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By Brian Fraga
Standard-Times staff writer
November 18, 2008 6:00 AM

NEW BEDFORD - The city has moved to fire two police officers facing domestic assault charges and to suspend an officer who reportedly posted his picture in an online personal ad.
Following internal investigations, police sustained domestic assault and battery allegations against officers Edson Santos, 25, and Joshua Gerard, 30. Both have been recommended for termination.
"The mayor has notified both officers of his decision to terminate them as New Bedford police officers and their cases are now pending termination hearings mandated by state law," New Bedford police spokesman Lt. Jeffrey P. Silva said.
Meanwhile, Officer Norman Duchesneau, 42, will be suspended after police verified that he posted a picture of himself in uniform under the "casual encounters" section of Craigslist.
Lt. Silva said the internal investigations into the officers' alleged transgressions were submitted to Police Chief Ronald E. Teachman for his review and disciplinary recommendation, which were then forwarded to Mayor Scott W. Lang.
As the city's appointing authority, the mayor ultimately decides disciplinary actions taken against all municipal employees.
Lt. Silva sought to provide perspective. "When you have 300 police officers, eventually a small percentage of them, like the rest of society, will sometimes engage in inappropriate conduct," he said.
"We feel we have some of the best police officers anywhere who do some terrific cases and terrific work."
City Council President Jane Gonsalves, who pressed for disciplinary action, was pleased.
"I feel strongly it's overdue," she said. "The longer these kind of things stagnate, a cloud settles over the reputation of the Police Department."
Mayor Lang said the cases were closely examined.
"We looked over the files and made decisions that I thought were in the best interests of the citizens of New Bedford," the mayor said.
Officers Santos and Gerard have both been criminally charged and their cases are pending in Taunton District Court. They are currently suspended from the Police Department.
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