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Saying comments made by a local selectman “impugned” his motives and integrity, Milford Police Chief Thomas O’Loughlin has broken his silence on a state investigation announced Thursday.
“I feel I must respond,” O’Loughlin wrote in a press release Friday.
O’Loughlin asked Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. for “independent guidance” after a Sept. 24 incident in which Selectman William Kingkade Jr. crashed his truck into a utility pole just before 1 a.m.
“Given the information and photographs that were sent to me and the District Attorney concerning these circumstances and the assertions that have been made relative to the alleged involvement in this matter by members of the Milford Police Department, I elected to remove myself from the political rancor, as Selectman William Kingkade has described it,” O’Loughlin wrote in the release, “and I sought the independent guidance of District Attorney Joseph Early Jr.”
Early referred the case to the Essex County District Attorney’s detective unit for an independent investigation, a move O’Loughlin praised in his press release. When asked for comment Thursday, Kingkade blamed the investigation on politics. O’Loughlin made no public comment Thursday, aside from the press release announcing the investigation.
“I can’t help but think that this investigation is a direct result of the fact that I voted to not renew the police chief’s contract,” Kingkade wrote in an email to the Daily News.
Selectmen voted 2-1 in an executive session on Sept. 17 – and made the decision public Oct. 1 – not to renew O’Loughlin’s contract. Kingkade, along with Selectmen William Buckley, voted for the non-renewal, while Selectman Michael Walsh voted against the move. More than 1,700 people have signed an online petition supporting the chief since.
“My discussions with the Worcester District Attorney have had absolutely nothing to do with Selectman William Kingkade’s erroneous political vote concerning my employment contract,” O’Loughlin wrote, “because that issue is in the hands of my legal counsel, Attorney Ernie Horn, and the residents of this great community of Milford.”
“Fairness rather than local politics dictates” an independent investigation of the crash, he wrote.
The investigation should determine whether there “were or are violations of the law or the rules and regulations of the Milford Police Department,” O’Loughlin wrote in the press release.
I love a good small town corruption story. Always nice to have the local town selectman villain who thinks he can get away with anything because he lives in a small town that no one cares about outside of that small town. Here’s what we know:
- Chief Tom O’Loughlin is a well liked and experienced leader who is respected widely by both his officers and the community at large.
- No reason has been given for why he was not rehired, or why Kingkade voted against it, the meeting was held behind closed doors, and the minutes from the meeting have not been made public.
- Citizens are upset and have started a petition to reinstate him as chief.
- Selectman William Kingkade was seen in this picture posted by a bartender at a Milford bar call The Tradesman at 11:39 PM on Sunday September 23
- The crash happened at 12:38 AM that same night, which was technically Monday September 24:
I couldn’t help but laugh at the reconstruction of the accident:
Car. Pole. Car smashes pole. Wicked complicated stuff.
- Kingkade left the scene of the accident. This is not a crime since there were no injuries, but it is a civil infraction according to the police. His reasoning for leaving? It was not a “safe place to be“:
Selectman William Kingkade Jr. hit a telephone pole with his truck just before 1 a.m. on Sept. 24.
“I’m good, just embarrassed,” Kingkade said Monday.
Kingkade was not injured in the crash, which happened less than a quarter mile from his house. He said he was neither speeding nor had he been drinking. He had been driving home from his brother’s house, also in Milford, he said. According to a police report, he took his eyes off the road to adjust the stereo.
“I just came out of a stop sign,” he said, in response to a Daily News question. “I wasn’t going fast. I certainly wasn’t drunk.”
So let me get this straight. You were at a bar right before the accident, we have pictures to prove this (all of which have now been deleted by everyone who posted them on Facebook, indicating an organized conspiracy to cover this up), but alcohol was not a factor in why you randomly drove directly into a pole? Sure thing. I can totally relate to that. Sometimes when I’m sober I drive down the street and poles jump right out in front of me.
However, when poles do jump out in front of me I usually wait for the police to get there instead of fleeing to my house. Not Billy the Kink though. He didn’t feel safe:
Kingkade’s 2015 Dodge 1500 truck hit the telephone pole outside 26 Whitewood Road, according to the log. Kingkade lives at 50 Woodridge Road. The police log entry for the crash said the person who called it in claimed Kingkade “took off” after hitting the pole, which was right in front of the caller’s house. Kingkade said he was on the scene for a few minutes, but deemed the section of road unsafe and moved his truck home.
“It was 200 yards away from my house,” Kingkade said. “I live right around the corner. … It was not a safe place to be.”
He brings up a good point. It was obviously a dangerous place to be since telephone poles have a tendency to jump out in front of sober drivers like that.
He also says that he didn’t call the cops, even though cops arrived at his home “when he did”:
In the log, the caller reported “several parts of the truck” on his lawn, and the police log said a message was left with the Highway Department to collect debris in the road. Kingkade didn’t call police, he said, adding officers arrived at his home when he did.
He’s right in that he did not call the police. He’s also right about the cops coming to his house though, according to an anonymous tipster who claims to have witnessed this:
Before we go any further, the Detective that this emailer claims was at his house, Robert Pavia, has an exemplary record. Feel free to Google him. However, this person is alleging that Detective Pavia was involved in covering this up. Here is a portion of police tape that took place 6 minutes after the crash was called in. You will hear the Officer Crystal Heron say that she found a white truck in front of Kingkade’s house but with no damage. Officer Pavia’s unmarked white truck is also white, which led to the officer’s confusion. Listen to this:
- She thinks the truck is the vehicle involved in the crash
- The plate she runs is for an unmarked white truck that Pavia drives
- Then she says, “oh, stand by” realizing something is going on
- She then tells the dispatcher to “disregard that”
She obviously saw something that made her think the situation was under control, and the truck she saw was driven by Pavia. This adds credence to the emailer’s claim that the officer saw Detective Pavia emerge from Kingkade’s house just minutes after the crash, and assumed that he was investigating it already. But realistically Pavia wouldn’t have had time to get there that quickly, unless he was with him that night or Billy the Kink had called him asking for help covering it up.
The emailer did send picture evidence of debris from the crash in the back of the truck:
They claim that this is outside of the crash scene, which we have not confirmed. It also does not make sense why the truck would be there the next day with the debris inside of it if they tried to get rid of the evidence shortly after the crash. But why would the detective have debris in the truck at all? Makes no sense.
The emailer also alleges that Kingkade had the truck demolished, and the plates removed in an attempt to cover it up, but they took a picture of the VIN:
Kingkade claims he has just had “bad luck” with this truck:
Kingkade said he’s finished with this truck, and will downsize to a smaller vehicle. He’s been in two accidents with it, he said.
“I’ve had very bad luck with that truck and it’s all done,” he said.
Once again, driving into poles is not a result of inebriated driving, just bad luck. Sure thing.
In my opinion it’s clear as day that this guy was shitfaced, hit a pole, fled the scene, and then tried to use his influence and connections in town to cover it up. This happened a week after he voted not to renew the chief’s contract, so obviously then his voting against the chief had nothing to do with the chief investigating him. And the fact that the chief had the District Attorney’s office now investigate this, instead of the Milford PD, removes any claims of bias.
Here’s the worst part – Kingkade voted against allowing recreational marijuana businesses to open up in Milford. The guy who drives into poles and is clearly a menace behind the wheel thinks pot is dangerous. It goes without saying that he should resign or the citizens of Milford should recall him and immediately renew Chief O’Loughlin’s contract.
P.S. Selectmen issue liquor licenses and regulate bars, so why is it unethical for him to constantly post pictures of himself at a bar in town?