CLARKSTOWN, N.Y. -- Richard Glickel, the attorney for suspended Clarkstown Police Chief Michael Sullivan, said all of the charges filed against his client are "bogus," including 15 new ones that were added earlier this week.
But in the wake of the new charges, that include everything from failure to properly investigate officers to failure to perform duties, one of the main concern the chief is worried about is the safety of residents and the town's police officers during his absence.
The reason for his worries is the discovery Clarkstown officials have been monitoring and reading highly sensitive emails and telephone conversations of officers, which has led to other local law enforcement departments to stop emailing and calling to share information about possible suspects or crimes happening in the area, Glickel said.
"He is definitely concerned about the issue and wants to make sure that residents are safe," he said.
The safety of residents is one of the reasons the chief has filed suit against the town to be reinstated, he added.
In response, Special Prosecutor William Harrington, who is overseeing the charges against the chief said: "Chief Sullivan faces 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. Rather than answer the serious implications, the chief has predictably chosen to attempt to turn this into a game of politics. It is time for the Chief to stop playing politics and answer to the people of the Town of Clarkstown. They deserve nothing less."
Of the 15 new charges against the chief, the failure to file an ethics financial form is one of the more serious charges. According to Glickel, Sullivan did not file an annual ethics financial disclosure form for the period 2011-2015, simply because the town board of ethics never mailed any financial disclosure forms to the chief, or to any members of CPD for that matter, for the years 1997-2015.
"Hoehmann (Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann) should know this, because pursuant to the town’s Code of Ethics if there was a failure on the part of the chief to file the requested form, such failure would be reported to the Town Board," he said. "There were no notices or reports of failure to file ever. And, before there’s any 'delinquency report' the employee receives a confidential reminder from the town’s board of ethics."
According to Glickel, the way it works is the town’s Board of Ethics mails the financial disclosure form to the employee’s home. The employee completes the form and can mail (certified mail is recommended) or deliver in person to the town clerk’s office who files the confidential disclosure forms for the Board of Ethics. In odd years, the employee is only required to file a “short form”, which is an affidavit stating that nothing’s changed since the last filing of the "long form."
Former deputy town attorney Jeffrey Millman was the counsel for the Board of Ethics for 18 years (through the end of 2015). Millman told Glickel that no member of the CPD - from the chief on down – was ever mailed a financial disclosure statement during that entire time.
"Former Town Attorney Amy Mele confirms the foregoing to me," he added.
When Sullivan received this year’s financial disclosure form in the mail he completed the form and filed it right away, Glickel said.
The new charges also include a section that deal with the chief's wife business dealings with Crown Trophy as a conflict. In his financial disclosure form, Sullivan reported that his wife works for Crown Trophy, which makes plaques for the city and the police department.
Glickel said that his wife is only a part-time employee and has "absolutely" no business interest in Crown Trophy.
" Hoehmann and his crew are bad news," Glickel said. "The additional charges are every bit as baseless as the initial charges. The supervisor and company are employing lies and innuendo to try and tarnish Mike Sullivan’s good name and embarrass his family all in an effort to divert attention from their own illegal activities. Chief Sullivan really is an honorable individual," he said.
Sullivan and Glickel plan to release the entire set of charges with the chief's responses to them within the next day or two.
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