To the editor:

The responsibility to report accurate and factual information falls on the reporter and his editor to fact-check.

Once again, the Newburyport Daily News failed to follow this simple, but essential, vision of every news organization. Instead, a story was written to sensationalize and sell papers.

Chief William Scholtz of Amesbury is stepping down due to health reasons. I have worked for and with Chief Scholtz for more than 26 years. I have also worked for and with administrations before him.

Chief Scholtz is a fair, honest and great human being. He has always placed the good of the Amesbury Police Department in the forefront of his career. He had not always had great leadership to follow but made sure he paved the way for his own path to ensure his employees were honest, ethical and represented all that he stood for.

An anonymous letter has been written and submitted to your newspaper. Anonymous letters are written by cowards wishing to spill untruths for their own hidden agenda. Any credible accusation is backed by a name willing to stand by their accusations. This same letter was sent to Mayor Kassandra Gove.

Chief Scholz then had an outside agency investigate it and it was deemed not credible. You knew this, Daily News, and took the opportunity to put a negative twist on the accomplishments of a great man during a very difficult time in his career. 

Any corporate, public or private entity has interpersonal issues with employees. Have you ever heard the term "disgruntled employee?"

Would you give each and every one of them space for speculation in your newspaper? I think not, because no one cares. But police departments have been thrust into public scrutiny, some for very good reason.

Our officers are being held accountable for actions taken by others thousands of miles away. This can be hard for some in the field to accept. Especially some that can't let go of their connection to what defines them as a human, being a retired police officer.

Chief Scholtz has followed the guidelines of the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the Police Reform Act. It's not the good old boys club that once denounced women in the field or allowed unscrupulous employees to run amok.

Deputy Chief Bailey has worked closely with Chief Scholtz to build a department that the citizens of Amesbury can be very proud of. Is 100% of the department supportive of this administration? No. Not unlike any organization on the planet.

If chosen, I look forward to working with Deputy Bailey in the role as chief to continue down the path of respectable, accountable and transparent law enforcement.

Let's celebrate a great man and an accomplished career that is coming to an end sooner than expected.

Thank you, Chief Scholtz, for being a wonderful man to work for. Thank you for bringing respect, honor and integrity to the title. There are many more mountains to conquer in retirement. 

Janet Nicolaisen


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