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Report: Former Methuen police chief ran office like a mafia ‘Don’

(Herald file photo) Then-Methuen Police Chief Joe Solomon is seen at the Methuen Police Station on March 12, 2019. (Angela Rawlings/Boston Herald)

By FLINT MCCOLGAN I flint.mccolgan@bostonherald.com

PUBLISHED: April 6, 2023 at 7:27 p.m. I UPDATED: April 6, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.

A new report commissioned by the City of Methuen describes former police Chief Joseph Solomon as a ‘”Don’ of an organized crime family” and states he was a co­-conspirator to get an unqualified former city council president a police detective job that defrauded the city out of $400,000.

Sean Fountain, a former city firefighter and City Council president who the 203-page investigative report put out by the STIRM Group described as “Police Officer (Impersonating)” is the center of the document obtained by the Herald. The document was released March 27 and amended on Monday.

“On 1 July 2016, Fountain was appointed an Intermittent Police Officer by the City of Methuen’s Police ChiefJoseph Solomon. Fountain was the beneficiary of a level of preferential treatment that was so blatant that it was criminal,” the report states. “He was treated differently from the four intermittent officers hired when he was!’

Solomon earned more than $300,000 a year while he was chief, according to multiple reports.

The report states that Fountain forged a certificate that claimed he graduated from Northeast Regional Police Institute, or NERPI, in 1995, but the report alleges that it was actually an altered copy of a retired police lieutenant’s actual certificate. The report calls each copy of the Fountain certificate “direct descendant documents (DDD) that were created using the parent document:’

It helped him maintain his officer/detective job, the report states, and its hefty salary “without ever having graduated from a police academy” which “left the City in a precarious position.”

Further, the investigator – who became a State Police trooper in 1996 – challenges whether the part-time intermittent police academy offered by NERPI, and to which Fountain claims to be a graduate, contained the necessary training for Fountain to have even become a police officer at all, let alone decades after the claimed graduation.

As for former long-tenured Police Chief Joseph Solomon, “the current investigation does not paint Solomon in a positive light. His leadership style is that of a ‘Don’ of an organized crime family that leads through humiliation, fear, intimidation, and retaliation!’ The report states that without his involvement, “the crimes outlined in this report could not have occurred.”

The third named co-conspirator is a former Methuen police captain, who served as the Special Services Bureau Commander, the report states, “one of a select few individuals with access to the personnel record that was used to create a forged training certificate!’ The report states that in interviews for this investigation, Gallant “opted to exercise his constitutional rights against self-incrimination over 100 times!

The report states the Methuen Police Department already has a 5O-plus-page affidavit in support of Fountain’s arrest. It states that any further prosecution of alleged co-conspirators “should begin with Fountain” and that any deals struck with Fountain should include “complete testimony” that could lead to the prosecution of the others.

The Methuen Police Department declined to speak about the chief or any related questions. Efforts to reach Solomon and Fountain were unsuccessful.

(Herald file photo) Methuen Police station on Jan. 27, 2019. (Mary Schwalm/Boston Herald)


(Herald file photo) Then-Methuen Police Chief Joe Solomon is seen at the Methuen Police Station on March 12, 2019. (Angela Rawlings/Boston Herald)