By Louisa Moller

ASHLAND (CBS) — Ashland’s town manager promoted police Lieutenant Richard Briggs to Acting Chief of the police department despite knowledge of two domestic incidents in Briggs’ past, WBZ’s I-team has learned.

According to media reports, Brigg’s now ex-wife walked into the Medway Police Department in December of 2007 requesting a restraining. A judge granted her an emergency order that day.

“He threw a metal pole at me and yelled, have fun shoveling {expletive},” Brigg’s ex wrote in the order’s affidavit, “He then proceeded to get into his truck while my vehicle was behind him and accelerated his truck and tried to hit my vehicle while I was in it.”

“I am afraid that given the escalated aggression he is going to kill me. He has also in the past pushed me into the bedroom wall when he got angry with me,” she continued.

Briggs was placed on administrative leave in the Ashland department until a judge decided not to extend the order.

Richard Briggs has been promoted from Lieutenant to Acting Chief of the Ashland Police Department despite past domestic abuse allegations. (WBZ-TV)

Framingham police confirmed that they also have a police report involving Lieutenant Briggs and his ex-wife but are withholding the document saying reports of domestic abuse are exempt from the public record.

Ashland Town Manager Michael Herbert says he knew of both incidents when he decided to appoint Briggs as the Acting Chief but decided to promote him anyway since the restraining order was not extended and no charges were filed.

“I think you have to look at the totality of the situation and the totality of the person’s record,” Herbert said.

Herbert acknowledges that there is no paper record stating that the town of Ashland or the police department independently investigated either incidents.

“I can say if I was town manager at the time, I probably would have looked into it further,” he said.

Lieutenant Briggs did not respond to requests for comment on this story. He is slated to begin his position as Acting Chief on July 1 when Ashland Chief Vincent Alfano retires.

Louisa Moller