Wayland Police Chief to be paid contract after probe into sexual misconduct with 2 subordinates

  • In US
  • 2022-12-05 20:28:17Z
  • By WFXT

Wayland Police Chief Sean Gibbons will be paid the remainder of his employment contract through January 2024 after he resigns later this month following a probe into sexual misconduct allegations by two female subordinates at work over the past two decades, according to documents released by the town Monday.

One of the women described her experience with Gibbons in 2010 to town investigators as a sexual assault, although no criminal charges for sexual assault were ever filed against Gibbons, a town spokesperson said Monday.

"There is no dispute as to whether a sexual encounter occurred, but there is a dispute regarding consent," states the report by Clifford & Kenny LLP, the law firm hired by the town to investigate the allegations against Gibbons, of the 2010 incident.

Gibbons has been on paid administrative leave since March, just four months after he was appointed chief of police. He will resign from his position effective on December 20, according to the settlement agreement, which states the town will pay Gibbons two lump sum payments of $178,588.75, less taxes, in January 2023 and in January 2024.

The redacted report details two separate and sexually-graphic incidents, in 2003 and in 2010, in which two female employees of the Wayland Police Department alleged Gibbons had sexual encounters with them. One woman alleged Gibbons had sex with her in his home in 2003, and the second woman alleged he had sexually assaulted her in a hotel room while the two were attending a police conference in Springfield in 2010.

While being interviewed by town investigators, Gibbons admitted to driving while intoxicated on the nights of the two alleged incidents in 2003 and 2010.

"The Chief's conduct reflects very poorly on the integrity and reputation of the Department as a whole and his fitness to act as an officer of law enforcement," the report concluded. "However, this investigator notes that these events occurred nineteen (19) and twelve (12) years ago, and the remoteness of the conduct must be given due consideration."

Both women told town investigators that they were under the influence of alcohol when Gibbons had sex with them, according to the report.

There is "sufficient credible evidence to find that Chief Gibbons violated departmental policy 4.02 by engaging in an inappropriate sexual relationship" with one subordinate he supervised and trained in the alleged 2003 incident, the report states.

According to the report, in August 2003, one female employee alleged that Gibbons, then a patrol officer, 33, and married with children, had sent her a text message that they met up at a bar near Billerica, where Gibbons lived at the time. He had been training the woman at work and taking her on police "ride-alongs," the report states.

She "met up with him and became intoxicated while at the bar" and then she and Gibbons "went to his home and had sexual intercourse," according to the report.

"I was just out of it... I didn't say no, I didn't push him off me. He wasn't forceful, it just kind of happened, I just let it," the woman told town investigators, according to the report. The woman also "remembered felling 'wobbly' and slipping in the shower," the report states. Gibbons told town investigators he recalled drinking heavily at the time, and of the sexual encounter: "My recollection was that it was mutual, consensual."

The report concluded there is "sufficient credible evidence" that Gibbons yelled at the woman and subjected her to a higher level of scrutiny than others after they had sexual intercourse.

"Although Chief Gibbons maintain that their sexual contact was consensual, there is an inherent power disparity," the report concluded.

In 2010, another female employee alleged that Gibbons initiated sex with her, and that she tried to push him away, while the two were in a Springfield hotel room while attending the annual convention of the Massachusetts Police Association, the report states. Gibbons told town investigators that the encounter was consensual.

After his resignation, the town will provide Gibbons with a Retired Police Officer ID card, according to the settlement agreement. Gibbons shall not be eligible to perform details or road jobs for the Town of Wayland after his resignation.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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