among Plaistow leaders.

Colby stepped into the top Town Hall job in July, when former Town Manager Mark Pearson retired early and unexpectedly.

A severance agreement grants Pearson a weekly check from the town for $4,886 during the first year of his retirement, which started July 1. On top of that $250,000, the town will cover 85% of Pearson’s health insurance through Dec. 31, 2022.

By signing the agreement, Pearson surrendered his right to sue the municipality at any point. He left after four years and four months on the job, when tensions with selectmen came to a head.

Pearson is known to be close with Mullin — continuing a friendship after working together as Salem police officers — and hired him to lead Plaistow police in 2019.

During an early meet-and-greet with selectmen, Mullin told them he was unsure of how long he wanted to be in charge. He explained working at the Salem Police Department for 23 years as a patrolman and then in the Detective Division, where he was in charge of the evidence room and some undercover assignments.

When Mullin left Salem in 2008, he took an equivalent job at the Atkinson Police Department for two years. After the first year, he simultaneously served in the same capacity for Hampstead police.

Mullin told selectmen that besides policing, he had a career as a private corporate pilot.

Because Mullin collected state retirement money at the time, he told selectmen and Pearson that he could only work up to 1,664 hours throughout the year.

In his first three days as interim chief, Mullin ordered 15 Tasers since the department did not have any, set up training to use them, and met with a lawyer to review procedures he described as outdated by 20 years.

But earlier this year, Mullin was temporarily removed after allegations that he assaulted a subordinate department member in his office.

Just before the town manager’s departure, Mullin was cleared by the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office of any criminal wrongdoing.

However, in a letter written to Colby following the investigation, Senior Assistant Attorney General Timothy Sullivan noted, “the investigation raised serious concerns about the statements provided by the officers involved.”

“All five provided significantly different details about the incident,” Sullivan wrote. “Thus, I strongly encourage the Town of Plaistow to conduct a full and detailed internal investigation to determine if any officers’ conduct during this incident, and the subsequent investigation, violated department or town policies.”

Mullin could not be reached for comment this week.

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