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July 8, 2011

Warrants issued for former chief

(Continued)

Fleming sold the truck to Al Whitford of Rangeley, Maine, for $800, according to court documents. Whitford, after making some repairs, then sold the truck for $1,800 to the father of Todd Clark, who registered the car in Maine.

Allegations of criminal activity against L'Esperance became public late last year, and he was placed on paid leave Dec. 6. Harrington hired St. Pierre in mid-December to conduct an investigation into allegations that the former chief traded drugs for sex and favors. The allegations were made by individuals who had been charged with and since convicted for being part of an extensive regional theft ring.

To date, no charges have been brought against L'Esperance based on the original allegations.

St. Pierre's first review into wrongdoing in the Salisbury Police Department resulted in a report released Jan. 24. St. Pierre is currently preparing a report on his second review, Harrington said.

Harrington said the last seven months have not been easy on the town.

"I guess the most difficult part of the saga was the duplicity that abounded during the former chief's tenure of office, when he said one thing, but as a result of the investigations, we found what he said wasn't true," Harrington said. "I feel misled based on what I know now."

Harrington said there had been rumors concerning L'Esperance's behavior — both personal and professional — but the rumors were speculations with no hard evidence to back them up other than hearsay. Since the scandal broke in December, even more rumors surfaced, some of which proved to be untrue as a result of St. Pierre's investigation, he said.

"The hardest part for me was not to make any statements to the public while the investigation was going on," Harrington said.

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