UPDATED: Finizio Reappoints Police, Fire Chiefs [VIDEO]

Margaret Ackley and Ron Samul will stay on in new administration; law director and top clerks will depart

Describing both as dedicated leaders in their departments, Mayor-elect Daryl Finizio announced today that Police Chief Margaret Ackley and Fire Chief Ron Samul have agreed to stay on in his administration.

At the formal event outside the , Finizio said he had made public safety one of the top priorities in his campaign and spoke to both Ackley and Samul after his election about what their roles would be in the new form of government. He said the chiefs will take an instrumental role in helping the city to prepare for OpSail 2012 and other events.

Both Ackley and Samul rose through the ranks of the New London departments to reach their positions. Samul has been with the fire department since 1970, and became chief in December of 1986.

“I’m very pleased that such a dedicated and experienced servant of the people of the city of New London will be remaining in his current capacity,” said Finizio.

"I look forward to working in the new government," said Samul. "I look forward to continuing the high level of services."

Ackley joined the in 1986 and became chief in June of 2009.

“I made it very clear throughout the campaign that I supported her policies and her leadership and would seek to retain her if elected,” said Finizio.

Ackley said she looked forward to taking a “team approach to the new city government.”

No comment on allegations

The appointment negates a retirement agreement between Ackley and the city, which would have gone into effect on Jan. 2. The agreement included a clause allowing Ackley to rescind it after the election.

In August, Ackley of unethical behavior and said this had led to her decision to retire. Buscetto denied the allegations, saying they were politically motivated. Buscetto, who to Finizio, also lost a write-in bid in the .

On Wednesday, Ackley which said he acted unethically in refusing to recuse himself from discussions regarding her complaints. These included accusations of harassment, a hostile work environment, and gender discrimination.

Finizio declined comment on these issues.

“Since some of those matters have not been resolved, I’ve asked the chief not to comment on them and I will not comment on them either,” he said.

Finizio also said a complaint by the New London Police Union about Ackley’s leadership occurred in the run-up to the election. He said the union has not officially taken a vote of no confidence in Ackley, and that he is confident in her abilities.

Three vacancies

Finizio has said administrative heads must reapply for their positions, and has posted a number of these positions on his . He said the city’s current law director, Thomas Londregan, agreed to step down by mutual agreement.

“We were looking for some new energy in that office, some new ideas,” he said.

Finizio said the law director’s role is changing under the new form of government. He or she must be an attorney with five years’ experience, and the mayor’s choice must be confirmed by the City Council. The mayor may dismiss the law director at will, however.

Michael Tranchida and Deputy Clerk Dawn Quinn will also step down, effective Dec. 2. Finizio said both were eligible for retirement.

“It’s just a sense that that office would benefit from some new perspectives,” he said.

Finizio and other newly elected officials will take office on Dec. 5. Besides the chiefs, he has named members of a and appointed as his chief administrative officer. Finizio said no new appointments will be made until after the Thanksgiving holiday.

