There is controversy surrounding the police chief in Methuen, Massachusetts, after one city official lodged some heavy allegations against him.
City Council Chair James McCarty alleges Chief Joseph Solomon doled out favors to city officials who in turn made him one of the highest paid law enforcement officers in the United States.
Solomon, who has been with the police department some 35 years, makes nearly $300,000 a year.
"Think it’s a little crazy that he's making that kind of money," Methuen resident Staci Breen said.
Breen is one of many who think Solomon's salary is a stunning figure, and while the chief doesn't deny the fact that he makes a lot of money, he does say he works hard for it.
"I’m not saying I’m not paid a lot of money. I put a lot of hours in. I work very hard," Solomon told NBC10 Boston in an exclusive interview Wednesday.
Work ethic and the number of hours aside, how the chief went about earning that much money is where McCarty takes issue. He alleges Solomon acquired his high salary improperly.
"The salary of the police chief here in Methuen has been achieved through political favors that have been doled out. This includes promotions, hires," McCarty said.
Solomon fought back against that accusation, saying, "I don’t have the authority to hire, fire, layoff or promote so at the crux of it, if you don’t have the authority to do it, then how could you be accused of doing it wrong?"
Nevertheless, Solomon's critics believe he should take a pay cut.
"It’s one of those things where there’s not enough resources to go around and with the budget the way it is and the shortfalls that are expected in another year, it’s simply not sustainable," McCarty said.
While there may be shortfalls in the city's budget, the chief believes his agreement that was signed years ago should be honored.
"If you negotiate a contract and it's signed by both parties and approved, the contract should be honored until both parties come together and have a reasonable negotiation and either renegotiate or agree to disagree," he said.
Solomon says the focus on his salary is politically motivated, something McCarty flatly denies.
McCarty is now calling for the state to step in.