Chief Stanley's status still a mystery

By Jaime Rebhan | Feb 03, 2011
Interim Police Chief Richard Stanley

It's still unclear whether part-time Interim Police Chief Richard Stanley will be taking over the post on a permanent basis.

In November, Stanley reportedly told town officials in North Andover, where he serves as full-time Chief, that he would be "transitioning away" from his duties in Wareham. North Andover Town Manager Mark Rees said Stanley reduced his time from two days per week to one weekend day and an occasional night meeting, and would be finished by March.

But Wareham town officials steadfastly maintained that Stanley and the town are in contract negotiations so that he can become the full-time chief here. And town records indicate that Stanley was paid for working in Wareham anywhere from 28 to 38 hours per week in November and the first two weeks of December.

From mid-August until the second week of December, 2010, Stanley earned from Wareham $36,010. In comparison, Wareham paid Stanley $42,802 from August 2009 (when he started) to June 30, 2010, according to the Annual Town Report for fiscal year 2010.

Stanley, who has served as interim chief since Thomas Joyce retired in June 2009, originally said he had no intention of seeking the full-time position. But in March 2010, he was presented to the Board of Selectmen as Town Administrator Mark Andrews' choice for the permanent post. He reportedly entered contract negotiations with the intention of leaving North Andover at the end of the summer.

During his time in Wareham, Stanley is credited with helping the police department earn state certification, obtaining a fleet of new police cruisers, revitalizing the department's K-9 Unit, and adding bike and foot patrol officers to the streets during the summer months.

It's now February, and the town is still without a permanent chief.

Andrews told the Board of Selectmen in early January that he was "very close" to reaching an agreement with the chief, but that the town had called for a Civil Service exam for the position as a "plan B".

“As far as I know, the chief and the Town Administrator are still constructively working together to arrange some things," Selectman Brenda Eckstrom said Thursday.

Selectmen Walter Cruz, Steve Holmes, and Cara Winslow all indicated the same. Andrews and Selectmen Chair Jane Donahue did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

And as far as North Andover knows, Stanley's still staying there.

Board of Selectmen Chair Daniel P. Lanen - also a North Andover police officer - said he hadn't heard anything new since the board was told Stanley would remain in North Andover. Town Manager Mark Rees did not immediately return a phone call requesting comment.

Stanley, perhaps the only person who knows for sure where he'll continue as chief, declined to speak.

Comments (30)
Posted by: timm von buttinski | Feb 03, 2011 19:31

Pension, pension, who's got the pension?

there are new rules regarding 'spiking' to boost one's pension. The Stanley plan was to 'spike' his income via a combo deal between N.Andover & Wareham. That plan is now in doubt, under legislative changes to the rules. Are the behind-the-scenes negotiations an attempt to patch & repair the 'Stanley' plan? to the benefit of Stanley, of course; and to the detriment of Wareham, and possibly N.Andover.

The town of Wareham deserves better than this. It is long overdue to resolve this festering situation. Pressure the BoS to GET IT DONE!!!!


Posted by: timm von buttinski | Feb 03, 2011 20:02

Perhaps J. Rebhan could inquire directly to the Chief/Chief as to his expectations regarding his retirement situation. It is a legitimate question, is it not?

And then, armed with an answer of sorts, perhaps J. Rebhan could convince the Town's Treasurer/Collector to analyze & report on the impact of chief/chief's retirement plan on the Town of Wareham in regard to its pension obligations to the Plymouth County Retirement Board.

Now, THAT would be newsworthy.


Posted by: old lady | Feb 04, 2011 06:09

When most towns need a new police chief, they hire one.

Why does Wareham's TA have to put the citizens in danger by not being able to complete such a normal task?

We want a full time civil service chief now. Please stop playing games.

Posted by: Shantih | Feb 04, 2011 07:53

Is anyone surprised? We went 6 months without an accountant and the DOR found a mess. We've been 6 months without a CEDA director. We went years without a town planner. We went more than a year without a full time library director. We've been over a year without a full time police chief. We went over a year without a town administrator. Does anyone wonder why Wareham is in such a mess? With so many people unemployed you would think it would be easy to find replacements even willing to start at lower salaries, just happy to be working with benefits. Instead we hire unqualified people for more money than advertised. Go figure.

