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Lebanon police lieutenant resigns during internal probe into faking of fitness test results

LEBANON — A 12-year veteran of the city police force resigned last month during an internal investigation into allegations he falsified physical fitness test results for two city officers.

Lt. Shawn P. Freitas resigned from his full-time position on March 3, according to a March 26 order from the State of New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council.

The order revoked his certification as a police officer following a March 25 hearing with the council at which, according to the order, Freitas admitted to submitting wrong running times for police Sgt. Michael Roberts and Officer Paul Gifford.

The nine-member police council unanimously voted March 25 to revoke his police certification for a period of two years.

On Dec. 17, Roberts and Gifford completed a mile-and-half run as part of a fitness test officers are required by the state to pass every three years. Freitas conducted the test, but according to the March 26 order, he said on March 25 that he "improperly timed the mile-and-half run."

"Lt. Shawn Freitas willfully submitted documentation to the Police Standards and Training Council indicating that both Sgt. Roberts and Officer Gifford passed the fitness test, (both completing the run in 13 minutes 22 seconds when they were required to complete it in 13 minutes and 24 seconds or less), knowing the time was not truthful," according to the order.

Roberts and Gifford also came before the council March 25. The council voted to take no action against them.

Chief Gary Smith said Tuesday both have successfully passed the fitness test.

There was no break in Gifford's employment or certification, Smith said.

Roberts' certification was suspended for a period, during which he resigned from the police force. He returned once he passed the test and was recertified. As a result, he is now a patrolman, not a sergeant.

"He was not demoted. He resigned and then came back to work for us," Smith said.

Along with the drop in rank, he took a pay cut from $34.21 to $28.14 an hour.

Smith said he could not discuss the results of the internal investigation as it is a personnel matter, but said, "All three officers, from past performance, were excellent officers."

mpierce@newstote.com


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