Westfield Newsroom

Hiring of Russell chief ‘a dead issue’

Attorneys for the Town of Russell have issued a statement that the hiring of Russell Police Chief Jennifer Dubiel was justified by the Board of Selectmen’s July 10, 2012 meeting. (Photo by chief photographer Frederick Gore)

RUSSELL – Town officials have moved on since the controversial hiring of Police Chief Jennifer Dubiel.
A former state trooper, Jack Godfrey, cried foul when he was not interviewed for the position, although he did submit his resume for the job.
Board of Selectmen Administrative Assistant Nancy Boersig said it is “a dead issue.”
“The selectmen are not going to speak about it any longer,” she said, noting that a legal opinion was rendered on the topic.
Town counsel Paul Malek of Doherty, Wallace, Pillsbury, and Murphy in Springfield, said he issued a verbal opinion that there was no discrimination made against Godfrey by not interviewing him, which was Godfrey’s claim.
“It was legal and it’s done,” Malek said this week.
Small towns often hire town officials by filling from within or advertising within the town.
Several years ago the town of Granville hired a full-time police chief for the first time and formed an ad-hoc committee to hire a chief after advertising the position and interviewing candidates.
Granville Town Administrative Assistant Kathryn Martin said when the first chief retired, they used a similar process to hire current Chief Jose Rivera.
“Most small towns are set up so that the select board is also the police commission and they do the hiring,” Martin said. “The process depends on the town guidelines and if it is a union position – if they have no guidelines they can do it however they want to.”


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