Ackley Probe Ends with Formal Reprimand from Finizio

Mayor decides that police chief's e-mail to political activist was "outside the boundaries" of acceptable conduct.

New London Police Chief Margaret Ackley received a formal reprimand from Mayor Daryl Finizio Monday for sending emails that were "outside the boundaries of proper managerial conduct."

The mayor wrote in his decision that the e-mails in question, which Ackley sent to city resident Kathleen Mitchell and recommended that Mitchell request the personnel records of two NLPD officers, could also "undermine confidence in any Chief's ability to effectively lead the department."

To view the full PDF of Finizio's findings, click on the PDF file attached to this story.

In a press release, police union Vice President Dave McElroy called Monday a "sad day" for the city of New London and that “the actions of Chief Ackley not only violated the public’s trust but also created a cloud of suspicion and mistrust of her rank and file officers."

“Our members appreciate Mayor Finizio for taking our concerns seriously and with his help can now move the police department in a new direction forward,” police union executive board member Chuck Flynn said.

For her part, Ackley denied that she had violated any city provision and stood by her comments.

The Background

Todd Lynch, the president of the New London Police Union, recently requested an impartial investigation of his allegations that Ackley has tried to undermine and intimidate the union. Lynch has made similar accusations in a lawsuit against Ackley and the city, and asked the city to look into e-mails between Ackley and resident Kathleen Mitchell in which Ackley recommends that Mitchell request the personnel records of Lynch and several other police union members.

Finizio, city attorney Brian Estep, and Chief Administrative Officer Jane Glover met with Ackley and her attorney Oct. 11 for a pre-disciplinary hearing that was continued until Oct. 19.

The union requested an independent investigation based on a stance Finizio took during his campaign. Responding to Ackley’s accusations of unethical behavior against former city councilor and mayoral candidate Michael Buscetto III, Finizio said in August of 2011 that the charges warranted a federal investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Federal Bureau of Investigation using RICO statutes. Finizio said he stood by this statement, but considered Lynch’s accusations against Ackley to be an internal issue rather than a matter of political interference necessitating the wider investigation.

Finizio said any disciplinary action is the sole discretion of the mayor, but that he would abide by recommendations made by Estep and Glover at the conclusion of the investigation. He said that under Connecticut statute, fire and police chiefs may only be removed for cause.

“That is a very, very high standard to meet,” he said at the time.

