The Auburn City Council on Friday night accepted the resignation of police chief Paul Nadeau. The chief resigned on Thursday after learning that three members of the council had decided to seek his resignation. The council approved a settlement agreement with Nadeau and appointed Lt. Carl Moulder, the patrol commander, as interim chief.
Nadeau has been the chief for almost three years. He told the Barrow Journal after the meeting that he was never given a reason for why the new majority on council wanted him out. He said he was not given an opportunity to speak to the council members about their concerns.
The new majority — including newcomer Bill Ackworth plus incumbents Bob Vogel and Peggy Langley — was seated last Thursday. All three voted to accept the resignation but refused to explain why they wanted Nadeau out. In fact, after the meeting, Langley told a reporter that they didn't force him out, that he just resigned.
Council member Dorissa Shackelford abstained from the vote. She said she had nothing to do with the majority's action and was not consulted; so she did not have enough information on which to base a vote. Mayor Linda Blechinger thanked Nadeau for his service and after the meeting broke down, saying accepting his resignation was the hardest thing she has ever had to do.
An unofficial, but knowledgeable, source said the move against the police chief actually is a "power play" to take over the city government and to reduce Blechinger's role to that of a figure head. The source said to expect the removal of additional employees who serve "at the pleasure" of the council.