NORTH ADAMS — Mayor Jennifer Macksey says Police Chief Jason Wood has been relieved of duty and is no longer running the department.
In a statement Saturday, Macksey said she “lost trust and confidence” in Chief Wood’s ability to lead the North Adams Police Department. Wood has been with the force for 20 years, rising through the ranks until he became its chief in 2019.
Wood has been on paid administrative leave since March 8, two days after police were called for a “domestic incident,” involving Wood and a married couple. Wood will continue on paid leave through June and will no longer be on the city’s payroll after that.
“He has been notified that I will not be renewing his contract,” Macksey wrote in her statement.
Wood declined to comment on Saturday.
A paid administrative leave status means one continues to receive a paycheck and performs work from home.
But Macksey’s order on Saturday means Wood has been relieved of duty, though he will continue get paid until his contract expires in June.
Lt. Anthony Beverly was named to lead the department for the time being, while Macksey said she works on long-term plan. In her statement, Macksey said more details about that plan would come at a later date.
In a response to a follow-up question, Macksey indicated to The Eagle that the March 6 domestic incident was not the reason Wood was relieved of duty. She did not elaborate.
Previously, Macksey said the March 6 incident was not a criminal investigation. Today, she confirmed the investigation into that incident was finished.
The Eagle obtained the investigative file and police report from the March 6 incident. Authorities redacted the report, which renders an incomplete look into what happened.
But the report does reveal that a North Adams man called police on March 6 and told them he’d found out something about his wife and Wood and that he believed the chief was coming to his home.
The police report also stated that “Chief Wood said he was aware and that the situation was blown out of proportion, however, it doesn’t look good.” The report indicated Wood told police he had no intention of going to the man’s house.
State Police took the call to avoid a conflict of interest for the North Adams Police Department. State Police reported back to local police that “the call was handled, things were calm and that there was nothing criminal that had taken place.”
The police report called the situation a “domestic incident related to Chief Wood.” Macksey put Wood on paid administrative leave pending the result of an internal investigation.
The investigative file contained emails between Wood and the wife of the man who called police. The emails were exchanged after the March 6 incident.
In a March 11 email, the woman wrote Wood: “This is a mess an absolute mess. I’m sorry that me and you had to end like this.”
The woman told Wood she did not want him to lose his job.
The woman further wrote, “[redacted] was in our personal time not at work. We were best friends ... I’m not going to screw you over now.”
Wood worked for the department for 20 years. He was hired as a patrolman in 2003, was promoted to sergeant in 2014 and was appointed to be an acting lieutenant in 2017. In 2019, Wood became chief.