Posted by: MarksCoveJoe | Feb 04, 2011 08:35

I am new to the town. I love this place. There are many positives about Wareham. I have no reason to think that Interim Chief Stanley is doing a bad job.

However, it does reflect badly on the town's image that those in charge can not get things done in a timely fashion. Either force Richard Stanley to come to the town full time or move on to finding another person to be full time police chief.

Posted by: larry mcdonald | Feb 04, 2011 09:49


This town is run by political agenda instead of good old common sense and well thought out decisions. I agree it is time to put a stop to the political maneuvers and start running this town to attract economic development, new residents, and vacationers from all over the world. We have the assets to be the jewel of the Commonwealth instead of the laughing stock.

Set a salary that is based on the area, the talent, and the duties. If that isn't acceptable, then it isn't. Period.

Posted by: involved101 | Feb 04, 2011 12:33

Come on Wareham wake up!! You are being played like a fool!  Do you realize that some ranking officers have not even seen this guy in months. Even more ridiculous some of the patrolman have not even been introduced to this guy yet, never mind have a conversation with him. I just dont get why this is allowed.  Make him sign a contract to stay full time or get a new full time chief.

Posted by: interestedparty | Feb 05, 2011 04:03

Larry, that's rich.  Of course  you are 100% correct, but I think you need to take a good hard look within yourself and then tell the good people of Warehem who's political agenda is being shoved down the Town's throats.

Posted by: A B | Feb 05, 2011 10:41

Ditto for involved101's comments. I also have heard that the chief is a rare sight for most of the cops in town.

Posted by: cranberry | Feb 05, 2011 23:02

Leadership Wareham style.  I have heard Chief Stanley has just issued a new order. Every officer must write five tickets every shift they work no exceptions. Could this have anything to do with the people of Wareham finally starting to hold him accountable, or because he cant get a contract? Officers should write tickets when they see a violation they feel is justified, not out trying to hit a certain number before they go home.

Posted by: P-SPAN | Feb 05, 2011 23:42

From the story: "From mid-August until the second week of December, 2010, Stanley earned from Wareham $36,010."


So, for a four month period Stanley was paid over 36K...over 12 months  that's 108K..and his contract states he's not to make in excess of 81K annually..and the talk is he's hardly ever there!


Now, if we had a full-time civil service chief (like we're supposed to)..they'd be here, y'know..full time..and be required to live within 15 miles of Wareham..and probably be paid just about 118K/year. Just keep telling yourselves how great he is.. Andrews should be canned, and the BoS should explain why they haven't honored their oath(s) to uphold the town charter.

Posted by: Onsetpiper | Feb 07, 2011 13:10

Chief Stanley at a loss for words?? That's funny. When he came to Wareham he wouldn't shut up about how great he was. Now that he is implicated in ethical, if not criminal,violations, he's quiet as a church mouse, as his golfing buddy Mark Andrews. In almost any other Town both would have been shown the door, for this and much more, but here the BOS extols their virtues.

Under the current administration, what appeared to be incompetence looks more and more like corruption.

Posted by: Ellen Begley | Feb 07, 2011 15:03

Onsetpiper, you've made some serious allegations "now that he is implicated in ethical,if not criminal is his golfing buddy" Exactly what are you talking about? I'm really amazed Wareham Week would permit potentially litigious references. Why the vitriol onsetpiper? Chief Stanley has revitalized the Wareham Police Department and Mr Andrews has provided leadership and accountability in Town departments. My opinion, and that of many others.

Posted by: cv1952 | Feb 07, 2011 21:20

Hi, new here, been following along.  I am not really sure I am following OnsetPiper regarding ethical/criminal violations either?  If you dont have and facts retract it until you can back it, simple.  Now, blaming WW for not taking it down however is alittle premature since it appears from the posted date and time to be fairly new.  I would not expect them to be watching a blog every minute of the day so Im sure they will take care of the comment if they feel its potentially litigious in a reasonable timeframe. 

