Boxborough

Boxboro Elected Leaders Will Vote on Whether Police Chief Should Be Fired

Boxboro Police Chief Warren Ryder was placed on paid administrative leave in January 2022 after elected leaders voted to ask the FBI to investigate payroll irregularities within the department. The NBC10 Boston Investigators obtained a document, which shows Ryder will have a termination hearing later this month

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Elected leaders in Boxboro will decide if the town’s embattled police chief should be fired, according to a document the NBC10 Boston Investigators obtained.

Warren Ryder has been on paid administrative leave for more than a year, but the Select Board will meet on March 20 and decide if the top cop should be relieved of his duties.

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As we first told you last year, Ryder landed on paid administrative leave in January 2022 after elected officials took the surprising vote of asking the FBI to investigate payroll discrepancies within the police department.

The controversy centered around some officers getting more money for higher education degrees they had not earned.

It is an issue that’s divided the community. Residents have taken opposing views displayed on signs in their yards. Some people in the community have supported the efforts as needed police accountability, while others have described the situation as a “witch hunt” and local government overreach.

Warren Ryder, the chief of the Boxborough Police Department who has been on leave as the FBI looked into alleged payroll irregularities, says he has learned he will not face a criminal indictment.

The ongoing situation has also come at a cost for taxpayers. While Ryder has continued to collect his $155,000 salary, the Town is also shelling out another six-figure income for another person to fill the important public safety role in his place.

Earlier this year, we told you how Ryder broke his silence on social media, announcing he’d been “exonerated” because the Department of Justice would not be pursuing a criminal indictment against him.

However, town leaders cautioned they were still awaiting the completion of their own private investigation into the police department.

Now, the document obtained by the NBC10 Boston Investigators shows the Select Board will consider allegations against the Ryder that could cost him his job.

The allegations include:

  • Intentionally or negligently allowing multiple police officers to receive education incentive pay in amounts to which they were not entitled to for an extended period of time
  • Improper disposal or destruction of police department computer equipment
  • Retaliating against a police department employee for assisting in the outside investigation
  • Failure to uphold the duties and responsibilities of the police chief position

Town Administrator Michael Johns told NBC10 Boston he could not confirm the upcoming termination hearing.

When we reached out to Ryder for comment, he noted that he has spent more than 400 days on paid administrative leave.

“During this time, the Select Board has commenced their own administrative investigations, requested a federal investigation to which I have been cleared, and finally hired their own private investigator last July,” Ryder wrote in an email. “I am awaiting further details from the Town and I look forward to responding to each of these allegations with clear evidence in my defense when the time comes.”

The termination hearing will be held behind closed doors during executive session. However, Ryder can request the hearing be held in a session that would open it to the public.

Ryan Kath can be reached at ryan.kath@nbcuni.com. You can follow him on Twitter or connect on Facebook.

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