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Watertown police chief may be named Monday

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WATERTOWN — The search for a new police chief may come to an end Monday.

City Manager Sharon A. Addison has scheduled a press conference for 6:30 p.m. Monday, but she declined to say that an announcement of a new police chief was the reason for it.

Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham declined to comment. Councilman Stephen A. Jennings said he was unaware that the news conference was scheduled.

“I’m sure she’ll tell us about it,” he said.

Last week, Ms. Addison surmised that she could name the new chief by the end of this week or sometime next week. She completed interviews last week.

Three candidates — Capt. Cheryl A. Clark, Lt. Charles P. “Chip” Donoghue and Lt. Michael J. Mullins — took the civil service exam March 8.

Lt. Donoghue first became a police officer in 1993, was promoted to detective eight years later and was promoted to his current rank in 2012. He also served as sergeant for seven years.

Lt. Mullins was hired as a police officer in 1987 and served in that capacity until 2002 before he was promoted to lieutenant in 2008.

Lt. Donoghue received the highest score on the test: 87. Lt. Mullins, who also took it last year and scored an 80 then, received an 81. Capt. Clark, who also took the exam for a second time, scored an 85 last year, and a 77 this time.

All three candidates have been with the department long enough that they received five points for seniority.

The successor will replace Gary R. Comins, who received a provisional appointment as chief in July. He did not take the exam in March and will retire at the end of this month.

Last May, the police chief position remained unfilled because it was “a nonbinding exam” since fewer than three people took it, civil service officials said. At the time, Ms. Addison could have made either a permanent or a provisional appointment.

The salary range for the position will be $86,650 to $89,500, with either two years as a police captain, four years as a lieutenant or a combined eight years as a lieutenant and sergeant required for the appointment.

Former Chief Joseph J. Goss retired last June after a 30-year career.

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