Team 5 Investigates, WCVB-TV, wcvb.com
BYLINE: Kathy Curran
Probe continues into Ashland Police Department, former chief
ASHLAND, Mass. — Team 5 Investigates has uncovered new allegations of evidence tampering and missing evidence at the Ashland Police Department.
This comes after Team 5 first exposed a department in turmoil that led to the town removing former Police Chief Scott Rohmer. Team 5 Investigates' Kathy Curran reported on Thursday that a criminal investigation is now under way.
A spokesperson for the Middlesex District Attorney's office confirms there is an ongoing investigation but wouldn't discuss any details. However, sources tell Team 5 Investigates part of that investigation involves evidence tampering.
Ashland Police Officer John Driscoll says drug evidence was destroyed by Sgt. Ed Pomponio without authorization and before the case went to court. The allegations were made in a civil suit and police reports obtained by Team 5 Investigates.
According to the reports, a handgun connected to another case also went missing and was sold before that case went to trial. Driscoll said after he reported the evidence problems to the state, he was retaliated against.
Driscoll's attorney, Timothy Burke, said, "It's very serious. It becomes a situation where there's the possibility of manipulation of evidence so that people who should be properly prosecuted can't or won't be because evidence is destroyed, and that's the allegation in this case -- that this evidence was destroyed, this case was dismissed and no one can establish today, at least, what the motive was, but I'm sure the district attorney's office will be looking into that."
Driscoll is the fifth officer to file a lawsuit against the town, the former chief and the sergeant in question. The missing gun reappeared six years after it went missing.
Doug Louison, an attorney representing Rohmer and Pomponio, said his clients deny the allegations and will vigorously defend themselves against the complaint.
Tony Schiavi, the town manager for Ashland, also said the town denies the allegations and will continue work on the issues involving the police department.
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