Pubdate: Fri, 27 Nov 2009
Source: Union Leader (Manchester, NH)
Copyright: 2009 The Union Leader Corp.
Note: Out-of-state letters are seldom published.
Author: Jason Schreiber, Union Leader Correspondent
Cited: Epping Board of Selectmen
Bookmark: (Law Enforcement Against Prohibition)


EPPING - A suspended police officer who is fighting to keep his job 
will plead his case at a public hearing before selectmen Monday night.

Bradley Jardis is challenging a 6-day suspension from early August 
and a recommendation made by police Chief Gregory Dodge two weeks ago 
that Jardis be fired.

The hearing begins at 7:15 p.m. during the regular selectmen's 
meeting in town hall.

Personnel matters are generally discussed behind closed doors in a 
non-public session, but in an unusual move, Jardis waived his right 
to a private hearing and requested that it be open to the public.

While they will be able to attend, members of the public likely won't 
be allowed to speak.

"My termination hearing is open to the public for the public to view. 
However, I don't believe the public would be able to give input into 
a personnel matter," Jardis said.

Jardis, 29, of Hooksett, has claimed that he became the target of 
harassment after an article was published in the New Hampshire Sunday 
News last February about his involvement as a member of Law 
Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), an international organization 
pushing for the legalization of drugs. Jardis had spoken publicly 
about his work with the group before, but the article was the first 
to publicly identify him as an officer with the Epping Police Department.

In a letter from the town's attorney, Chief Dodge denied that the 
disciplinary action taken against Jardis was related to his work with LEAP.

Monday's hearing comes four months after Jardis was ordered to be 
suspended after an internal investigation into a dispute between him 
and then-Sgt. Sean Gallagher. He was suspended for insubordination 
and violating police procedures.

According to police documents, Gallagher disagreed with the way 
Jardis was handling an investigation into a complaint about a man who 
claimed that his service dog wasn't allowed into a local restaurant. 
Jardis threatened to go to the media when Gallagher pulled him off the case.

During their disagreement, Jardis claims Gallagher ordered him not to 
talk to the media, which Jardis told him was an illegal order.

Jardis has since said he never intended to tell the media and that he 
made the statement because he was frustrated.

The suspension was also ordered after an investigation into an e-mail 
that Jardis sent to members of the police union that police Lt. 
Michael Wallace felt included "inflammatory" language aimed at him 
and Detective Richard Cote.

The suspension was stayed pending his appeal. 
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