“But the $73,821 doesn’t take into account the other costs Salisbury taxpayers had to pay for this ridiculous case,” Anderson said. “There’s the cost of the investigations, the attorney’s fees and what the town had to pay in overtime to the officers who covered Mark’s shift while he was out.”
Allegations against Thomas, 46, arose in January 2011 during an investigation into former Salisbury police chief David L’Esperance, who, in December 2010, had been accused of taking part in criminal behavior. Thomas, a lawyer and detective at the time, was a 24-year veteran of the Salisbury Police Department. He was accused during the L’Esperance investigation by his fellow officers of a number of issues, including studying for the bar exam while on duty and a lack of truthfulness for falsifying his career record on his application for admittance to the FBI National Academy.
Harrington launched an investigation into Thomas’ behavior. Harrington, who had been mayor in Salem for eight years, had brought in former Salem police chief Robert St. Pierre to conduct both investigations. They were not “criminal investigations,” Harrington said, but administrative reviews of both men’s behavior.
It is the nature of St. Pierre’s work, the basis upon which the allegations were made and believed, that causes problems for some. Anderson takes issue with St. Pierre’s work, the officers who attacked Thomas and why the men who accused him did not testify at Thomas’ disciplinary or arbitration hearings.
“The St. Pierre report shows there was a lot of jealousy and animosity in the Salisbury Police Department against Mark,” Anderson said. “There were officers who were willing to just go into a room with St. Pierre and make accusations, but when people had to raise their hands and testify under oath to the things they accused him off, they wiggled out of it.”