A former police chief who became a lawyer, and who now hires himself out to municipalities investigating their police departments for internal misdeeds, can be declared persona non grata by a fraternal order of police chiefs, the Appellate Division has ruled.

A three-judge panel on Nov. 17 rejected Gary Stowell Sr.’s claim that his expulsion from the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police violated public policy favoring the right of clients to retain legal counsel of their choice.