Mayor Jeannette McCarthy’s request for $10,000 for an internal investigation of Waltham Police Chief Thomas LaCroix will be reviewed during the Monday, March 4 Finance Committee meeting.
LaCroix is facing serious charges for allegedly attacking his wife and her friend at his Maynard home in July 2012. LaCroix is currently under house arrest and is on paid administrative leave from the police department.
The City Council has requested McCarthy and Personnel Director Kristin Murphy appear at the meeting, which will be held after the Committee of The Whole meeting at 8 p.m. at City Hall.
The Finance Committee recently rejected a similar request for $20,000 saying such an expenditure was not necessary because LaCroix’s upcoming March 27 trial would reveal the same information an internal investigation would reveal. McCarthy has said the investigation is meant to determine whether LaCroix broke administrative police department rules. The investigation could lead to disciplinary action.
City Councilor Tom Curtin, who chairs the Finance Committee, repeated his earlier concerns over the previous request.
"Are we spending money that we don't have to?" Curtin said, referring to his concern that the trial could elicit the same information an internal investigation would uncover.
Based on information provided by McCarthy, Curtin said the mayor should conduct the investigation as she would with any other department head. Curtin said the info the mayor provided to the council only discussed internal investigations of officers and not investigations of a police chief. McCarthy has argued an outside investigator is necessary becuase having the department conduct the investigation of its highest ranking office could pose a conflict of interest. She has also said the department rules require all complaints against officers be investigated.
If approved, McCarthy has said she would hire a retired state police officer to conduct the investigation, which would include attending the trial and interviewing Maynard and Framingham Police officers involved in the case.