NEW BOSTON — The New Boston Police Chief Steve Goins has been placed on administrative leave after the city received employee complaints against him.
The New Boston Village Council held a special meeting Monday to discuss personnel issues and to hire an independent counsel to investigate two incidents involving the city. The meeting was live streamed on their Facebook page for the public to view.
Immediately after the opening meeting held at 5:30 p.m., with a roll call, a motion was made by Councilman Mike Meehan and seconded by Councilman Ralph Imes to move into executive session with all in favor of the motion. After the motion was carried, Mayor Junior Williams noted that the public could wait, and they will return later in the evening.
After a two-hour executive session, Mayor Williams brought the meeting back to order with a roll call once again. Williams asked if there were any questions from the public and Councilman Ryan Ottney read one asking about pending litigation, the status of the two officers involved in Patrick’s delayed charges, and how many people have applied for the open council position.
Williams said he could answer on the new council member applicants and stated that there were none so far. Following that, the Village Legal Counsel, Justin Blume, said that he felt there was a misunderstanding that was clarified before the council went into an executive session. Blume stated there was no pending litigation and that was not why they went into executive session. The mayor added that the executive session was not litigation but disciplinary actions of personnel.
The Mayor then asked if there was any new business and Councilman Jon Mills said he wanted to make a motion to employ an independent counsel to investigate pending allegations against the Chief of Police as well as the current investigation of what is going on with the Vonald Patrick incident. Councilman Imes seconded that motion, and a roll call was taken with all voting in favor of Mill’s motion. Mills then made a motion to end the special meeting.
On Tuesday, Mayor Williams sent a news release to the Portsmouth Daily Times addressing the special meeting and explained what the independent counsel would be investigating.
“The first is to determine if proper procedures were followed in the case of an OVI incident involving former New Boston councilmember Vonald Patrick. The former councilmember has been arrested and charged with an OVI, with his case pending in Portsmouth Municipal Court. He has agreed to plead no contest to the OVI charge as the result of a plea agreement. He has also voluntarily resigned from Village Council,” the release stated.
“The second is to investigate employee complaints against the New Boston Police Chief. The nature of these complaints cannot be disclosed at this time. The Chief has been placed on administrative leave with pay until further notice. We are actively seeking an interim Chief at this time and the police department is operating on a regular schedule.”
The release stated that any updates to the investigations would be announced to keep the public informed. The next regularly scheduled New Boston Village Council meeting will be held via Zoom Tuesday, Feb. 2.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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