Nationally Recognized Police Chief Retires, Ending Investigation Into Deleted Texts

Embattled former Gloucester police Chief Leonard Campanello will be allowed to retire early next year after the city and its former top cop came to an agreement yesterday that will put an end to termination proceedings that would have dragged on for months, attorneys for both sides say.
by | October 7, 2016 AT 12:01 PM

By Bob McGovern

Embattled former Gloucester police Chief Leonard Campanello will be allowed to retire early next year after the city and its former top cop came to an agreement yesterday that will put an end to termination proceedings that would have dragged on for months, attorneys for both sides say.

"We negotiated, and the chief decided to just leave," said Leonard Kesten, the attorney representing the city of Gloucester. "The city gave up nothing. This ends without having to spend any more money and leads to a peaceful ending to his career as the chief."

Campanello earns $127,890 a year under his contract, the city told the Herald. His state pension will not be affected unless criminal charges are brought against Campanello, Kesten said. A spokeswoman for the Essex District Attorney declined to comment.

Campanello, who gained national recognition for launching a program that sends drug addicts to rehab rather than jail, was ousted earlier this week after allegedly erasing his city-owned cellphone amid an investigation into allegations brought against him by two women, authorities said.

Campanello's retirement will be effective Jan. 3.

"The city and I entered into an agreement that led to a fair resolution," Campanello's attorney, Terrence Kennedy, said.

Kennedy added that he "has no concern at all" about the potential for criminal charges against Campanello, and that the former chief is focused "on spending time with his children."

Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken said she hoped the mutual agreement would "help move the city of Gloucester forward from this unfortunate situation."

As part of the investigation into his accusers' allegations, Kesten said Campanello was ordered to turn over his city-issued cellphone.

Although Campanello turned over "some communications," Kesten said he failed to provide the phone and claimed not to know where the device was.

Kesten said the phone eventually ended up at Kennedy's office in the mail, and city attorneys later determined -- after seeing video from an Everett post office -- that Campanello mailed it to his attorney.

(c)2016 the Boston Herald