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FBI is not conducting an investigation into the chief of police

Date: 4/11/2014

By Carley Dangona

WEST SPRINGFIELD – Despite murmurings around town, there is no ongoing FBI investigation of Police Chief Ronald Campurciani.

After receiving a call from an anonymous source regarding the possibility of an investigation, Reminder Publications spoke with town officials to confirm whether indeed that was the case. Allegedly, the chief’s behavior regarding former Capt. Daniel O’Brien’s case was being looked into.

“There’s not,” Mayor Edward Sullivan said. “The FBI had initiated an assessment, but don’t believe there’s any probable cause for further investigation.”

O’Brien was placed on leave after an alleged incident where he taped a woman’s mouth shut after placing her in a restraint chair while she was in police custody after being arrested at the 2011 Big E.

Once the FBI and the Massachusetts State Police completed their investigation of the incident, the town hired Alfred Donovan, special investigator for APD Management Inc., to complete the internal investigation into O’Brien’s conduct.

O’Brien was one of three finalists in the search for a new police chief in 2013. Interim Chief Ronald Campurciani was selected for the position. In October 2013, O’Brien was fired by Mayor Gregory Neffinger after being on a paid administrative leave of two years, earning $104,000 annually.

Campurciani stated that he contacted the bureau a few months ago regarding rumors that the officers’ statements in the O’Brien investigation were under review by the FBI. He was told by FBI officials that they had heard the same “grumblings” and would contact the chief if there were any further information needed.

“I was never contacted by the FBI regarding any investigation,” Campurciani said.

He explained that the goal of the internal investigation conducted by Donovan was to review the FBI’s findings, “digesting and processing” the information with a fine-toothed comb. Campurciani said his role in the research was to “literally hand off” the FBI file to Donovan, that was it.

Campurciani also commented on the release of the file to the public. “If that [O’Brien publically waiving his right to executive privileges during the Speakout portion of a 2013 Town Council meeting] hadn’t happened, we would have never responded [by releasing the information].”