, Salem, MA

December 18, 2013

Few details on sergeant's paid leave

By Jonathan Phelps
Staff writer

---- — IPSWICH — Police and the district attorney are refusing to release any details on why Sgt. Peter Nikas, the brother of the town’s police chief, is on paid leave.

Nikas has been on leave since mid-October, according to Town Manager Robin Crosbie.

She said the district attorney and a private investigator are looking into “some reported incidents that occurred in October” while Nikas was off duty.

Crosbie would not disclose why the sergeant is being investigated, only saying that it’s a “personnel matter.” She said there are two ongoing investigations, one by the district attorney and the other by retired Tewksbury police Chief Alfred Donovan, who was hired by the town for an independent internal affairs investigation.

Assistant District Attorney David O’Sullivan said in an email that “a matter involving Sgt. Nikas was referred to this office for investigation.”

“That investigation is now active and ongoing,” he said. “This office will inform the public of the results of its investigation when it is concluded and will at that time release materials not subject to (exemptions).”

The Salem News put in a public records request seeking more information on the investigation.

“At this time, however, in order to protect the integrity of that investigation, this office invokes the so-called investigatory exemption to the public records law,” O’Sullivan said.

Sgt. Peter Nikas is the brother of police Chief Paul Nikas.

Peter Nikas became a full-time police officer in 1994 and was promoted to sergeant in 2007. His salary is approximately $76,000 a year, according to the town’s human resources department.

He has served as the union president and school resource officer at middle and high schools.

Staff writer Jonathan Phelps can be reached at 978-338-2527 or by email at Follow him on Twitter at JPhelps_SN.