Wethersfield Police Chief fighting to keep job after town council voted him out

Connecticut

WETHERSFIELD Conn. (WTNH) — Wethersfield’s longtime police chief is fighting to keep his job, after the town council voted to dismiss him.

“I’m fighting for my life back, my job, my reputation,” said Chief James Cetran, of the Wethersfield Police Department.

James Cetran said his work is not done as the police chief of Wethersfield. He’s been with the department for nearly 50 years, and he’s held his current role for 18. 

“Everything I’ve done, I’ve done for the betterment of the community and the police department itself,” said Cetran.

Earlier this year, Cetran announced his intent to retire at the end of August. Last month, he withdrew that notice. In an hours-long meeting Tuesday, an attorney representing the town argued the chief broke his retirement agreement.

RELATED: Wethersfield Town Council votes Police Chief out over retirement agreement violation

“There’s nothing in the agreement that permits you to revoke – rescind – that retirement date,” questioned Kenneth Plumb, an attorney representing the town.

“There’s nothing in the agreement that says I can’t,” rebutted Cetran.

“There’s nothing in there that says you can,” responded Plumb.

Gary Evans, Town Manager of Wethersfield, said this move has led to confusion and is harmful as they begin a nationwide search for a successor.

“This action of taking an agreement and ultimately just dismissing the agreement that’s in place — to move forward in a different direction — goes against the code of conduct of the general orders related to police conduct,” said Evans.

Cetran’s attorney, Rachel Baird, told News 8 they’re appealing this decision. 

“I’ve already written a letter to the town [Wednesday] morning, citing case law, saying their decision is invalid.” said Baird. “They never gave an effective date of dismissal.”

Baird said, because of that, Cetran is still chief.

“The only reason he’s not there is because it’s under duress that they’ve told him to leave,” said Baird.

Meanwhile, Cetran is remaining hopeful as they continue this fight. 

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