Members of the New London Administration Committee said Monday that they were supportive of a , but that they intend to proceed cautiously on the matter.
The request was submitted to the City Council by Todd Lynch, president of the New London Police Union. Lynch asked that an impartial investigator look into e-mails from Ackley to resident Kathleen Mitchell in which Ackley recommended that Mitchell request personnel records on Lynch and a number of other members of the ’s union. Lynch accused Ackley of attempting to intimidate and undermine the union leadership; he has against Ackley making similar allegations.
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Lynch said he made the request to the council because he has not heard updates from a similar request made to Mayor Daryl Finizio and considered that an investigation by the administration could be affected by bias. Councilor John Maynard, chairman of the committee, said he thought a private investigator would be appropriate due to potential biases on the council as well. Maynard said he would like any investigation to be public.
“It’s not like our citizens don’t know what’s going on,” he said. “There’s been rumors going around town for almost the past year on this.”
Councilor Adam Sprecace said he was concerned that Lynch made the request in the midst of pending litigation. He noted how the council had last year when Ackley and said he would like to hear from Ackley before having the full council make a decision on the matter.
“I think there are still a number of questions that surround this request,” he said.
Council President Michael Passero said the council is likely to receive similar requests for investigations into misconduct or the efficiency of departments and that this council’s actions would set a precedent in that regard.
“I think it would probably be worth our while to set up a process on how to do that,” said Passero. “I think we just have to be careful because we have to respect the rights of all the individuals involved.”
Councilor Marie Friess-McSparran suggested that the council can consult with Law Director Jeffrey Londregan and hold hearings on the issue.
“I think it’s important that we don’t sweep this under the rug,” she said. “I think it’s important that we do something about it.”
Councilor Don Macrino also said he thought the request requires additional scrutiny.
“I think with the proper direction from our law director and stepping forward carefully, perhaps some investigation can take place without pushing the city further into debt,” he said.
Maynard said he will consult with Londregan to determine how the committee should proceed with Lynch’s request.