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Egremont board clears ‘wire-tapping’ officer accused by police chief

Selectman McGurn asked to release confidential minutes of probe to dispel invention of ‘fake facts’

By Hannah Shirley

EGREMONT — In a complaint filed with the selectboard last June, Police Chief Erik Josephson accused full-time Officer Hans Carlson of creating audio recordings of people without their consent, a criminal violation of Massachusetts Wire Tap Law.

When Josephson could provide no evidence to support his accusations, however, the board agreed there was no action they could take and laid the complaint to rest.

Josephson alluded to the complaint when announcing he would not renew his contract with the police department this June, saying he wasn’t pleased with the way the board handled the incident.

In response, the selectboard agreed at its Jan. 8 meeting to release the previously confidential minutes from the four summer executive sessions in which the complaint was discussed.

“I saw no reason not to, because they’re inventing facts — sometimes known as fake facts,” Select Board member George McGurn said. “I thought releasing them was just a good idea. As I recall, it was pretty straightforward.”

These minutes were made available to the Record after being reviewed by the town’s legal counsel.

“It was obvious there were Egremont citizens that wanted to see them,” McGurn said.

 

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