Accused Dalton officer was fired in March, attorney reveals


DALTON — A police officer who is facing assault charges in two separate cases was fired earlier this year, according to an attorney representing the town.

James Scace, 48, was fired as of March 10, according to Dalton's town attorney, Timothy D. Zessin, who revealed the termination in response to queries by The Eagle. But police have declined to release documentation regarding the investigation that led to the decision.

Scace, who was hired as a reserve officer in 2001 and became a full-time officer in 2005, was placed on administrative leave on Oct. 26, 2015, two days after he allegedly assaulted four teens on Brindle Road while off duty.

The investigation into that matter — which has led to criminal charges being filed in a case now pending in Berkshire Superior Court — led to more accusations of assaulting and choking a woman and putting a pistol to her head last July.

Judge Thomas Estes recently ruled that case can go forward, resolving the question whether his case could be diverted via the state's Valor Act without first being arraigned.

Specifics of the internal investigation into Scace, which led to his dismissal, will not be made public at this time, according to a response from Dalton Police Chief Jeffrey Coe, to an Eagle public records request in the matter.

Coe cited three exemptions to the public records law as a basis for denying the request.

"In the present case, disclosure of the materials and records gathered by the Police Department during its internal investigation will likely jeopardize the ongoing criminal investigation and prosecution against Mr. Scace," Coe wrote in his response.

Scace is scheduled for a final pretrial conference in October in his Superior Court case and is expected back in District Court on Sept. 22 for a pretrial hearing in that matter.

Contact Bob Dunn at 413-496-6249.


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