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Chip Smith October 23, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Funny, you should bring that up Carol. The last 2 New London cops to leave were woman that went to work for Dittman. Do you think they had a problem working for a woman? No, just an incompetent woman. And with the Chief's good friend Betsy Hard on the "Board", she was a shoe in.
Chip Smith October 23, 2012 at 08:48 PM
RGray, Carol is in the Ackley camp (or family). Not the same as Fibnizio camp. The camps split up.
Kathleen Mitchell October 23, 2012 at 09:41 PM
Carol, I find it difficult to understand how you can say that you "...look at the issue, and in this case, I just think that too much is being made of this issue." when neither you nor a number of other posters seem to know what the issue is. In fact, to make the "issue" even more confusing there are errors in this article as well as The Day's reporting of the issue since the news of the emails first became public. And what makes you and Scagnetti think I "reported" or "blab[bed]" anything? Do you have anything to substantiate your claims? Because I'm sitting here with court orders, subpoenas and a computer that I no longer trust but am forced to keep by order of the court. When looking at an issue, I've always found it helpful to at least have some idea of the facts before running my mouth.
Carol D. Fox October 23, 2012 at 11:23 PM
Kathleen, you are not naive. How do your personal emails end up public knowledge and part of a lawsuit? Your a law abiding citizen so your computer could not have been seized. Therefore, you obviously told someone something or the emails would have remained private.
George Lazare October 23, 2012 at 11:30 PM
@chippy...anyybody the followed ditt-man out of NLPD is a plus for NL as was ditt-man...perhaps yopu can do NL a favor and follow him too
Jim October 23, 2012 at 11:34 PM
As they should have...How did they become public???
Johnny Habanero October 23, 2012 at 11:48 PM
What a circus in New London politics. It does not take much to wonder why everyone is moving out of the town and no one wants to move in. Lets just go full circle on this and make Kathleen Mitchell the chief of police........
Carol D. Fox October 23, 2012 at 11:57 PM
@Jim Hanna: Thank you. At least someone understands where I am coming from.
Chip Smith October 24, 2012 at 12:08 AM
@Jameson aka Walsh. You can change your name but you're still the same idiot. Go file some more bogus civilian complaints.
RED DOG October 24, 2012 at 01:37 AM
The Corruption continues a reprimand what a joke, anyone else would have been arrested and fired.
Kathleen Mitchell October 24, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Carol, I didn't think I was protected from compulsory process under Public Act 06-140, etc but it seems that you know something that others don't. Why don't you send me your contact information and I will forward it to the attorneys and judge and you can explain why I don't have to do any of what they have been requesting or plan to request in the future. It would certainly save me a lot of time and aggravation if you could pull this off.
Carol D. Fox October 24, 2012 at 05:53 PM
@Kathleen: That is an act regarding Freedom of the Press. And you didn't answer my original question. How does one know about your personal emails received?
George Lazare October 24, 2012 at 06:27 PM
@chippy... ?????
Jeff Brown October 24, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Gotta say i agree with Carol, Jim Hanna , and JScagnetti on this one. Definitely looks like some bad political manuevering . Obviously legally Ackley is the only one at fault. But i would also like to know how we all know about these personal emails to begin with. The whole thing just seems dirty all around and looks bad for all involved.
Sue P. October 24, 2012 at 07:43 PM
This is my opinion Jim Hanna so don't go calling me names just because I have an opinion. I don't think this is the end of this case. I think that there will be more lawsuits and investigations to come. All of this digging into Ackley and Finizio started a year ago. A lot of the investigations are not just from New London but also the state. Let's go down the list I can think of 1st a lot of people complained about the Hatch Act being violated, the part where you can not use your status to help get someone elected. 2nd Todd Lynch is suing the chief and the city and I think Finizio too(not sure about the latter). Just saying this might just be the beginning of a long 3 more years, I just hope the citizens are not the ones that get affected by all this internal fighting. Wouldn't it be nice if they all did their jobs with honesty and respect like they are all suppose to.
Jeff Brown October 24, 2012 at 07:48 PM
You're right Sue, except sometimes the citizens can be a part of the problem too. I think this is one of those cases.
Kathleen Mitchell October 24, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Carol, Obviously, I don't need to answer your question although you seem to think I do. But in the interest of putting at least one question to rest which will, hopefully, allow some posters to move on to the bigger issue, the answer to your question "How does one know about your personal emails received?" and I assume you're referring to the attorneys, et al involved, is that they did not get the information about the existence of emails from me. I have a feeling that you are not going to be satisfied with that answer and here's why-because it seems to me that you are more interested in painting me as a self-serving villain in this story than in dealing with the facts of the story itself. In an earlier post, I said that there was nothing in Public Act 06-140 that protected me from having to testify and you blow that off with "That is an act regarding Freedom of the Press." It's more than that. Read it again. It clearly states who is protected from revealing certain information and sources, etc. My name is not there. And, even more than that, you seem to think, and want others to believe, that because a person is a "private citizen," no matter what information s/he might be in possession of, s/he never has to worry about being asked for it by or in a court of law. A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, Carol.
