Manager stands by statement that he withdrew from Natick offer

Adam W. Chapdelaine, 2020Chapdelaine

After June 24, when Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine made a surprise announcement that he had switched gears and decided to withdraw from consideration as town administrator in Natick, the rumors began.

One posted to Facebook was the claim that "a group" of Arlington residents had approached Natick officials with what our town residents saw as the "negative" handling of the Officer Pedrini case. That information turned Natick against Chapdelaine, according to the rumor.

YourArlington reached out to an Arlington official who did not want to be identified who confirmed hearing this rumor in some detail. But those directly involved could not confirm those details.

'Pleased to be staying'

Chapdelaine stood by his June 24 statement. In an email July 8, he wrote: "Thank you for writing about this. As I stated in the message released two weeks ago, it was my decision to withdraw from the Natick position. I am very pleased to be staying in Arlington, and I look forward to the work we have ahead of us."

Asked who withdrew from the process, Chapdelaine or Natick, Karen Adelman-Foster, chair of the Natick Select Board, wrote in an email July 1 that "Mr. Chapdelaine withdrew from negotiations. So no, it is not accurate that we withdrew the offer, nor that we did so over concerns over Officer Pedrini.

"I think it simply became apparent that it wasn't the fit everyone had thought. He's a superb executive and we're a great town, but a poor fit is a poor fit -- good for no one. I wish Mr. Chapdelaine all success."

Asked who brought the Pedrini matter to her attention, she wrote, "A Natick constituent." Asked whether Arlington journalist Laura Kiesel had told her about Pedrini, as rumors claim, she wrote: "She was not who brought the matter to my attention, although she did talk about it."

Comment awaited

YourArlington reporter Melanie Gilbert sent Kiesel requests for her side of the story through email and Facebook Messenger, but Kiesel has not responded. If she does, this story will be updated.

Columns written by Officer Rick Pedrini and published in a statewide police journal in October 2018 led to months of controversy, culminating in the officer's public apology in a town forum last September.

Many in town, including members of the citizen political group Arlington Fights Racism, continue to call for Pedrini's firing as well as public criticism of the use of restorative justice in the officer's case.

Among the fierce critics was Kiesel, who published a two-part series about Pedrini in DIGBoston, an online and paper publication, in June and August 2019.

June 24, 2021: Chapdelaine turns down Natick, decides to stay as town manager

Sept. 23, 2020: Panel challenges Lt. Pedrini to take action to make change real

This news summary was published Saturday, July 10, 2021.