CLARKSTOWN, N.Y. -- Prosecutors pursuing charges against suspended Clarkstown Police Chief Michael Sullivan claimed at a hearing in New City that he, and a former detective, had ignored department rules, according to a report by The Journal News/lohud.com.
William Harrington on Tuesday accused Sullivan and former Det. Sgt. Stephen Cole-Hatchard of deleting data on their cell phones in a bid to conceal information possibly relevant to an impending internal investigation, lohud.com reported.
Sullivan’s attorney, Richard Glickel, took the opposite stance at the hearing, saying that not only had his client had cooperated fully with the town’s investigation, he was never asked to surrender his town-issued iPhone, or told that its data could be used as evidence, lohud.com said.
Glickel also noted that data for town phones is always backed up and can be retrieved electronically, the lohud.com report said.
Sullivan’s suspension last July rattled the community and spurred other law enforcement officials to wonder if politics was behind the move.
One of them Spring Valley Police Chief Paul Modica, president of the Rockland Police Chiefs Association, defended Sullivan after the news broke saying he was “a man of integrity who stands fast for what is right and won’t be bullied.”
Sullivan started in law enforcement as New York City police officer more than 30 years ago. He joined the Clarkstown force in 1987, was promoted to sergeant in 1995, lieutenant in 2000, captain in 2009 and finally, chief in 2011.
According to The Journal News, Tuesday’s hearing only concerned the charges about the cell phone; Sullivan, who told supporters he expects to be vindicated, faces nearly two dozen other charges, including insubordination.