CLARKSTOWN, N.Y. -- In the wake of a lawsuit filed Tuesday by suspended Clarkstown Police Chief Michael Sullivan against the town , the supervisor and council members to get his job back, the city's special prosecutor William Harrington responded to the suit.
"Rather than cooperate with an internal investigation which raises serious allegations of illegal electronic surveillance and unconstitutional profiling of county citizens, as well as members of other law enforcement agencies and the local judiciary which the Police department deem political rivals, Chief Sullivan has predictably commenced a meritless lawsuit designed to do nothing more than evade a hearing on the merits, obfuscate the truth, foment political unrest to distract the public and delay the inevitable," Harrington wrote in a statement.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in state Supreme Court in Rockland County by Sullivan's attorney Richard Glickel, alleges that Town Supervisor George Hoehmann and others acted illegally as a nonexistent police commission, violated the open meeting laws, acted in violation of lawful procedure to remove and reassign a police officer, and other charges.
The suit also claims that Hoehmann and Council member's John Noto and Frank Borelli acted to "publicly humiliate and marginalize his standing," within the department.
Sullivan, who has served as chief since 2011, said in the suit Hoehmann began his campaign against him after he agreed with the decision to fire Sgt. Michael Garvey following the officer's three-year battle over an on-the-job injury, and who later formed a company to raise funds to help with Hoehmann's election.
“Chief Sullivan’s state lawsuit has no merit," ," Harrington said. "However, having commenced this proceeding, Chief Sullivan has finally, albeit unwittingly, allowed the public disclosure of the unconstitutional manner in which the Police Department has operated under his command."
Sullivan was suspended in late July on charges that included incompetence and misconduct due to the chief’s social media postings about a former officer and his response to a demand that an officer be reassigned. On Monday, the county filed another 15 charges against the chief.
“The Town and its residents deserve better and my clients eagerly look forward to such a public debate," Harrington added.
An initial hearing is set for 10 a.m., Friday, Aug. 26, on Sullivan's lawsuit.
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