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Clarkstown Infighting Continues; Councilwoman says she didn’t vote for Police Chief’s suspension

 

Sullivan

Suspended Police Chief Michael Sullivan standing inside Clarkstown Police Headquaters

Clarkstown Infighting Continues

BY CAROL MCILMURRAY

Clarkstown town officials said it was an unanimous vote to suspend Chief Sullivan but Councilwoman Stephanie Hausner contends that is just not true.

Councilwoman Stephanie Hausner released a statement via her Facebook page today stating,

“There are very serious charges being strewn about and I have spent the past few days trying to make sense of them. I do not believe the police department should ever be a partisan issue and I am aware that as Councilwoman and police commissioner I have a fiduciary and legal duty to the town. That being said I do want to set the record straight that I was not present at Tuesday night’s town board meeting at which time the vote on Chief Sullivan allegedly took place. My colleagues had advance notice that I would be absent. I did not participate in any vote and had told the town attorney and the Supervisor that I was not prepared to vote on the suspension of the police chief without seeing any formal charges. It has since been brought to my attention that all other town board members had been afforded that right to see the charges. Therefore, any reports or statements that said the town board voted unanimously are outright false. I do not feel comfortable commenting further at this time.”

Michael Sullivan has received a rather large crowd of support from the Clarkstown and police communities since his suspension. Sullivan has come forward and released an official statement saying the allegations are false and he expects to be “fully exonerated”.  A rally outside Clarkstown Town Hall is set for Tuesday night at 6:30p.m.

Clarkstown Police Sergeant Steven Cole-Hatchard has sued the Town Council and alleged the Town Council spied on his work emails and a Clarkstown police officer referred to as “Officer T” maybe the real reason behind the suspension of Chief Sullivan.  Cole-Hatchard alleged in court documents that “Officer T” is the mystery donor who contributed $218,ooo to George Hoemhann’s campaign last year under the Delaware LLC, “The Insititue [sic] For Municipal Safety Research”.  Cole-Hatchard also alleged “Officer T” vowed to get Chief Sullivan removed from duty “one way or another” for terminating his job in August 2015.  Cole-Hatchard went on to state that “Officer T” said his plan was to have new Town Board reinstate him to his police job assuring that he would once again qualify for his $3 million dollar pension and medical benefits. In the court documents “Officer T” is not named in the suit but it is alleged the officer sold his personal business for millions of dollars.

Cole-Hatchard states his investigation into Hoehmann’s campaign finances and “Officer T” caused the town council to remove him from director of Rockland County Strategic Intelligence Unit and place on him headquarters duty. 

Sullivan said in an official statement that, ‘(The pending charges) will become public when I file my formal response, so that there can be no doubt that the board’s charges are completely without merit. ” Sullivan continued, “Please be assured that there is no evidence of any wrongdoing on my part or of any conduct unbecoming an officer. I have done nothing that would reflect badly on the good reputation I have earned during my 33-year career in law enforcement.”

The town council has 35 days from the date of suspension to hire a hearing officer to take evidence and oversee the matter. The hearing officer will recommend a decision based on the facts of the hearing. If Sullivan is found guilty the hearing officer may recommend anything from further suspension to dismissal.

 

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