Westfield police chief retires after town consults with prosecutor

WESTFIELD, NJ — Police Chief David Wayman has retired from his post, the town announced in a statement on its website, saying only that it was after “consultation with the Union County Prosecutor’s Office and the town’s labor counsel.”
Capt. Chris Battiloro has been appointed acting chief of police, the Aug. 1 statement said.

“The town remains fully compliant in terms of the amount of information it is able to release on this topic, and it intends to provide additional details at the appropriate time,” the statement said.

Union County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Mark Spivey said his office would neither confirm nor deny any consultation or investigation on the matter.

The announcement of Wayman’s retirement came within days of Mountainside announcing that police Chief Allan Attanasio and Detective Sgt. Andrew Huber were retiring following accusations of sexual harassment in a lawsuit against the town.
Westfield Town Administrator Jim Gildea will discuss the details of the search process for a new permanent chief of police in the coming weeks with the town council, according to the statement.

“As with any personnel change of this magnitude, it’s critical that we complete a thorough search for a police chief who will lead by example and instill a culture of trust and accountability,” Westfield Mayor Shelley Brindle said in the four-paragraph website statement. “I am committed to a process that is worthy of the outstanding and dedicated members of our police department, as well as the residents they serve.”

The town’s statement concluded: “The immediate focus is informing Westfield residents of this important change and moving forward with the critical process of identifying a new chief.”

Wayman was promoted to chief from captain in April 2012, succeeding former Chief John Parizeau. Wayman was with the Westfield department for 30 years.

Several published reports noted Wayman’s resignation came after two particular incidents. One in January involved the daughter of a Westfield police officer who was investigated as part of a vehicular accident but not ticketed until a month later.

The second incident involved two accident reports with the same case number regarding a hit-and-run collision involving a police vehicle, one dated March 7 and another dated April 9, according to previously published reports.