Gilford police chief on paid administrative leave

GILFORD — Town officials are being tight-lipped about why Police Chief Kevin Keenan is on paid administrative leave.

Town Administrator Scott Dunn said yesterday that Keenan, who has been chief for the past two years, was placed on leave after a discussion held in a non-public session. He declined to say when the non-public meeting was held. Keenan has been on leave since Aug. 29

When asked yesterday if anyone else in the Gilford Police Department was on administrative leave, Dunn said, "That's a good question. Not at the moment."

When asked if Keenan still has his department-issued car, Dunn said, "All of the municipal vehicles are available for the use of on-duty personnel." Dunn said he wouldn't comment on whether Keenan still had his department-issued badge and gun.

Keenan earns $83,053 annually, Dunn said.

Keenan was in uniform and at the most recent selectmen's meeting on Aug. 28.

Selectmen met in non-public session on Aug. 28 from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m. when they convened the regular portion of the meeting. After the regular meeting, selectmen re-entered a non-public session that draft minutes say ended at 8:40 p.m. Reasons for the non-public session were given as protecting the reputation of someone other than a board member and consideration of the purchase, sale or lease of real estate.

Minutes of both non-public sessions were sealed by a unanimous vote of the board.

Dunn said Keenan became a Gilford Police Officer on Nov. 24, 1994, and was named chief on Oct. 2, 2011. Prior to joining the Gilford Police, Keenan was a N.H. Marine Patrol Officer.

Dunn said yesterday that Lt. James Leach will be acting chief in Keenan's absence.

Dunn said he cannot comment on whether or not there are any investigations regarding Keenan or how long Keenan will be on paid administrative leave.

Attempts to reach Keenan were unsuccessful.

Selectmen Chairman Kevin Hayes was unavailable for comment and Selectman Gus Benavides didn't return the Sun's phone calls. Selectman John T. O'Brien declined to comment.