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politics

County Legislature Shows Support For Suspended Clarkstown Chief

Clarkstown Police Chief Michael Sullivan
Clarkstown Police Chief Michael Sullivan Photo Credit: Zachary Croce

CLARKSTOWN, N.Y. -- Pressure continues to mount for the Town of Clarkstown to reinstate suspended Police Chief Michael Sullivan as members of the Rockland County Legislature on Monday signed a statement of support specifying that his suspension is unwarranted.

The statement comes on the heels of the legislature failing to pass a resolution last week that was put forth by two lawmakers from Ramapo and one from Clarkstown. The resolution demanded that Sullivan's suspension be lifted and claimed it was politically motivated.

Clarkstowns officials are also taking heat from other avenues regarding Sullivan's suspension and the way city officials had handled their investigation including a directive from the Rockland District Attorney’s Office halting all email communication with Clarkstown police after allegations that town officials were reading police emails. In addition, Spring Valley police Chief Paul Modica and Ramapo Chief Brad Weidel also directed their officers not to email with the Clarkstown Police Department.

Another resolution introduced by Legislator Harriet Cornell (D-West Nyack), and Legislators Ilan Schoenberger (D-Wesley Hills) and Alden H. Wolfe (D-Montebello), is on the Aug. 30 agenda of the Public Safety Committee.

In the statement, which has bipartisan support and is signed by 11 of the board’s 17 members, legislators wr0te: “A directive was given to Chief Sullivan by George Hoehmann, Town of Clarkstown supervisor, to reassign another officer in the Clarkstown P.D. Chief Sullivan did what was requested after following procedure and meeting with the Town Board. Chief Sullivan has committed no wrongdoing and has done nothing that constitutes action unbecoming to an officer. The suspension is unwarranted. He should be reinstated.”

The statement also notes that while there is no Rockland County Police Department, the law enforcement community in Rockland has banded together over the years and with the County Sheriff’s Department, collaborates in many ways that ensure ever-more effective policing: “All county legislators and county employees working in New City, the county seat within the Town of Clarkstown, are both grateful and proud of the safety provided by the County Sheriff and the Clarkstown P.D. We feel a responsibility now to speak on behalf of Chief Sullivan.”

The statement of support concluded: “Given the anger, suspicion and hostility that has affected relationships between police and communities in various locations throughout the United States, we are immensely grateful for the leadership of Police Chief Michael Sullivan in our County of Rockland and deplore this unnecessary and very divisive action taken by the Town Board of Clarkstown which will continue to inflame our community until the suspension is rescinded.”

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