Report Confirms Selectman Did Not Exercise Undue Influence in Police Matter

October 24, 2020 by Carol Britton Meyer

In response to a citizen's allegation that undue influence was exercised by Selectmen Chair Mary Power involving former Police Chief Glenn Olsson regarding a dispatch call log entry, "the Town took this allegation seriously and referred the matter to the Attorney General and retained an outside investigator (Matthews & Mathews, LLC) to review this matter," according to a statement released by Town Administrator Tom Mayo and Assistant Town Administrator Michelle Monsegur yesterday, Oct. 23.

"The final report, from Matthews & Matthews, establishes and confirms that Mary Power did not exercise undue influence in this matter and that the Chief of Police acted on his own and within his authority," the statement says.

The principals of Matthews & Matthews, LLC are experienced in significant investigations, applying their expertise from previous roles as leaders in law enforcement.

The investigation reviewed the actions of the Hingham Police Department and town officials concerning a dispatch call log entry where a vehicle registered to, but not operated by, Mary Power was entered by a dispatcher on June 5, 2020 based upon a police officer’s observations. The dispatch call log entry stated that while parked, the operator of the vehicle held a "Black Lives Matter" sign pointed in the direction of a police cruiser.

"However, the vehicle [which was parked at the Derby Street Shops in South Hingham] was never stopped by a police officer, no police officer issued a ticket or any citation to the operator of the vehicle, and there was no direct communication between the operator of the vehicle and any police officer," according to the statement. "At the time of the incident, Chief of Police Olsson instructed the dispatcher to remove the words “Black Lives Matter” from the dispatch call log entry narrative. Chief Olsson did not direct or request any other changes . . . ."

Under the "Investigative Findings and Conclusions" section, the 55-page report states that "Chief Olsson believed that the use of the term 'Black Lives Matter' in the brief narrative of a suspicious activity log was not warranted because he did not want the public perception to be that the Hingham Police were pursuing people for having a 'Black Lives Matter' sign."

In summary, Matthews & Matthews concluded that Power -- as a member of the Board of Selectmen -- did not exercise undue influence in this matter, was not aware of the incident until seven weeks later, and that "Chief Olsson acted on his own and within the scope of his authority."

The report, in which some of the information is redacted, also states that when asked, Power stated that she did not do anything to impact Chief Olsson's decision to retire on Aug. 3 and that she was not part of any discussions between Chief Olsson and town officials about his retirement.

The Town has received and accepted the report and findings of Matthews & Matthews "and considers this matter concluded."

Power told the Hingham Anchor, "For months now, false accusations and rumors about myself and my family have circulated in Hingham. Throughout my nearly 20 years of volunteer service, I have conducted myself at all times with the highest level of integrity.  As evidenced in the report, neither I, nor any member of my family, did anything wrong.  I am thrilled that this matter is now concluded and look forward to continuing to serve the citizens of the Town of Hingham."

6 thoughts on “Report Confirms Selectman Did Not Exercise Undue Influence in Police Matter”

  1. Mary Power is a class act. Through the false commentary her and her family was put through, she continued to serve in the best interest of our community. I am grateful for her stellar example of how to be a leader in Hingham.

  2. So glad to see this matter put to rest. It’s very unfortunate for us all that individuals with an axe to grind and a clear personal agenda can attempt to defame a dedicated public servant and cost the taxpayers money in the process. We are better than this as a community.

  3. I’m sorry you and your family had to go through this, Mary. You are above reproach! As an aside, the current BOS is ideal to lead Hingham through the disastrous period.

  4. We are so fortunate in this town to have the volunteer pool we do. I didn’t truly appreciate how very hard our elected officials and volunteers work until I was in a role myself. I used to joke with Joe while I was campaigning, I have never worked so hard to volunteer in my life. That was nothing compared to the time I spend in the actual role. We sacrifice our free time, away from our families and friends, to help make this community a great place to live.

    Mary, like all our elected officials, is extremely intelligent and thoughtful, and fiercely committed to her role as Board of Selectmen. She deserves better than this. I had no doubt this would be the outcome because when you work with an individual with the character and ethics like Mary, there is no doubt anything untoward occurred.

    It is disheartening that our country and community are so divided. We must do better, stand up when injustices occur. Our children are watching. There is no place in our world for false narratives or alternative facts.

  5. Both Mary Power and Chief Olsson were found to have done nothing wrong have served our Town proudly and have earned our respect and gratitude. As a community, we are bound to disagree on matters, but we can have our differences without maligning the people we disagree with. These are difficult times for all of us: let’s try to get through them with kindness and empathy.


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