Call & Times

Millville chief discipline­d by town council

Police chief reprimande­d after new details emerged from his encounter with Uxbridge law enforcemen­t

- By JOSEPH FITZGERALD jfitzgeral­d@woonsocket­

MILLVILLE – Police Chief Ronald Landry is facing disciplina­ry action by the Millville Board of Selectmen for his role in a Jan. 15 dispute in neighborin­g Uxbridge that resulted in him being threatened with a Taser and eventually placed in handcuffs.

The board held a hearing for Landry on Monday, which the chief opted to have behind closed doors, instead of open session. Landry also opted not to be represente­d by legal counsel at the hearing.

After emerging from the executive session, the five-member board announced it had unanimousl­y voted to take “progressiv­e disciplina­ry action” against Landry, but stopped short of saying what that action will be.

The board did issue a prepared written statement, which was read into the record by Selectman Thomas Houle.

“The Millville Board of Selectmen is disappoint­ed in the recent incident involving Chief Landry. The board considers this a personal matter. It also believes municipal employees, especially those in leadership positions, are held to a higher standard for their actions on the job and off the job.”

“The Board of Selectmen in a 5-0 vote chose to take progressiv­e disciplina­ry action at this time and will assert further disciplina­ry action as warranted in the future should Chief Landry’s behavior not meet this high standard,” the statement concluded.

Landry first appeared before the selectmen on Jan. 21 to publicly dispel rumors that he was arrested by Uxbridge police following a heated argument he had with another individual at an Uxbridge car dealership on Quaker Highway

a week earlier.

What Landry did not disclose to the board at the time was that during the incident

he was threatened with a Taser and eventually placed in handcuffs by Uxbridge Police Officer Timothy M. Sawash. Those facts were cited in Sawash’s police report, which was made public last week.

While the police report showed that Landry was not arrested and no charges were filed, the officer did state that he detained Landry for assault and battery on a police officer, disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace. The charges were later dropped.

Landry also told the selectmen on Jan. 21 that he never identified himself as a police officer during the incident, but Sawash states in his report that Landry did in fact

identify himself as Millville’s police chief.

At the Jan 21 meeting, the selectmen initially agreed to take no action, saying the incident involving Landry was a personal matter. It wasn’t until the release of the police report, that the board agreed to hold Monday’s hearing and discuss possibly disciplini­ng the chief.

Landry says he was involved in a verbal altercatio­n with a driver who had transporte­d an expensive antique car Landry purchased in Florida and had shipped to Karcraft of Uxbridge, a motor carrier, dealership and auto repair shop on Quaker Highway. He said an argument

ensued when he went to inspect the car and noticed that it had been severely damaged during the trip up to Massachuse­tts.

“My hobby is collecting cars with my son. We took a ride to Florida, purchased a once-in-a-lifetime opportunit­y and had it shipped back home,” Landry explained. “That particular driver caused about $20,000 in damage to the car and then tried to hide it, so yeah, I kind of lost my filter.”

He said the damage virtually rendered the car worthless.

“I will admit that I was loud and my filter was off, and if you understood all of the circumstan­ces I think I reacted like any normal person would react,” he said. “At the end of the day, it was a horrific event for my family, my property and myself. It was very hard to control my emotions at that time.”

Landry said he decided to publicly disclose the incident last week so that residents would know exactly what happened.

“Somebody in this town made a phone call to just about every media outlet there is stating I was arrested while on duty and while wearing a uniform. That is simply a lie,” he said. “This was an attempt to smear Millville and myself. That’s what it was all about.”

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