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Waltham city councilors reappoint acting police chief MacPherson in LaCroix's absence

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  December 18, 2012 01:54 PM

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Waltham City Councilors voted unanimously this month to reappoint the city's acting police chief, Keith MacPherson, to continue top law enforcement duties in the aftermath of Thomas LaCroix's June arrest and upcoming court trial.

The council's Dec. 10 vote to have MacPherson continue as acting chief comes as his six-month appointment by the mayor came to an end.

According to Waltham's city charter, whenever a department head's position becomes vacant, the mayor can appoint a replacement for three months. If the vacancy continues past that initial time, the mayor can allot another three months to the replacement for a total of six months.

Any replacement time beyond that must receive the City Council's approval, Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy previously told the Globe.

"Pursuant to the mayor’s request, there was little discussion if any," said Council President Robert Waddick over the phone. "We’re all very familiar with Keith. He was a deputy chief for a long time, and members of the city council know him. Many of us have interacted with him over the years."

Waddick did not say how long MacPherson was reappointed for.

LaCroix was arrested by Maynard police in June for allegedly assaulting his wife and a female neighbor during two separate violent incidents. LaCroix was police chief at the time of his arrest.

Following a compliance hearing on Jan. 4, LaCroix will go to trial starting Feb. 13, said MaryBeth Long, a spokeswoman for the Middlesex District Attorney's office.

LaCroix is under house arrest at night, and can venture outside during the day if he wears a court-mandated GPS bracelet, representatives from the district attorney's office said. He was also ordered to stay away from the alleged victims, they said.

LaCroix was placed on administrative leave with pay in June, and is still collecting checks, McCarthy said earlier this month.

LaCroix is charged with two counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon for allegedly striking the victims with a bicycle rack and a counter top. He is also charged with two counts of assault and battery, one count of assault, and one count of intimidating a witness, officials said.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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