Wayland Police Chief, Found to Have Sexually Harassed Employees, Resigning

Chief Sean Gibbons sexually harassed someone in the department when he referred, at his swearing in last year, to a drink they'd had the night of an "extremely inappropriate" sexual encounter years earlier, an independent investigation found

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The chief of police in Wayland, Massachusetts, is resigning this month after an independent investigation found several violations of policy, including having sex with a subordinate and, at his swearing-in ceremony last year, referring to another sexual encounter.

Chief Sean Gibbons' last day will be Dec. 20, the town said in a statement. With the department for 20 years, he served as chief for only a few months -- he was sworn in last December and put on leave March 31, after allegations against him surfaced.



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The town hired the law firm Clifford & Kenny to review the allegations, and the results were returned to the town in September saying Gibbons violated departmental policy on sexual harassment and more.

"We take all allegations of misconduct very seriously. We do not tolerate violations of any of our policies," the vice chair of the town's Select Board, Dave Watkins, said in a statement on the board's behalf.

NBC10 Boston is reaching out to Gibbons for comment on his resignation.

Gibbons admitted to having sex with someone whom he was overseeing and training, and who wanted to be be a full-time officer in the department, when he was a patrol office in 2003, according to the investigation. Later on, after the encounter, Gibbons allegedly subjected the person -- whose name has not been revealed -- to "a higher level of scrutiny than" others in their position.

While the investigation couldn't corrobrate some of the other person's allegations, it noted that "it was extremely inappropriate for Chief Gibbons to make comments about [the other person's] apperance and initiate a sexual relationship."

In 2010, Gibbons admitted a sexual encounter with someone in the department whom he was senior to -- he was also the president of the union -- which the investigation found was "extremely inappropriate." It couldn't come to a conclusion on the other person's claim that the encounter was sexual assault, but it did find he sexually harassed the person when he referred, at his swearing in, to bomb pops, a drink they'd had that night.

Doing so "created an intimidating, hostile, humiliating and sexually offensive work environment," the report concluded.

Evidence also suggested Gibbons drove while drunk the night of both of those incidents, according to the report. It also found that, as chief, Gibbons joked that a police intern was a "nice Jewish boy"; it's inappropriate to joke about the religion of department employees.

As part of the settlement with the town, Gibbons will be paid for the final two years on his contract, more than $350,000 across 2023 and 2024.

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