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Lieutenant takes helm at Gilford police department as town pursues chief probe


GILFORD - Police Chief Kevin Keenan is on paid administrative leave, Town Administrator Scott Dunn confirmed Thursday.

Dunn said Keenan, who has been with the department for nearly 20 years, was placed on leave Aug. 29.

Dunn declined to say why Keenan, who was appointed chief in October 2011 and has a salary of about $83,500, was put on leave. He said Lt. James Leach was placed in command of the department.

Keenan was at an Aug. 28 Board of Selectmen meeting, but Dunn would not say if the chief's employment came up during nonpublic session that night.

He also would not comment on whether Keenan was placed on leave by Dunn or through an action of the board and would not say if any administrative hearings on the chief's employment have been scheduled.

He said the chief's car, which he was allowed to drive to and from his home, was turned over, but he refused to say if Keenan had turned in his badge and gun.

He paused, though, before answering whether there was any danger to the community.

"I cannot comment directly as it relates to (Keenan)," Dunn said. "But if the selectmen or I though there was a danger to the town, we would send out an appropriate notice, which hasn't happened."
Board of Selectmen Vice Chairman John T. O'Brien also would not discuss the situation.
 
"It's a private matter," he said Thursday evening.

tbuckland@unionleader.com

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