|Framingham Police Officer Placed On Leave Pending Investigating||June 17, 2016|
|Susan Petroni 508-315-7176||Framingham Source|
A Framingham Police Officer has been placed on paid administrative leaving, pending an internal investigation.
Police Officer Duarte Calvao [ #267 ] was placed on leave yesterday, Framingham Police Chief Ken Ferguson confirmed.
The Chief said he could not discuss what the investigation is about at this time, but Framingham Source has confirmed it is not related to the investigation currently ongoing about a theft in the police department's evidence room.
Calvao, who has been with the department for almost two decades, was at one point a detective in the department.
Last month, one of the town's three deputy police chief's was placed on paid administrative leave.
Deputy Police Chief Kevin Slattery was placed on paid leave, with no reason given. At that time, town leaders told Framingham Source it was not related to the theft in the police evidence room, but a different matter.
In April, Framingham Police Officer Al Dubeshter, who was placed on leave in September, 2015, resigned.
Chief Ferguson confirmed in December that Dubeshter had been placed on leave, after an email about his leave was leaked to the media.
The memo indicated that several police officers have been subpoenaed to testify in a grand jury investigation being conducted about the theft of money from the police evidence room.
The theft is likely being investigated by the Massachusetts Attorney General's office, although the memo did not state who was conducting the investigation. Sources in the Framingham Police said more than $10,000 is missing, although no amount is discussed in the memo. Dubeshter was in charge of the evidence room before he was placed on leave.
|Framingham officer accused of harassing woman resigns||January 23, 2017|
|Jim Haddadin 617-863-7144 Framingham Source||Metrowest Daily News|
FRAMINGHAM - A longtime Framingham police officer accused of harassing a woman while working a private detail at the headquarters of TJX Companies has resigned.
Officer Duarte Calvao voluntarily resigned at the end of December as part of an agreement with the town that resolves pending misconduct allegations against him.
The agreement, finalized Dec. 1, also resolves a complaint Calvao filed against town employees last year after being placed on leave. Neither Calvao nor the town admitted fault under the settlement, which allows Calvao to transfer to another police department if he finds employment elsewhere.
Discussing the case last week, acting Police Chief Steven Trask said the department fully investigated the circumstances and felt negotiating a settlement was in the department's best interest.
"It was an issue that we wanted to bring to a resolution," he said, "and we thought this was the best resolution for the town to take."
Calvao was placed on leave in June 2016 amid an investigation into his interactions with a 22-year-old administrative assistant at TJX, according to police records obtained by the Daily News through a public records request. Calvao also faced questions about how he came to be assigned to the daytime security detail at TJX, which hires Framingham officers to work inside buildings at its 770 Cochituate Road headquarters.
Records gathered during the investigation show Calvao previously agreed to stop working the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift inside TJX after another woman accused him of harassing her several years earlier.
When he was questioned last year, Calvao maintained that he was authorized to resume the detail work. But an internal affairs investigator didn't believe him, concluding that Calvao was "deliberately vague and evasive" about the circumstances and "untruthful" about his conversations with the female employee.
"In many instances during the interviews of Officer Calvao, he claimed not to recollect details of his interactions with (the woman)," the investigator wrote. "Officer Calvao's account of events is unreasonable and incomprehensible."
Complaint filed in 2012
Like other officers, Calvao was eligible to significantly boost his pay by picking up extra shifts at private details. Town records indicate he earned more than $139,000 in one recent year, including more than $29,000 for working details.
The threat of losing that lucrative detail work for the entire department previously persuaded Calvao to agree in 2012 not to work the inside detail at TJX. Earlier that year, a female associate reported that Calvao had been overly friendly with her for months, visiting her several times a day, leaving candy or chocolate on her desk and sometimes chatting with her for 20 to 30 minutes at a time.
The woman reported she was uncomfortable with the attention, and also feared Calvao could access her personal information, prompting TJX to notify another Framingham police officer of her concerns. During a subsequent meeting with former police chief Steven Carl, a company official requested that Calvao no longer work inside TJX buildings.
Calvao denied any wrongdoing, writing in an email to the police chief that he believed the woman had either "mistaken me for someone else" or "made up incidents that did not occur." Nevertheless, he agreed to temporarily stop working details inside the TJX offices, indicating he didn't wish to jeopardize the ability of other police officers to pick up the assignments.
Records gathered during last year's investigation show TJX raised concerns again in 2014 after Calvao contacted a company official directly to ask about resuming detail work. In a letter to the police department, the company said Calvao "exhibited harassing behavior in the past" and "could likely do it again" with other employees.
"For the safety of our female Associates, we want to reiterate that TJX does not want Officer Calvao working inside our building on any future detail requests," the company's March 2014 letter reads.
New allegations surface
Calvao resumed working details inside TJX's facilities in October 2015. During interviews with police, he maintained that he was authorized to return to the posts, though an investigation cast doubt on his version of events.
Several months after Calvao returned, a 22-year-old administrative assistant reported feeling uncomfortable during a conversation with Calvao in the company's cafeteria. Speaking with an investigator from the police department, the woman recalled that Calvao asked her personal questions and followed her back to her desk, telling her to "let me know when you and (your boyfriend) break up."
During a second incident in the company's parking lot, Calvao allegedly asked her about going to Bermuda with him and "told her that she should break up with her boyfriend so that he could protect her and give her a get out of jail free card," according to the internal affairs report.
"Officer Calvao told the associate that he was going to look her up on Facebook," the report reads. "Officer Calvao blocked the associate's car in with his car. The associate did receive a Facebook friend request from Officer Calvao later that day."
Company officials contacted the police department soon after to relay their concerns. While Calvao was on track to face a disciplinary hearing, the town agreed to drop its case against him under the settlement. The town also agreed to provide Calvao's future employers with a "neutral job reference," and to indicate that no decision was rendered on the sexual harassment allegations that arose in 2016 because Calvao voluntarily resigned.
In exchange, Calvao agreed to drop a complaint he filed in November with the town's human resources department. The nature of the allegations wasn't described in the agreement.
Town officials declined to release a copy of the complaint, writing that it concerns "unsubstantiated allegations" against town employees and is therefore exempt from disclosure under the state's public records law.
Calvao's settlement with the town allowed him to remain on paid leave until Dec. 1, then use accrued vacation or personal leave to continue earning a salary for part of the month. Records provided by the town's human resources director indicate Calvao used one personal day and nine vacation days, going without compensation from Dec. 18 through his resignation on Dec. 31.
Reached Monday evening for comment, Calvao strenuously denied the harassment allegations, saying there was "no truth or validity" to the complaint filed in 2012, and that the most recent allegations were used as an excuse to force him to resign.
Calvao said he has paperwork documenting that officials at TJX agreed to allow him to resume working details inside their buildings. He added that his interactions with the woman who filed the most recent complaint against him were limited, and began because the two have mutual friends.
"I've been a police officer for almost 20 years," he said. "In that time, I've never had any citizen complaints. None. Up until a couple of years ago. I hadn't even been disciplined up until a few years ago. I've never had any issues."
Representatives from TJX declined to discuss the situation, describing it as a "police matter."
Asked whether the episode could damage the police department's reputation, Trask said members of the public should have confidence the allegations against Calvao were fully investigated.
"I think we received a complaint, and we investigated it fully, and we came to the resolution that we came to," he said. "I don't think that anyone in the community should be worried about the integrity of the police department or our officers not doing their job diligently."
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