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Patrolman suspended over loan
By Jill Harmacinski
Staff writer




TOPSFIELD — A Topsfield police officer was suspended for two weeks without pay for accepting a $24,200 loan while he was on duty and in uniform.

Patrolman Jack Hayward, a 17-year veteran of the department, was suspended for conduct unbecoming of an officer and improper solicitation of a loan, according to a statement released by police Chief Daniel O'Shea. Like most police departments, Topsfield bars officers from soliciting loans or accepting gifts unless authorized by the chief.

Today marks the end of Hayward's suspension, which was handed down in late March. The two-week sanction follows an investigation by O'Shea into a business venture involving Hayward and Vasil "Billy" Qirici, the owner of the Day Break Cafe at 30 Main St., according to a copy of an agreement reached between the town and Hayward.

Qirici loaned Hayward $24,200 in April and May of 2004, and the two men talked about opening a jewelry store on the North Shore, said Michael Smerczynski, Hayward's attorney. Hayward collected the loans from Qirici while visiting the cafe in uniform on coffee breaks.

Qirici later changed his mind and asked for his money back, but Hayward did not return the money until the police chief began investigating the matter. On one occasion, Hayward told Qirici he sent him a check via certified mail, but the check got lost. Another time, Hayward told Qirici he had "brought the wrong suitcase" to work in the police cruiser.

In January, still without the money, Qirici went to police and filed a complaint.

"I felt like I was being lied to, and that's why I told the chief," Qirici said yesterday.

Hayward returned all of the money to Qirici in January after O'Shea launched an investigation, Smerczynski said.

Qirici, an Albanian immigrant who came to the United States 14 years ago, said he never felt pressured to turn money over to Hayward. But he said he was frustrated when he couldn't get his money back.

"I never doubted I was going to get the money," he said. "He just kept putting me off, saying, 'Today, no, tomorrow.'"

According to Topsfield Police regulations, officers are not allowed to accept gifts or loans "where there is any direct or indirect connection between the solicitation and their departmental membership or employment, except as may be specifically authorized by the chief."

During a disciplinary hearing, Hayward acknowledged that his conduct, "objectively viewed, would project an appearance of impropriety," according to town documents.

On March 21, O'Shea informed the Board of Selectmen of Hayward's suspension.

"It is imperative that any police department strive to maintain the public trust," O'Shea wrote. "Although these loans were subsequently paid back to Mr. Qirici, it does not negate the impropriety of the behavior."

O'Shea could not be reached for comment. Selectmen Chairman James Rogal declined to comment on the suspension.

A 17-year veteran, Hayward, 48, is the department's firearms training officer and a sexual assault investigator. He also recently qualified for motorcycle duty.

Smerczynski, a friend of Hayward's since childhood, said the patrolman wants to put the incident behind him.

"Jack Hayward bears no ill will to anyone over this incident," he said. "He absolutely loves his job and the community he works in. He wants to make amends with everyone involved and get back to the job he loves."

When asked if he and Hayward still speak, Qirici said, "I don't feel comfortable saying anything."

"I got the money back," he said.
 

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That was a civil matter, that guy had no right going to the Chief about it.
Typical 12 yr old attitude "Ill tell your mommy"

I had someone do that. It got ugly (for the blabber-mouth)
 
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You are correct EMT, it was a civil matter. Another example of how cops don't have the same rights as private citizens.
 

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But what other option did the other guy have? According to what I read it did not seem like the officer wanted to give back the money. This is 25 grand were talking about here. First it got lost in the mail, then it was left in the other cruiser etc....
 

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patrol107";p="64342 said:
You are correct EMT, it was a civil matter. Another example of how cops don't have the same rights as private citizens.
This has nothing to do with rights. It's about rules and regulations, every job has them. If it's against company policy you will be disciplined. Nuff said.
 

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That is bull, that guy should have went to civil court not to the guys friggin boss. Its not like they were involved in a illegal enterprize.
 

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Macop";p="64390 said:
That is bull, that guy should have went to civil court not to the guys friggin boss. Its not like they were involved in a illegal enterprize.
From what I gathered, the patrolman got in trouble for receiving the loan in uniform. If this guy had hired a lawyer to defend him the chief would've found anyway. He gave the officer plenty of time to return to funds on his own. Didn't you think so?
 

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:sl:
 

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Most rules and regs address "knowingly failing to meet financial obligations". If that was in his regs, I think there is ample evidence that this guy just refused to pay. It turns into a credibility issue for the department as a whole, like it or not...
 

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Damn straight!
You'll never have to deal with that issue in Harvard!
 
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