The marijuana discovered last week by firefighters in Newton Fire Chief John LaCroix's city-issued car belonged to his grandson and was mistakenly put in the vehicle by his wife, Marlborough police said today.
Sean LaCroix, 19, who lives with his grandparents in Marlborough, admitted to police that he owned the drugs, Marlborough police captain Paul Valianti said. Police will determine whether to file charges this week.
"It's extremely clear as to whose marijuana it was," said Valianti, adding that it was an "extremely small amount" of marijuana.
The drugs fell out of Sean LaCroix's pocket on Wednesday night inside the LaCroix home, Valianti said.
LaCroix's wife found the drugs, and they decided to put the drugs in her car with the intention of taking it to the police station the following day, Valianti said. LaCroix's wife mistakenly placed the marijuana in the the fire chief's car without his knowledge, he said.
Firefighters doing a "routine" cleaning of the chief's car on Thursday discovered the drugs under the driver's seat and alerted LaCroix, who then went to city hall and informed officials there, city spokesman Jeremy Solomon has said.
After hearing LaCroix's explanation, officials from the city's human resources, legal and executive department advised the chief to go to his hometown police station.
In a written statement on Friday, LaCroix said, "The discovery came as a shock to me...I have never imperiled the safety of Newton firefighters or the general public by using or possessing illegal drugs."
Solomon said today that the 62-year-old LaCroix voluntarily took a drug test at a hospital nearby to "eliminate any question about his fitness for duty." The drug test, however, was "not at the city's behest or recommendation," Solomon said.
-- Rachana Rathi