Last year, Officer Joseph Kelley of the Weare Police Department in New Hampshire supervised a drug bust where cops lured a man high on cocaine and heroin to the main thoroughway in town to bust him buying drugs, and then shot and killed him when, they say, he sped his car toward them.
Earlier this year the attorney general’s office in New Hampshire decided it did not have enough evidence to prosecute anyone involved in the shooting—among the office’s complaints were that cops provided conflicting testimony.
Nevertheless, the attorney general’s office and the Weare police chief criticized Kelley for the poor judgment in setting up the drug bust. Kelley went on medical leave for stress related to the shooting. Kelley was fired a few months later after a separate investigation found him lying on time cards, writing bad checks, and getting co-workers to lie, but now, the Concord Monitor reports, Kelley could get his job back after the city decided to rescind his termination by the police chief:
Tom Clow, chairman of the Weare Board of Selectmen, declined to comment on the decision. He said Sunday that the board planned to meet with Broth last night, at which time Kelley’s name “may or may not” come up.
The town, which has struggled for months to rebuild the image of its beleaguered police force, is also dealing with domestic violence allegations against its police chief, John Velleca. Velleca, who was hired last fall and who requested Kelley’s termination in November, has been placed on paid administrative leave.