At Wednesday’s meeting, town Administrator Bob Nason announced a nine-member search committee has been formed to recommend a candidate to serve as the town’s new police chief. Lee’s fire chief, school principal and current interim police chief Ronald Glidden are among the committee members. Nason says he’s pleased with the group’s makeup.
Former Lee Police Chief Joseph Buffis has pleaded not guilty to federal money laundering and extortion charges in Springfield, Massachusetts.
In U.S. District Court Thursday, Buffis pleaded not guilty to one count of extortion and three counts of money laundering. He was indicted by a federal grand jury earlier this month. His attorney, Lori Levinson, has maintained her client’s innocence.
“He does have a legitimate defense to the charges and we believe after all is said and done he will be exonerated," said Levinson.
The Lee Board of Selectmen fired Joseph Buffis as the town's police chief after Town Administrator Robert Nason said he improperly used over $5,000 in town funds to pay for his family’s cell phones and service plan.
The police chief in Lee, Massachusetts finds himself on the wrong side of the law. A federal grand jury has indicted Lee Police Chief Joseph Buffis for extortion and money laundering involving owners of a local inn. In February 2012, Buffis allegedly forced the couple who owns the Laurel Inn to make donations to a toy fund in an agreement that the chief would drop prostitution-related charges against them.