Case of suspended Marblehead police officer takes step forward

The disciplinary case against a Marblehead police officer accused of spending over 100 hours at home while on duty has reached a new stage, Town Administrator Thatcher Kezer told the Marblehead Current on Sept. 11.

Marblehead police officer Christopher Gallo remains on paid administrative leave as the disciplinary case against him enters its next phase. CURRENT PHOTO / LEIGH BLANDER

Kezer, serving as hearing officer in the case against Officer Christopher Gallo, said the deadline for attorneys to submit final briefs passed Monday at 11:59 p.m. This marks the conclusion of the evidentiary and testimony phase of the proceedings.

“The attorneys for both sides met the deadline and submitted their briefs last night,” Kezer said. “The case is now on my desk.”

Kezer will spend the next 30 days reviewing the briefs and evidence before issuing a recommendation to the Board of Selectmen on potential disciplinary action against Gallo. The Select Board will then schedule a meeting to review Kezer’s recommendation and take a vote on Gallo’s fate with the department.

Gallo has been on paid administrative leave since June 2021, costing taxpayers approximately $5,400 per month. He faces two disciplinary charges stemming from allegations he spent over 100 hours at home while on duty between January and April 2021.

In May, Police Chief Dennis King testified Gallo’s actions constituted conduct unbecoming an officer and dereliction of duty and recommended the Select Board fire him. 

The first extension was granted in July when Gallo’s attorneys cited delays in obtaining transcripts from previous hearings. Further extensions were requested in August and September due to struggles with the transcripts. Kezer imposed a firm deadline of Sept. 11 at 11:59 p.m. for the final briefs, denying any further postponements.

The prolonged disciplinary case has frustrated town officials and residents eager for a resolution. The delay prolongs Gallo’s paid administrative leave, which has cost Marblehead taxpayers approximately $214,800 to $220,000 since June 2021.

Once Kezer submits his recommendation, the Select Board will schedule a public meeting to review the findings and determine whether Gallo will face termination, suspension or other disciplinary measures for the alleged misconduct.

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