Town leaders in Stoneham are asking state authorities to investigate allegations against a former high-ranking police officer, according to a letter obtained by the NBC10 Investigators.
The letter sent to the Massachusetts Attorney General and Middlesex District Attorney requests those agencies to take a closer look at Robert Kennedy, who resigned from the Stoneham Police Department last month.
An NBC10 investigation detailed Kennedy’s 20-year history of evictions and unpaid civil judgments. Housing court records also raised questions about the truthfulness of his testimony and how he received $10,000 of taxpayer-funded rental assistance, despite a steady six-figure salary.
“We are requesting your assistance because there is public concern that Mr. Kennedy was able to evade responsibility for his alleged misconduct because he was a police officer. That public concern is justified,” wrote Stoneham Town Administrator Dennis Sheehan. “These allegations should be thoroughly investigated in order to show that our police officers are held accountable if and when they break the law.”
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On February 3, the NBC10 investigation found Kennedy and his girlfriend racked up more than $50,000 of unpaid rent, while being evicted from apartment complexes in Stoneham and Reading.
Over that three-year period, payroll records show Kennedy made more than a half-million dollars as a police officer.
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Housing court records revealed the history stretched back two decades.
And as we reported earlier this month, even after his pattern of behavior was publicly exposed, Kennedy’s current landlords said they still haven’t received a dime of rent since the ex-cop moved into their property last November.
Aarti and Peter Goldstein told us Kennedy’s security deposit and first month’s rent checks bounced at the bank. They later discovered the police officer used the social security number of a family member with the same first and last name but a different middle initial to obtain a clean credit report.
“I feel like I’ve been duped by a confidence man,” Peter Goldstein said. “How many landlords have to be robbed before someone puts a stop to this?”
“It does put a lot of financial burden on us because we are still paying the mortgage on the rental unit,” Aarti Goldstein added. “There was never any intention to pay us.”
After approaching Kennedy outside the police department about the allegations, the detective sergeant called in sick for three straight weeks. When he eventually returned to the station, he was placed on administrative leave amid an internal investigation.
Kennedy retired a few days later, but according to the letter, town counsel had already concluded he made untruthful statements during a video Appeals Court hearing as he tried to avoid eviction proceedings.
“There is substantial and credible evidence that Mr. Kennedy made untruthful statements intended to deceive the court,” Sheehan wrote.
In his February 22 notice of retirement email obtained by NBC10 Boston, Kennedy informed Police Chief Jim McIntyre that the last day of his 23-year career with the department would be the following day.
“After much consideration, I have decided that it is time for me to take the next step in my life and pursue new opportunities,” Kennedy wrote. “I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to you and the department for providing me with such a rewarding career. During my time here, I felt that I truly made a positive impact on the residents and visitors of Stoneham.”
Chief McIntyre later announced his retirement last Friday after almost 11 years as Stoneham’s top cop.
A spokesperson with the Middlesex DA told us the agency would be taking the lead on the investigation and had already started probing the allegations before receiving the letter from the Town of Stoneham.
According to town records, Kennedy’s final paycheck included nearly $12,000 in accrued vacation time.
The Goldsteins said on Thursday they still have yet to receive a rental payment and have started eviction proceedings to remove Kennedy from their Stoneham property.
The high-ranking officer asserted that his personal financial history was “no one’s business” in a statement to NBC10 last month.
Todd McGhee, a law enforcement analyst and retired state trooper, sees it differently.
“When you start to impact people in the community that would then fall into the category of being victims, that changes everything,” McGhee said.
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