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Former Methuen police chief, detective indicted on fraud charges

The former Methuen police chief and one of the department’s ex-detectives have been indicted on a litany of charges, including public corruption and fraud, state officials announced Thursday evening, Sept. 28.

Ex-Police Chief Joseph Solomon was charged after a monthslong investigation over how he ran the department. State Attorney General Andrea Campbell said in a statement that he continuously abused his position and misused public money to benefit himself.

The investigation demonstrated that Solomon had repeatedly misused his position of authority as police chief to repeatedly undermine the law for his own benefit, including by hiring six part-time intermittent officers to the Methuen Police Department and then appointing them to full-time roles. Fountain was one of these hires, and he made false statements about his qualifications to be a police officer.

Investigators said he deployed part-time officers into full-time positions to circumvent state civil service laws.

Sean Fountain, a former officer in Methuen, was also charged in the case. Investigators said he lied about his credentials and employment history when he joined the police department.

Fountain claimed he graduated from Northeast Regional Police Institute in 1996, and when questioned about his credentials, Fountain forged a certificate, the prosecutor said.

Solomon lied on his behalf twice as well, the prosecutor said.

Solomon is now charged with:

  • Perjury by written affidavit (two counts)
  • Obtaining unwarranted privileges in violation of the civil service laws (seven counts)
  • Civil service law violations
  • Uttering a forged document
  • Procurement Fraud

Fountain is charged with:

  • Uttering a forged document
  • Procurement fraud
  • Conflict of interest — law violation

The two men will be arraigned in Essex County at a later date. The Essex County District Attorney’s Office partnered with the Massachusetts Attorney’s General Office for this investigation.

Originally posted on https://www.nbcboston.com/news/local/former-methuen-police-chief-detective-indicted-on-fraud-charges/3147660/