Image courtesy of TheDigitalArtist from Pixabay
Ever have a day where you wanna just strip off your clothes and walk home?
A police chief in New Hampshire had just such a time Tuesday, when he was booted from his position.
In such a situation, you’ve gotta ask yourself — “How sad am I?”
Maybe removing the watch is enough. All the jewelry. That scarf.
Perhaps take off the jacket for effect. It looks cool tied around your waist, anyway.
But poor Richard Lee was underwear sad.
He’s worked part time as the sole member of the Croydon department for 20 years. As such, he’s regularly attended the Selectboard meetings.
He wasn’t expecting to get knocked off his socks — or shirt and pants — at this week’s get-together.
Sure, he’s had some beef with the board — which consists of only three members — before. But dang.
Last year, the group did propose the complete dissolution of the department.
However, in May, voters saved the day.
And he’s the cops — aren’t the board members supposed to cooperate with him?
Richard had no idea the recalcitrant trouncing trio would collaborate to comprehensively clobber his career.
A meeting agenda had listed “police department” as a planned topic of discussion, but who’d have guessed he was gonna end up rebuffed?
In the buff.
But that’s about what happened.
As reported by Valley News:
Lee said Selectboard Chairman Russell Edwards told him to turn over all police items including his badges, the keys to his police cruiser and his uniform “immediately.”
So he did.
Following the meeting, Lee said he took off his uniform and — wearing only briefs, a T-shirt, a gray baseball cap and a shirt — started the 7-mile walk home to Newport on Tuesday evening.
As Richard stripped down to his skivvies, Russell apparently backed off that “right away” idea, but you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube.
Richard came close to showin’ ’em his cavity.
Lee said that as he was undressing, Edwards told him to turn in his uniform on a later day, but he declined.
“This is what they demanded and this is what I’m doing,” he said in the interview. Lee walked a little less than a mile in 26-degree temperatures until his wife picked him up, he said.
There’s been some ice-cold politickin’ before:
Two of the town’s three Selectboard members and the board’s administrative assistant quit in 2019 amid controversy over whether to abolish Lee’s job and contract with Newport for police coverage.
In 2018, voters defeated a proposal from Lee to increase his salary by 43% and instead voters chose to pass a 2% cost-of-living raise.
But now he’s gotta quit that income — about $30,500 — cold turkey.
And he’s still trying to figure out if he was fired or is merely “out of work.”
Richard’s meeting with an attorney to determine whether his ousting was legal and whether he can sue.
Why the heck would they eliminate the popo? To hear him tell it, he’s been fightin’ crime somethin’ fierce:
[I]t’s not all community-building; Lee said he often has a heavy workload too, adding that in recent weeks he was working full-time hours to handle assault, criminal mischief and criminal trespassing cases.
Russell may disagree:
In a brief interview at the town offices Wednesday, Edwards noted that New Hampshire State Police already cover incidents in the town 81% of the time.
It’s a major wrench in the plans — Rejected Richard was planning to retire in just a year and a half.
And he’s a dadgum part of the community:
[Lee] said he’s formed a close connection with people in the town, often stopping by to visit, eat lunch with them, or check in on some of the elderly residents who live alone.
Oh, well. He’ll have even more time to do that now. They probably won’t even care that he’s not wearing pants.
Poor guy. They made him look like a JERK:
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