CLARKSTOWN, N.Y. – Just days after the Clarkstown Board voted to suspend town Police Chief Michael Sullivan, a Clarkstown police sergeant has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the town claiming he was removed from the Rockland County Strategic Intelligence Unit for investigating a former police officer’s $218,000 campaign contribution to various Republican campaigns, according to lohud.com.
In an email to a reporter from The Journal News/lohud.com, Detective Sgt. Stephen Cole-Hatchard offered an off-the-record opinion on the investigation of the campaign contributions, which benefits several campaigns including that of Town Supervisor George Hoehmann, according to lohud.com.
Cole-Hatchard, in his suit, claims the Republican-led Town Board used the email as an excuse to remove him from the Intelligence Unit, but actually made the move in an attempt to punish him for investigating the campaign contributions in the first place, according to lohud.com.
The suit, filed Friday, July 22, comes just days after Sullivan was suspended with pay by the town . According to Cole-Hatchard’s suit, the move the suspend Sullivan came, in part, because Sullivan did not want to reinstate the officer who made the campaign donations, according to lohud.com.
In response to the suit, Hoehmann called Cole-Hatchard’s efforts “sad and desperate,” according to lohud.com.
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