Wilton police chief resigns

Published 1:40 pm Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wilton Police Chief Frank L. “Pappy” Page has resigned, but not willingly.

Page said Wednesday that Mayor Joe Fancher asked for his resignation Jan. 30. Two volunteer police reserves have also resigned.

Attempts to reach Fancher have been unsuccessful.

“I hate to say that I’m not (police chief),” said Page, who has served the town for six years. “I haven’t done anything wrong.”

Page said his resignation may stem from his request to hire his brother-in-law – one of the two reserves – as a part-time police officer. Page’s brother-in-law later started a petition asking residents whether they wanted additional police protection.

Page believes the petition upset town leaders.

“They thought I was forcing them into something, but I didn’t know about (the petition),” Page said.

Tuesday night, several people turned out to speak on Page’s behalf at a town council meeting. Page said council members passed a resolution barring people from making public comments.

“People were very upset at how (the council) conducted their business last night,” Page said.

Brian Gandy, a Wilton resident who attended the meeting, said the resolution stripped him of his First Amendment rights.

“We were told that if we signed in we would be allowed to talk,” Gandy said. “This man has been ousted as police chief against his will and nobody asked the people of Wilton what they thought about it.”

Those opposed to Page’s resignation plan to meet this Saturday at 5 p.m. at the town hall. Gandy said he and other residents will go door to door petitioning for Page’s reinstatement.

Page hopes to resolve the issue and return to his job.

“I’m just hoping and praying I get my job back,” Page said. “I love this little town.”