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Former Otis, MA Police Chief Sues Town Over Firing

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The former police chief of Otis, Massachusetts is suing the town over her termination.

Roberta Sarnacki was told in June that the Berkshire town of just under 1,400 would not be renewing her contract. Her Pittsfield-based attorney Mitchell Greenwald said the complaint he filed on her behalf on November 1st in Berkshire Superior Court had two points. First, he says that police chiefs in Massachusetts working without a contract must receive a year’s termination notice. Second, Greenwald says his client was fired in retaliation for not following a demand for preferential treatment from an Otis selectboard member.

“It had to do, in essence, with her going easy on a juvenile who had close ties to the selectman in question,” he told WAMC.

Members of the Otis selectboard could not be reached for comment Friday.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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