Plaistow Police Chief Douglas Mullin has been placed on administrative leave amid an investigation into an alleged assault on one of his police officers.
Assistant Town Manager Greg Colby confirmed that Mullin was put on paid leave on Monday.
Colby declined to comment further on the situation involving the part-time chief who took over the department in 2019.
Sgt. Jason Mazza has been appointed interim chief.
The action follows a probe launched on May 4 by the state Attorney General’s Office in response to a letter from Teamsters Local 633, which represents the Plaistow police union, alleging that Mullin had assaulted officer Anthony LaRosa after calling him into his office on April 28.
The letter was submitted to Colby on April 29 and claimed that LaRosa was “attempting to extricate himself from an enraged individual that was screaming and attempting to physically pull him back into the room.”
The letter, which did not explain why LaRosa was told to see the chief in his office, also alleged that Mullin was “so loud and abusive that other officers and personnel heard the commotion and expressed concerns.”
The letter demanded that Mullin be placed on leave and that an outside law enforcement agency handle the investigation.
Selectmen met with an attorney who handles police employment issues in a closed-door meeting on May 6, but didn’t reveal any details that were discussed. Chairman Greg Taillon said after the meeting that the board took no votes.
In the union letter, Teamsters Local 633 principal officer Jeffrey Padellaro wrote that he chose to send the letter to Colby rather than Town Manager Mark Pearson because the two were “close friends.”
Before coming to Plaistow, Mullin was a patrolman at the Salem Police Department from 1984 to 2008.
He has also been an officer in Atkinson and Hampstead.
After his appointment as chief to replace Kathleen Jones, Mullin said that he worked closely with Pearson when the two were on the Salem police force. Pearson is a retired Salem captain.