Here’s what Carla Gericke, the president of the Free State Project, who also received over $57,000 from Weare for their illegal arrest of her for recording the Weare police, had to say to summarize the corruption in Weare:
Weare is where I got arrested and charged with wiretapping. They dropped the charges, I sued them for violations of my 1st amendment rights, fought them all the way to the Appeal’s Court, and won. The town settled for $57,500. This took 4 years, in the meanwhile, the police chief retired early, 3 officers involved left the department, including Joe Kelley, who is one crooked cop (he took me out back, with 2 other cops, the night of my arrest, encircled me nice and tight, and threatened me, telling me to: “Get out of here before someone gets hurt.”)
Chief Begin, the old chief, was replaced by Chief Velleca, who for a while looked promising. He got rid of Kelley, actually called me (I didn’t speak to him, my attorney did) to say he knew there were serious problems with the department and that he was going to fix them. For a while, it seemed like he was on the right track, firing Kelley, making it compulsory for on-duty cops to wear cams, etc. Then, last month, Velleca, a married man, got caught in a sex scandal, an ugly imbroglio with his secretary, whom he allegedly started stalking and physically attacked. Velleca is now on administrative leave. Last year, Kelley was involved in the murder of an unarmed, fleeing, alleged low-level heroin dealer. Not one officer was held accountable. The town settled that case for $300K+.
“Kelley was fired Nov. 21 after internal investigations revealed a pattern of professional misconduct, including the falsification of time cards and other documents, a bad check and a request to a co-worker to lie about his health in order to obtain disability benefits. Velleca has separately accused Kelley of stealing confidential documents from the department while he was an employee.”
The town’s selectmen, in all their wisdom (snort) have now rescinded Kelley’s firing, and he is eligible for back pay. This is insane! All I can wonder is who has dirt on whom?