Ellen Begley, it seems in the past year a lifeline of money has been directed to the police department. This is all well and good but when funds are not restricted and the chief or any other management official for that matter has been given free run to do whatever he/she wants to do, your obviously going to see some results, I would hope/think?   I commend the chief for giving the department a fresh approach but logically we need to fill that position with a full time chief, this has gone on long enough.   


Posted by: interestedparty | Feb 07, 2011 23:18

WW.  Why must you make issues when there are none.  It is my understanding that Stanley has a commitment to N.Andover until March, after which he will come on fulltime in Wareham.


Other posters seem interested in trying to get rid of Stanley before he has a chance to fulfill his commitments.  It seems to me that Stanley is well respected within the ranks.  Why are these other people using half-truths to convince us that Stanley's status is a mystery.  It's not, and never has been.



Posted by: interestedparty | Feb 07, 2011 23:25

I have been informed that the Cranberry who writes on this site is not the same Cranberry that writes on the other newspaper's site.  The other cranberry would never make such an outlandish accusation against Stanley.


Don't get the two mixed up.  This (WW) cranberry has a political agenda to push, and that's getting rid of Stanley.  The Observer's cranberry remains objective and wants the best for Wareham.   Written with permission from the Observer's Cranberry.


Posted by: cv1952 | Feb 07, 2011 23:57

IP, I may be mistaken but it was actually the Eagle Tribunes article that originally seemed to spark the debate.   WW looks like they posted a follow up story.   The tribune said in there story the Chief was "transitioning away" from Wareham and had no desire to become the Chief of our town.   This chief, regardless of how good or committed he is has flipflopped which created the "mystery."  One paper says he's staying, one says he's not, some papers it seems he wont even answer.  To add to the mix, one town administrator is telling the board that the Chief isn't leaving then another town administrator is telling his board that he's close to finalizing a contract, these discussions just didnt happen without the chief having any knowledge of it...  IP, you dont seem to find this confusing? Im not afraid to admit that I am alittle confused. Both towns need A police chief not the same chief, they have had over a year to figure this out.

Posted by: interestedparty | Feb 08, 2011 13:56

An honorable man honors his commitments.  From what I understand, Chief Stanley is closing out his affairs in N. Andover.  He promised to acquire certain things in that Town, ie., accreditation of their department, and this has been accomplished.  The fact that both Towns, Wareham and N. Adover want him as their Police Chief says much about this man and his abilities.  WPD union supports.  Another plus in his column.


So, then why all of a sudden are some people calling for his decision when we will know at the end of March.  If it's been this long that Wareham has had a part-time Chief, and he has accomplished so much here, then what is the urgency when he has 1 3/4 months left in N. Andover.  I suspect that those who oppose Stanley's permanent appointment are making their voices heard now because they fear that Wareham will do just what the administration has been trying to do -- that is, make Chief Stanley a permanent police chief.


Please, try to keep an open mind and consider my points on this matter.  I agree with you that Wareham needs a permanent police chief.  Can we give the administration and Stanley until the end of March to negotiate the hiring of Chief Stanley?

Posted by: frogsrule | Feb 08, 2011 22:51

Why would Chief Stanley come here? Wareham is a civil service Chief, which means he has to live within 10 miles or so, this man is going to sell his house in a depressed real estate market and move his family here? Or will he try to rent out his house and move his family here? Or will he rent an apartment here that he never lives in?

Chief Stanley currently makes somewhere in the neighborhood of $135,000.00 annually, we pay our TA about $100,000.00. Doe sit make sense to pay a subordinate more? What a weird relationship that would be. Chief Stanley is retirement eligible, why would he want to lessen his income especially when the returement rules are changing?