Carol D. Fox October 24, 2012 at 08:09 PM
@Sue P: Yes, it would be great if there were no fighting and there was integrity and honesty all the way around. If you want to see how many cases there are against the City of New London, go to www.jud.ct.gov and do a search on civil cases. Fill in the blanks where applicable such as City of New London and see what comes up. This is all public information. The only thing you can't see is the content of the legal documents filed. And by the way, by the time the Todd Lynch lawsuit comes to fruition, there might be a new Mayor elected. (three years)
Sue P. October 24, 2012 at 08:32 PM
@Carol I also wanted to add that in the day a long time ago I remember that both Mitchell and Ackley were served papers telling them not to delete anything from their computers. So that tells me that Ackley was already being watched before they were served the papers. So Mitchell might not have been the one to come forward first, I think it was the lawyers or higher ups that started this case. It's hard to keep track since it seems to be a daily occurrence in New London.
Carol D. Fox October 24, 2012 at 10:01 PM
@smell: I'm ignoring everything your saying. I think your a union member or at the very least employed in public safety. . @Sue: Your younger than I am so your memory is probably better. But you missed my point which is how did anyone know that the Chief and Ms. Mitchell were exchanging emails. Ms. Mitchell referred me to a Public Act having to do with freedom of the press and criminal proceedings, etc. She does not work for a newspaper and as far as I know does not work at all and is disabled. Therefore, she is a private citizen. If it didn't come from her end, the Chief has some people who got into her personal emails. Ah, the plot thickens!
Kathleen Mitchell October 24, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Lest posters forget what got us to this point, this is the link to the Todd Lynch lawsuit vs. Police Chief Margaret Ackley and the City of New London. http://www.theday.com/assets/pdf/NL108458315.PDF
J. Scagnetti October 24, 2012 at 10:43 PM
Way to skirt around the question and then try to take the spotlight off yourself! Well played, you should consider a career in politics.
Carol D. Fox October 24, 2012 at 10:43 PM
@Kathleen: And the case has been transferred to Federal Court. I guess you must be best buds with the Lynch. And they probably served you with a gag order. As other posters have stated, the City would be better off without Todd Lynch.
Mark Greene October 24, 2012 at 11:58 PM
So...Chief Ackley violates the general duty manual and is given a reprimand by the Mayor and the 4 remaining Ackley supporters blame Kathleen? I'm not following the thought process. She said they did not learn about the existence of the emails from her. Apparently these rocket scientists never thought about the possibility of the State or Feds finding private emails on the City computer. Then requesting Kathleen's computer etc. I wouldn't be surprised if the Chief isn't behind these ridiculous comments. Of course nothing has ever been her fault, she is above the law and always has been. She even sent BACK a 3 page letter to the Mayor. She will never admit when she is wrong. The Patch should FOI it so the remaining 4 supporters will wake up. No, it's not Kathleen or Lynch's fault. It's the fault of an incompetent Chief that doesn't know any better.
Chip Smith October 25, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Pretty sure your spot on Mark. The Feds were snooping cause of the Mayor-Chief corruption and came across this. Private emails + a city computer= you're screwed. Oh, but its Lynch and Mitchells fault. HAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHa
Sue P. October 25, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Stephanie James October 25, 2012 at 03:40 AM
@Kathleen - you honestly want us to believe that you didn't give these e-mails to people to stir up trouble? Something you have always done in New London? That's a real laugh riot. I'm sure the feds just happened across your computer and happened to see the e-mails between you and ackley. Seems real likely.
Kathleen Mitchell October 25, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Carol, You're beginning to sound like a desperate woman-guessing at what you don't know to support your argument. "...best buds with the Lynch?" I never even met the guy until sometime after the news about the case broke and that was only once and for about five minutes. I don't even know if I could pick him out of a lineup. "As other posters have stated, the City would be better off without Todd Lynch?" There are far more posters here that are interested in the facts and implications of the situation than in the guesses, insults and rumors that you and "...the 4 remaining Ackley supporters..." (as Mark Greene said) are spreading. Further, there is no "...gag order." just a reluctance on my part to reveal any portion of an ongoing lawsuit that has not already been made public through another source. @ Mark Greene, A voice of reason. Keep going. You're getting close.
J. Scagnetti October 25, 2012 at 10:29 PM
And i'm saying they're all involved and they all have dirt on thier hands. I have no friendship or aquaintance to anyone involved just calling it how i see it...idiots.
Paul October 25, 2012 at 11:51 PM
The loser here with all this useless CRAP is once again the NL taxpayer...This is totally absurd that supposed adults can act like spoiled little piles of-------------- >you fill in the blank..This goes for both the pro/con Finizio/Ackley IDIOTS


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