Mower parts lead to new charge against Westport town mechanic

Police have added another larceny charge to the list of accusations that town Highway Department mechanic John Kennedy will face when he is arraigned along with Highway Surveyor Jack Sisson next Tuesday, Nov. 20. This charge, larceny under $200, was issued Friday. Westport Police Sergeant Tony Cestodio said Monday that it stems from Mr. Kennedy's order on behalf of the town of parts for a Cub Cadet riding lawnmower. Investigators discovered, however, that the parts did not fit the town's mower but instead fit the Cub Cadet that Mr. Kennedy had purchased for his personal use and that was discovered at his 174 Forge Road house, Sgt. Cestodio said. The town paid $138 for the  parts — sets of blades, tires and tubes. The parts had not yet been attached to the tractor. This charge is related to others filed against Mr. Kennedy and Mr. Sisson. Westport Police said that, among other things, the two conspired to  trade in a town Cub Cadet valued at $1,700 to 146 Supply Center of Millbury, Mass., for a $100 credit supposedly for future Highway Department needs. Mr. Kennedy told police interviewers that he asked Mr. Sisson whether he could then purchase the tractor for his own use. He said that Mr. Sisson replied that he would try to get 146 Supply to give it to him since it wasn't worth much. In addition to this latest charge against Mr. Kennedy, both men face charges of larceny over $250, receiving false traded property, and conspiracy. The investigation began when Police Chief Keith Pelletier looked out the station window to see a truck being loaded with items in the parking lot between the station and the Highway Department. He sent officers out to investigate. Those officers learned from the driver that the items were to be taken to 174 Forge Road where another truckload had already been delivered. Both men have been relieved of duty. The Highway Department is being run or now by Foreman Chris Gonsalves and Town Administrator Jack Healey. Mr. Sisson has not been available for comment.


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