Brookline Town Administrator Mel Kleckner announced Friday he has put Police Chief Ashley Gonzalez on paid administrative leave pending the outcome into an investigation of alleged discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation by the chief.
Gonzalez started as Brookline chief only in June, after five years as chief of the Austin, TX Independent School District Police Department and a career rising through the ranks of the Norwalk, CT police department, which he left for Austin after serving as a deputy chief.
In his statement, Kleckner said:
Last week, we were made aware of multiple allegations that Chief Gonzalez violated the Town’s Policy Against Discrimination, Sexual Harassment and Retaliation. Town staff immediately began an initial review of the allegations and has subsequently retained Quincy-based Comprehensive Investigations and Consulting to conduct a comprehensive review of the facts and circumstances surrounding the allegations.
“The outside investigation is being conducted by the firm’s principal, former Secretary of Public Safety and Worcester County First Assistant District Attorney Daniel Bennett and former Massachusetts State Police Colonel Kerry Gilpin.
At the time he announced Gonzalez's hiring, Kleckner said:
He has a long track record of progressive, compassionate and effective police leadership in partnership with communities, and I am confident he will earn the respect of the Brookline community.