Published: Sep. 28, 2023, 5:52 p.m.
By Ryan Mancini I RMancini@masslive.com
A former chief of police and former officer of the Methuen Police Department were indicted by a statewide grand jury on Thursday on several charges, including violations of civil service law, Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell’s office announced Thursday.
Former Chief Joseph Solomon faces the following charges: two counts of perjury by written affidavit, seven counts of obtaining unwarranted privileges in violation of the civil service law, six counts of civil service law violations, one count of uttering a forged document and one count of procurement fraud, Campbell’s office said in a statement.
Former Officer Sean Fountain faces one count of forgery, one count of uttering a forged document, one count of perjury, one count of procurement fraud, and one count of conflict of interest law violation.
Campbell’s office and the Essex District Attorney’s office led a joint investigation after looking through Solomon’s deployment of part-time intermittent officers into full-time positions, which went around civil service laws, and his efforts to “deceive others into
believing that part-time intermittent officer Sean Fountain had graduated from a police academy when he had not,” Campbell’s office said.
Fountain’s indictment came from misrepresentations about his training credentials and “for the false and forged training certificate he created to deceive others” into thinking he could serve as a police officer “at any level,” Campbell’s office added.
Investigators found that Solomon repeatedly misused his position of authority as police chief to undermine the law for his own benefit, Campbell’s office said. This included the hiring of six part-time intermittent officers who were appointed to full-time roles, including Fountain.
Fountain claimed in his application that he graduated from the Northeast Regional Police Institute in 1996, Campbell’s office said. When asked about his graduation, he handed over a forged NERPI certificate that said he graduated from the part-time police academy in May 1995, but he had not done either.
“Solomon knew Fountain’s certificate was forged yet acted as if it was a real document,” Campbell’s office said.
The two men joined together to continue claiming that Fountain was a civil service officer, Campbell’s office said. Solomon perjured himself twice saying Fountain was indeed a civil service officer in annual civil service reports mandated by state law.