PARIS, Maine — A former local police officer wrote a letter to the town, calling Chief David Verrier “nothing more than a bully,” and criticizing his running of the Police Department.
The letter, written by William Cook, was addressed to Town Manager Phil Tarr in March, about a month before Cook took a job with the Mexico Police Department.
Cook recently sent the 12-page letter to selectmen, and at Monday’s meeting, Paris resident Janet Jamison asked selectmen if the board had read it. Chairman Sam Elliot said he was familiar with the letter in question, but said it would be inappropriate to discuss employee matters.
“Things like that are personnel matters, and we’re really not going to discuss those in public,” Elliot said. “This is really not the place to discuss some of that.”
Jamison also asked about old police department computers that had been sold. “That’s part of the letter,” Verrier said at Monday’s meeting. “That’s a personnel issue.”
Verrier later said the old computers had been purchased with grants and were traded in toward the cost of new department computers.
Cook worked as a reserve officer for the Paris Police Department briefly in 2007, then from June 2009 through March 2012. In the letter, Cook accuses Verrier of retaliating against him for going to Town Manager Phil Tarr about issues with his schedule.
Cook wrote that Verrier launched an internal affairs investigation against Cook and cut his hours. “Chief Verrier utilizes his rights over scheduling to instill fear into those who work for him,” Cook wrote.
On Wednesday, Verrier said that legally, he couldn’t discuss Cook’s letter, or whether there was an internal affairs investigation as it was a personnel issue. “I really can’t say anything.”