December 10, 2022

Seekonk Fire Chief Suspended

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Seekonk Fire Chief Sandra Lowery has been suspended with pay since August 4. The Reporter has obtained a copy of a letter sent to Lowery by Town Administrator Shawn Cadime. It has been heavily redacted.

“During the period of your administrative leave, you are not to perform any duties of your position with the Town or otherwise take any actions on behalf of the Town of Seekonk. In addition, you are to remain available to the Town during your normal working hours while on administrative leave and are subject to recall during same,” Cadime wrote, adding “a failure to adhere to the directives set forth in this letter could result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.”

Lowery was installed as the town’s first female Fire Chief last October. Lowery has been a member of the department for 20 years and served as Interim Chief following the termination of Former Chief David Rave last August.

“The Town's policy is not to comment on personnel matters,” said Town Administrator Shawn Cadime on Thursday.

According to Lowery’s contract, her annual salary is $122, 727.

“During the term of this contract, the Town may rescind the appointment of the Fire Chief and terminate her employment as Chief in accordance with the provisions of Article 8, Section 9 of the Town Charter. Where lesser disciplinary action is warranted, the Town may demote, suspend or reprimand the Chief in keeping with the theory of progressive discipline.”

“Prior to any disciplinary action that would result in a loss of compensation being issued to the Chief, she will be provided with an opportunity for a hearing before the Town Administrator or Board of Selectmen, as applicable, where she shall have the right to be represented by counsel and to have the hearing in public.”

During her installation ceremony last May, Lowery said being Fire Chief was “very humbling” and promised to “strive for excellence.”

“You have a track record of being compassionate, dedicated, effective, and professional,” Selectmen Chairman Justin Sullivan told Lowery. “You can build on the work of those chiefs before you and insure that the Seekonk Fire Department is better than ever.”

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