The Republican Town Committee considered a suggestion to demand the resignation of Police Chief Margaret Ackley, but decided not to proceed pending an investigation into the issue.
The item was part of the RTC’s monthly meeting agenda on Tuesday. Chairman Bill Vogel said it was included before he was aware that the City Council was proceeding with a to investigate Ackley.
Lynch made the request last month, accusing Ackley of attempting to undermine union leadership. Lynch specifically referenced Ackley’s e-mails to resident Kathleen Mitchell recommending that she request personnel files on Lynch and other union members. The matter was referred to the Administration Committee, which held on Monday.
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Vogel said he felt Ackley had taken a “very inappropriate approach” in her relationship with the union. He was also critical of Ackley’s leadership in the , saying several police officers have departed for other communities.
“The police department has just about crumbled under her approach,” said Vogel. “Several department heads have left. Granted, the mayor has contributed to that, but she didn’t have to go along with it.”
Other members of the committee were reluctant to ask for Ackley’s resignation before the investigation proceeds. K. Robert Lewis, who chairs the Board of Ethics, said the New London Police Union reported on its website that some officers have filed ethics complaints against Ackley. However, he said it would be unfair to her if the RTC took a position on her leadership.
“We’re asking someone to pretty much go out into public and declare themselves guilty as charged,” he said.
Dr. George Sprecace said he would support having the City Council investigate Ackley and take any action they thought appropriate, but that he would not support a call for her to step down.
“I would be against this action without giving Chief Ackley an opportunity to explain herself in public,” he said.
Councilor Adam Sprecace said that in addition to the Administration Committee investigation, Lynch has with similar allegations.
“I think this has to play out,” he said. “There’s a lot of moving pieces to this.”
Ackley joined the New London Police Department in 1986 and became chief in June of 2009. Mayor Daryl Finizio on Nov. 18.