I like the Chief, I think that he has done a good job, but it is kind of selfish to keep pushing this matter when it wouldn't make sense for him to come here. Maybe he is just figuring this out now. Who knows. The fact of the matter is that two communities are hanging in the balance waiting for a decision. Let's hope for the sake of both that the Chief speaks soon.

Posted by: Shantih | Feb 09, 2011 07:58

What's taking so long? I've worked in corporate America and have been involved in hiring and negotiating contracts and these so-called negotiations have been going on for many months which is bizarre to say the least. Then we hear from N. Andover that he is staying there.Tthen we hear he might still be coming here. Of course, as this gets dragged out, the chief keeps getting a nice salary for working one or two days a week. I don't mind paying people decent wages, but these are my tax dollars here. Something is fishy.


No one can argue that Wareham doesn't need a full time police chief.  Why aren't the BoS pushing to get this done? Why do we keep hearing from the TA that he is still negotiating? The public should demand better than this for our town.

Posted by: interestedparty | Feb 09, 2011 14:29

Shantih.  What do you mean?  "Something is fishy."  If you have some accusation and can prove it, then say.  If not, keep your innuendos to yourself.  Your actions are only damaging Wareham.


Has Chief Stanley done a good job so far?  Yes.

Can Wareham wait until the end of March?  This poster says, "Yes."

Posted by: Shantih | Feb 09, 2011 17:02

By "keep your innuendos to yourself" are you trying to stop me from stating my opinion? Because that's all I did. Your opinion is the chief has done a good job. You have the right to say that just as I have the right to say that I think something is fishy with the conflicting stories from the North Andover and Wareham town administrators and the months long so-called negotiations by our TA. And stating that I'm tired of paying for a police chief who only works one or two days a week for a tidy sum is not innuendo. It is my opinion.


Actions? Damaging actions? You claim my actions are damaging Wareham when the truth is I haven't done or acted anything, never mind anything that is damaging. I have only stated my opinion which is only in the form of words here. As a resident and taxpayer I have the right to show my concern for what is going on in my town. How is it you get to share your opinion, but you want me to keep  mine to myself? Isn't censure a bad word in your dictionary?

Posted by: interestedparty | Feb 09, 2011 21:45

Shantih: okay I now understand what you meant by "fishy" -- the conflicting stories between Wareham and N. Andover.


If you had made your statement clear in the first place, you would not have left readers hanging trying to decipher your "opinion."  That is what I asked, "what do you mean by fishy?" Without such an explanation your comments, imo, took on an accusatory tone.


I hope that you would agree with me that accusations without substantiation are nothing more than rumors and gossip which, again I hope you will agree, have caused damage to Wareham.  In general terms, I stand by what I wrote to anyone who would make an accusation.  I would say prove it, otherwise that person should wait until facts prove or disprove the accusation.  There just seems to be so much "muck" being thrown around Wareham, that it has become a destructive force in the Town.


No where in my post did I say you should  keep your "opinions" to yourself.

Posted by: Shantih | Feb 10, 2011 08:55

I did make my statement clear in the first place. Please read my comment that you state was not clear. I said the same thing in both posts--"Then we hear from N. Andover that he is staying there.Then we hear he might still be coming here."  We heard those things from the two town administrators as has been made clear.  And my response to your question--"I think something is fishy with the conflicting stories from the North Andover and Wareham town administrators."  I did not change my statement.


The only reader left hanging apparently was you.So since I did explain by basically saying the same thing twice, I'm not sure how my comments "took on an accusatory tone." So, no rumors or gossip or accusations in my posts. Just my opinion.


Might I also remind the readers that the title of the article is Chief Stanley's Status Still a Mystery. I think I was right on topic and did not go after other posters who have the right to state their opinions as well. Why not just comment on the subject and leave the posters alone? It isn't all about you IP.



