Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

September 13, 2012

Letter:Outraged over town's handling of inspector

The Andover Townsman

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Editor, Townsman:

I was just reading the recent Andover Townsman (”Police: Inspector arrived at fire scene ‘intoxicated,’ Townsman, Aug. 30) and Eagle Tribune (Aug. 31) newspaper stories regarding our longtime chief building inspector, Kaija Gilmore, who showed up intoxicated on-duty on Feb. 1 to inspect a home damaged by fire. She was then put in protective custody at the fire scene by Andover police.

Police performed a breatherlizer test three hours later at the police station and it still showed nearly twice the legal limit allowed to operate a motor vehicle. No doubt the reading would have been even higher if taken when she got out of her car at the scene when the officer noticed her driving over flares and curbs and swaying side-to-side while standing and smelling of alcohol when questioned by the officer. Yet all of this field sobriety evidence as well as her admission of drinking were overlooked by the officer because of her job title.

Any other person would have been arrested and faced DUI charges instead of just being taken into protective custody. Justice was compromised and bypassed and as a result a double-standard was demonstrated to the public.

Instead of being fired, she instead was first allowed the opportunity to retire and was rewarded with a generous pension. What were the police and town management thinking?

Town officials are hired and elected to work for the town, not for each other.

The fire location on Salem Street was near my home and on a regular basis my family walks the sidewalk that Gilmore drove on. Do we need a fatal accident to happen for something like this to get the proper attention and justice?

I am also wondering why it took seven months to publish this. Is this the way our elected and hired town officials serve the public, by

keeping them in the dark? Come on, you can’t cover up that for too long...trying to only makes it worse.

Obviously the police and town management dropped the ball on purpose on this one. The way it was handled was a complete lack of law enforcement and did not do any justice, but instead demonstrated a double-standard by helping to cover up for one of their own.

I am utterly outraged at this as should be all my fellow tax-paying town citizens.

Frank Licata

Vine Street