Missing in Action
Rehoboth's Police chief has been under fire for the past several months - after a December drinking incident in East Providence that has left lingering questions - and a no confidence vote from the department's rank-and-file. This week Jim Hummel finds the chief hasn't been spending a lot of time at work.
Click HERE to read Chief Enos' employment contract
The Police chief here in Rehoboth has been under fire for the past several months - after a December drinking incident that has left lingering questions - and a no confidence vote from the rank-and-file. This week we find the chief has often been Missing in Action.
It is just after noon on a weekday and the parking space behind the station reserved for Police Chief Steven Enos is empty, as it has been in the afternoon for weeks. In fact, most afternoons you can find Enos's unmarked cruiser in the parking lot on the back side of this apartment complex at 45 Dodge Street in Pawtucket.
The address may sound familiar because it is the one Enos gave to East Providence Police after they found him the night of Dec. 10 up the street from the Riviera Inn on North Broadway, lying on the sidewalk and screaming that he wanted to die. The chief - who admitted to drinking after driving to the Riviera earlier in the day while on the narcotic Vicodin, told police that night he had locked his service revolver in the cruiser and given the keys to a woman named Shelly.
`Shelly's' address: 45 Dodge Street in Pawtucket.
Over the past month The Hummel Report found Enos here day....after day....after day...after day....
One day at 10:30 in the morning, other times at noon. But mostly in the afternoon - all afternoon. For the past two weeks, with the exception of the President's Day holiday, he left Pawtucket at 9 a.m., arriving at the station about 15 minutes later. Enos put in two or three hours, then returned to Pawtucket - one day going to this gym in Seekonk for a workout about 1:30 before returning to Dodge Street, where we found him again at 3 o'clock.
So we asked the chief's boss - Board of Selectman Chairman Ken Foley about it after Monday night's meeting.
Foley: ``He puts in, I don't know, probably 60 hours a week. He's on salary, so he has flexibility. I know he goes out nights days, weekends, it's hard - in any leadership position like that he has to be flexible with his hours'
Hummel: ``He basically comes in about 9 o'clock, leaves about 11:30 or 12 and spends the rest of the day at this apartment in Pawtucket. What's your reaction to that?''
Foley: ``Like I say, that's one side of the story, I'll certainly look into it and...''
Hummel: ``Would that be a problem for you if...''
Foley: ``Let me...of course it would be a problem. Let me look into it.''
Enos often keeps a patrol rifle in the trunk of the cruiser, which is now parked every night one block away from Prospect Heights, a low-income housing project that local police watch carefully because of its high rate of drug activity.
The chief, who was hired in the fall of 2008, earns just shy of $95,000 a year and is eligible for a clothing allowance of up to $1,050.
But by living in Pawtucket, the chief is violating a section of his contract that requires him to live in Rehoboth. In fact, he has not lived in town since he separated from his third wife last year. The contract also calls for him to contact the Board of Selectmen if he's out of town for more than 24 hours.
Hummel: ``The chief's contract calls for him to live in town and is he doing that?''
Foley: ``I assume he is, I don't know. He lives on Blanding Road.''
Hummel: ``So you don't know for sure?''
Foley: ``I don't run around checking all the employees. I know he was living there. I have no reason to believe he isn't living there.''
Hummel: ``As the chairman of the board of selectman, should you know where he's living if he's not living in town?''
Foley: ``I'd be interested to know, but like I say I don't follow the chief. I don't follow...we're too busy, you know I haven't been following that.''
Hummel: ``We have been following him in the last month, month and a half he's been residing every night in Pawtucket.''
Foley: ``No kidding. That's interesting.''
Hummel: ``Is that a problem for you?''
Foley: ``I'll have to...let me hear the other side of the story. Let me talk to the chief before I comment.''
The Hummel Report has also learned that the selectmen had to postpone a closed-door meeting with the chief last month - because they could not reach him. The chief did not return several phone calls placed to him from Town Hall - and officials were required to give him 48-hours notice of the meeting, forcing a postponement by one day of the meeting until they could reach him.
Hummel: ``You had to put the hearing off a day because you couldn't notify him, you needed a 48-hour advance notice. You said on that Monday meeting it was scheduled for Thursday, and it got pushed to Friday. That doesn't ring any bells?''
Foley: ``I don't remember that , you may be correct. I don't remember that.''
The Hummel Report found the chief had the license plates on his cruiser changed last month, in part, because he was concerned about being followed by us.
The chief's contract allows for quote: ``reasonable local personal use'' of his cruiser. But we've learned the police car is his only vehicle - which may be why he took the cruiser to the party at the Riviera Inn in December. And that means taxpayers are picking up the cost for him to be commuting back and forth to Pawtucket.
Enos, reached by telephone, refused to answer any of our questions until he spoke with Foley, including whether he is living in Pawtucket. He added that he would sit down with us for an interview quote: ``at an appropriate time.''
Selectman Leffort, who is the liaison to the Police Department said he was unaware of any of the issues we raised.
Leffort: ``I don't go around babysitting everybody.''
Hummel: ``He's your chief of police sir.''
Leffort: ``But I got a business I run also. I can't be watching these guys - I get paid zero dollars for three years. This is a full-time job, almost.''
Hummel: ``Who does the chief answer to then?''
Leffort: ``He answers to the Board of Selectmen.''
In Rehoboth, Jim Hummel, for The Hummel Report.