Status of Indicted Lee Police Chief will be Weighed at Meeting

The temporary suspension of the police chief in Lee, Massachusetts, is likely to be extended Tuesday when that town’s select board weighs the matter at a public meeting. Chief Joseph Buffis was indicted this month on federal extortion and money laundering charges. 

Buffis was suspended without pay by Lee town administrator Robert Nason the day after Buffis was indicted. He’s accused of compelling a local couple under investigation for prostitution to donate four thousand dollars to a toy fund, and later transferring that money to his personal account. 

At the meeting, Lee’s Selectboard will determine whether Buffis’ suspension will continue…with or without pay. When asked if the board might re-instate the chief, chair Dave Consolati says…

“We could, but that won’t happen.”

Still, Consolati expresses skepticism at the charges, saying he hasn’t yet seen enough evidence to convince him of the chief’s wrongdoing.

“There’s some issues or some statements in that that I don’t believe are totally true. So I don’t know what they found, where they found, how they know or whatever else, but not all of it adds up from what I know. So, we’re going to have to see what comes forward.”

For now, Ronald Glidden, who was police chief before Buffis took the job in 2011, is stepping in as interim chief.