Posted by: Onsetpiper | Feb 10, 2011 12:32

OK Ms. B. (my opinion), if we're now talking about destructive forces in Town, I would suggest regularly calling citizens who disagree with your agenda and lack of respect and professionalism "idiots", attacking one of the largest employers, investors and taxpayers in Town incessantly, attacking and driving out department heads and anyone else who doesn't do your bidding, while supporting those who do (insert Andrews/Stanley), constantly violating the Open Meeting Law, and abusing the authority of an elected office to the point where the citizens have to pick the huge tab for legal services, sounds a bit more destructive than the gossip mill. This list goes on and on. Our streets have grown increasingly unsafe (except for Maple Springs Road), and you seem to say we should take Andrews and Stanley's word for everything. For that matter, please name any business brought here by you, other than Town Counsel?

Posted by: interestedparty | Feb 10, 2011 17:16

Shantih:  I told you that I now understand that you were expressing your opinion about "Something is fishy"  which immediately followed your statement, ". . .I don't mind paying decent wages, but these are my tax dollars here.  Something is fishy."

Wareham Week and Onsetpiper.  What are you talking about Onsetpiper?  This is completely off topic re: this article.  Maybe you posted to the wrong article?  Who is Ms. B?


Posted by: OTFritz | Feb 11, 2011 09:19


2010-11-08. Eagle-Tribune: Chief's charade has gone on too long.

It has now been more than 14 months that North Andover police Chief Richard Stanley has also been leading the police department in Wareham, a community 80 miles away on the south coast of Massachusetts.

For how much longer will North Andover leaders allow this nonsense to continue?

To the contrary, North Andover selectmen and Town Manager Mark Rees seem eager to maintain the farce that Stanley is giving North Andover full value for the $133,226 it pays him annually.

"I have not seen any decline in the quality of work that he does for us," Rees told reporter Brian Messenger. "He's certainly still hands-on, very much involved."

The job of a police chief does not run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., five days a week. A city or town relies on its police chief to be available 24 hours a day, ready to respond to any crisis.

That's why police chiefs in towns the size of North Andover are paid six-figure salaries.

Yet unbelievably, the selectmen and Rees have no problem with Stanley working for North Andover four days a week while taking a vacation day each Friday to work in Wareham.

Stanley says he's also working in Wareham nights and weekends. He commutes between the two towns in a vehicle provided by Wareham.

Stanley has gotten away with this charade since August 2009, when he got the selectmen's approval to serve as interim chief in Wareham. He took the Wareham position to "help out" a community going through a difficult time and said then he had no interest in a permanent appointment as Wareham's chief.

Yet in March, Stanley reached an agreement in principle to become Wareham's full-time police chief. Stanley would not say whether he has yet signed a contract.

Stanley has been stringing both communities along, telling Wareham he needed to finish up some business in North Andover. Stanley said in March he wanted to see the North Andover department earn its state law enforcement accreditation and see the new police station through to completion.

The department earned its accreditation in May. The police station is slated to open by the end of the month. But Stanley has yet to tell the town when he's leaving.

Rees said the town has not started a search for a new police chief.

"There's no need for a recruitment process because he hasn't indicated whether he's going to resign or retire," he said.

This has gone on too long already. Stanley has clearly indicated his desire to finish his career elsewhere.

If he won't leave on his own, it's time to show him the door.

Posted by: interestedparty | Feb 14, 2011 01:15

Are any of you out there still calling for an immediate resolution to Chief Stanley's status?  Or, can we wait until the end of March?


And, please do not assume that I had any advance knowledge of the sweep over this last weekend.  I know no one in the police department nor anyone who would have known about this police action.

Posted by: old lady | Feb 14, 2011 06:19

Yes I'm calling for an immediate resolution. Day to day police work is what makes a town safe not one sweep. I'm glad to see some action by our police and commend them.

It is very convenient this action came when so many poeple all calling for a full time chief. It is quite possible that the police are functioning in spite of Chief Stanley not because of him.


Posted by: interestedparty | Feb 14, 2011 19:11

Old Lady.  Convenient?  The number of agencies involved in and the time required to plan this sweep indicates  that the sweep was not a "reaction" to postings on this website over the past 2 weeks.


Again, I say Chief Stanley's style of management allows his officers to perform their duties with pride, self-respect, and confidence.  I, for one, can wait until the end of March.

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