Former Hancock Police Chief Andrew Wood indicted on felony charges

  • Former Hancock Police Chief Andrew Wood. —COURTESY PHOTO

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 9/27/2022 1:01:54 PM
Modified: 9/27/2022 1:01:01 PM

Former Hancock Police Chief Andrew Wood was indicted by a Cheshire County Superior Court grand jury Monday on two felony counts of theft.

The indictment from state Attorney General John M. Formella’s office alleges that when Wood, 53, of Fitzwilliam, was the officer-in-charge in Richmond, he stole more than $1,500 by submitting timesheets containing hours he had not worked.

The announcement starts that Wood’s alleged theft took place between Jan. 5, 2017, and June 27, 2019. He has been charged with one Class A felony count of theft by unauthorized taking and one Class A felony count of theft by deception.

A Class A felony is punishable by seven-and-a-half to 15 years in state prison sentence and a $4,000 fine. He will be arraigned in Cheshire County Superior Court Oct. 22.

Wood was police chief in Hancock for 12 years, also serving as the officer-in-charge in Richmond until that department was dissolved in 2019 for what Richmond Select Board member Andrew Wallace said at the time were financial reasons.

In September 2020, Wood submitted his resignation as Hancock police chief as of Dec. 31 of that year, stating in a Facebook post to which is resignation letter was attached that “with the events involving law enforcement throughout this country, I have decided that I have completed all of the tasks that I set out to accomplish in Hancock.”

However, a Hancock Select Board investigation determined that the town had cause to fire Wood for consistently submitting “inaccurate and false” timecards and not being able to adequately explain them, along with employing an uncertified full-time officer who had resigned from a different department after sexually harassing a fellow police officer.

According to the Select Board’s investigation and an independent review by the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript of timecards from both departments, between 2017 and 2019 Wood logged overlapping hours for the two towns on his timecards multiple times.

The Select Board cited nine instances between Jan. 1 and Aug. 29, 2017 as examples in a letter they sent to Wood in August 2020. According to the Select Board, on Jan. 1, 2017, Wood’s hours are listed as 11:25 a.m. to 3:21 p.m. on the Hancock Dispatch records, on the Hancock timesheets from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on the Richmond timesheets from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The board stated that Wood did not offer an explanation for that day’s discrepancy, nor for four other instances they cited.

The Ledger-Transcript’s review found 169 instances of overlapping hours reported on time cards from Jan. 1, 2017, to June 27, 2019, Wood’s last day working for Richmond. The cards included 327.25 hours that Wood reported working for Richmond and being on duty in Hancock at the same time, and 129.25 hours that Wood reported working for Richmond and being on call in Hancock at the same time.

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