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Thetford police chief allowed to return to work

Published: 6/28/2020 1:27:35 PM
Modified: 6/28/2020 8:38:38 PM

THETFORD — Police Chief Mike Evans, who was placed on paid administrative leave last week, will return to work Monday, Thetford Town Manager Guy Scaife announced Saturday.

An internal review of Evans “progressed to a point where there is no longer a requirement for Mike not to be on Town Hall premises,” Scafie wrote in a post on the town’s Listserv.

“I look forward to this step and our ability to move in the direction of normalcy,” he added. “Personnel decisions are often difficult. This one certainly has been.”

Scaife did not indicate why Evans, who has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience, was placed on leave, other than to say it was at the behest of the town’s attorney.

The town manager announced the decision to place Evans on leave last Monday, saying he couldn’t disclose details other than the “state is involved”

Evans, 51, said last week he wasn’t being suspected of criminal activity.

He also indicated that Scaife wants to “silence dissenters” opposing a proposal to cut the hours of Thetford’s two patrol officers, Stuart Rogers and Michael Scruggs.

Late last month the New England Police Benevolent Association’s Local 403 informed town officials that Scaife was planning cuts, with one possibility including the workweek dropping from 42 hours to 30.

The union claims that Scaife is unfairly targeting police and has “created a hostile work environment.”

Meanwhile, records indicate that Evans objected to Scaife not allowing the officers to attend a closed-door Selectbord meeting over the proposed cuts.

Residents angered over the decision to put Evans on leave plan to hold a rally in support of the chief Monday. Supports will meet at 6:30 p.m. at the Town Hall. 

Scaife wrote in his post that he hopes the remainder of Evans’ review “will be settled as quickly as this first portion and any steps needed for resolving issues will then be put into place.”

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