Copied from Councilman Kenneth MacRitchie's Letter to The Editor:
In the early 1990's, the behavior of Bernard Tracy in the Westfield Police Department was faithfully reported, without fear of favor, in The Westfield Leader. Thus, when Thomas Jardim was mayor-elect in December 1996, I advised him that Bernard Tracy could cause future difficulties.
When Thomas Jardim took office as mayor, Bernard Tracy was detective lieutenant. Shortly afterward, Bernard Tracy was promoted to captain. I asked Mayor Jardim about this promotion, but he replied, "I thought long and hard about this, but I deferred to the professionals," referring to Police Chief Anthony Scutti and Town Administrator Edward Gottko.
Some time later, Bernard Tracy was a candidate for police chief. I advised Mayor Jardim that Bernard Tracy could cause future difficulties, but he replied, "Don't worry about it." Then, Bernard Tracy was appointed police chief. At that time, outgoing Police Chief Anthony Scutti publicly praised Bernard Tracy in glowing terms.
Shortly after Bernard Tracy was appointed police chief, I telephoned David Grubb, administrator of the Suburban Municipal Joint Insurance Fund. (He and I had gone to the same college.) I gave him a heads-up, that the appointment of Bernard Tracy as police chief created a risk of significant loss to that fund.
As town officials begin the selection process to appoint a new Westfield police chief to lead the dedicated men and women of the Westfield police department, those same town officials should learn from the ignored warnings former councilman Kenneth MacRitchie had given to Mayor Tom Jardim. As with Bernard Tracy, could the "writing be on the wall" regarding a Tracy protege'? To ignore the warnings would be costly to the taxpayers of Westfield and to the morale of the Westfield police department.