Police Sergeant’s Personnel Hearing To Be August 31

by Carla Occaso and Nat Frothingham

MONTPELIER — Montpelier Police Sergeant Richard Cleveland’s disciplinary case will be discussed August 31 at 5:30 p.m. However, just what happens during that meeting will not be divulged publicly by city representatives.

“It will not be open to the public unless that is requested by Sergeant Cleveland,” City Manager William Fraser wrote in an email to The Bridge August 22.

The Bridge observed to Fraser by email that Cleveland had been the highest paid city worker, to which Fraser replied,  “Cleveland’s base pay is the same as other police sergeants. He has regularly been among the highest overall compensated employees due to the large amount of overtime he works (filling open shifts, etc.)”

Other than that, Fraser said, “I am not going to comment on any employee’s personnel history.”

A telephone call from The Bridge to Cleveland August 22 went to voicemail.

The latest events follow a personnel issue concerning Cleveland that had been investigated in May. Fraser announced June 6 that he had concluded an internal investigation, following the department’s internal affairs policy, concerning allegations relating to misuse of work hours.

The investigation involved Cleveland, a 29 year veteran, who has been on paid administrative leave since May 24. As a result of the investigation, Fraser set about scheduling a disciplinary hearing.

In a notice earlier this summer, Fraser advised, “Despite the city manager’s administrative authority over personnel in the city charter, Vermont statute (I VSA Title 24, Chapter 55, Section 1932) requires a due process hearing of the legislative body for any matter which could involve the suspension or termination of a Police Officer.” It is expected that this hearing will be held in closed session.

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