Town Manager comments on Pickering case
HAMPTON — According to the Town Manager James Barringon, fired police officer Aaron Pickering has asked for and will receive a public hearing on the matter of his discharge February 3, at 6:00 p.m. in the town office Selectmen’s room. The hearing will precede the regular Monday night Selectmen’s meeting. The Town Manager said that the Police Patrolman’s Association has requested a larger venue, but that Chariman Mary-Louise Woolsey refused on the grounds that the hearing will be televised to residents on Cablevision channel 58.
Ms. Woolsey said that the ground rules for the meeting are being discussed, but Barrington assured that only those who are part of the testimony will be permitted to speak.
“This will be a hearing, not a popularity contest.” he said, stressing that Pickering’s supporters and/or accusers will not be allowed to stand up and tell their opinions of Pickering and of the case.
The former officer was fired January 13 following an Internal Affairs investigation by police and a hearing with Chief Wrenn. The decision to terminate him was upheld by the Town Manager after the facts were presented to him. Following the public hearing, the Board of Selectmen may decide to take the matter under advisement or to uphold or to reverse the decision made by the Chief and the Town Manager. If the matter is upheld, Pickering can have the union (Patrolmen’s Association) arbitrate the matter or take it into the courts. Barrington says that the former officer has decided to use the arbitration process.
Atlantic News 30 January 1997