--Robert November 20, 2011 at 11:03 PM
It's ridiculous to play a numbers game and try to second-guess the election. The arguments after-the-fact are trying to make an issue where there was not any. Mr Finizio was the clear winner of the election. It was decided overwhelmingly in his favor. No, he did not receive a majority of votes. Neither did anyone else obviously. The "majority" of people who didn't vote- guess what? They don't count. They probably don't exist. New London has a long history of short-term residents as well as student and military populations. Many of these people register here and only vote one time, or maybe never. I would expect that half the names on the voter lists are no longer residents here. Frankly, if you live in NL and are registered here, and DID NOT vote in this election, you are either comatose or so apathetic that you should be removed from the voter list. So I think the 4700-odd people who voted make up the majority of living, resident, registered voters here. If this isn't true, I'd love to know that because of course it's hard to prove. Whatever negative you wish to say about Mr Finizio applies doubly to the other contenders. Nearly twice as many people cast a vote for Finizio as for either Mr Pero or Buscetto, and in any other place, that would be seen as a clear mandate for change. Here, it always seems that the same negative voices attack and attack without addressing real issues. Positive change is coming to New London, like it or not!
Alan Green, Jr. November 20, 2011 at 11:05 PM
Yes, Sara, again, well said! You are a true delight! BTW, at the post-inaguration party, I'm looking forward to buying anyone who hits me up for one a shot of the Koolaid. I've heard it does a pretty good job of washing away the taste of those sour grapes. :D
Ken November 21, 2011 at 12:13 AM
Kenneth R. Lewis, Interesting logic! Just one problem, though---it goes double for Buscetto, Pero or any other candiate. Of course, we can add to that problem with the assumptions you make. The rolls of registered voters is never very accurate for the reasons that Robert outlined. So, really, the most information you can glean from from the data is the rank of the candidates based on the vote. Finizio won by a wide margin of votes. It is pointless to argue about it. In fact, the only ones still arguing are those attempting to influence the next elections by sabotaging Finizio's term in office, or trolls who get their jollies by stirring up the pot.
John Yannacci, Sr. November 21, 2011 at 02:04 PM
Alan Green, Jr., "...we can throw out the results of the election and declare ourselves communist, how's that?" That's what you guys wanted to do with the Riverside Park vote before the recount.
Alan Green, Jr. November 21, 2011 at 02:56 PM
John - That is a complete fabrication, untrue, a real stretch, whatever you want to call it. Mr. Finizio never called for the election results to be thrown out. Pure fantasy... A distortion of the truth... It's over. The park will remain New London's. Maybe there's some other property we can steal from our residents for quick fiscal fixes?
John Yannacci, Sr. November 21, 2011 at 04:49 PM
Finizio said, that he decided the city is not selling regardless of the referendum results. Where it my comment a complete fabrication, untrue, a real stretch?
Alan Green, Jr. November 21, 2011 at 05:08 PM
John - can you share the quote you're citing? I don't recall him saying that. I don't think you'll find him saying it's what HE decided anywhere. So, if you can show me where he said 'I decided', I'll eat crow. Til then, it seems like fabrication to me.
Jim November 21, 2011 at 05:46 PM
Ken,I owe you an apolgy. My 9:13 post was not aimed at you. It was meant for Kenneth R Lewis. I totally agree with your post...Sorry for the confusion
John Yannacci, Sr. November 21, 2011 at 10:26 PM
Alan Green, Jr. If you have a problem with this, http://www.theday.com/article/20111116/OP01/311169979/1070/ENT04/NL-mayor-elect-wrong-to-ignore-park-vote take it up with the editors of The Day.
Alan Green, Jr. November 21, 2011 at 10:50 PM
The Day Editorial: "Mr. Finizio, who strongly opposed the sale of park land during the campaign, has decided the city is not selling regardless of the referendum results." This was not Mr. Finizio saying that he himself had decided. This was The Day's OPINION. It was not published as a news article. It was an editorial writer's opinion of what he'd said. You'll see the column goes on to say... (Finizio quoting the expired agreement) "Not withstanding the foregoing, in no event shall the closing extend beyond November 14, 2011." That voids the deal, Mr. Finizio said at a noon news conference at Riverside. (end quote of Day) So as you see, there's a key word here: THAT. It wasn't Mr. Finizio saying "I" void the deal. It was 'THAT' voided the deal. That fact that the deal was actually expired. Add to that the consideration later observed by others that the city would have had to come up with some replacement property if it were to sell, and, well, these were the circumstances that private citizen, Daryl Finizio, was referencing. He hadn't 'decided' anything. It was (pun intended) a 'done deal'. I don't think one can or should accept editorial as fact. It's interpretation. The way I see it, Mr. Finizio merely stated a reality - not of his creation - that meant the deal itself was null and void, which made the referendum results moot. HE didn't declare the results moot. I'm no lawyer, but seems obvious to me. Sorry you don't see it that way.
John Yannacci, Sr. November 21, 2011 at 11:31 PM
Usually the Democrats wait until their guy has been in office before starting their revisionist history. Finizio stated that he would not abide by the voters' wishes. He also implied discrimination against older folks. Heck, I don't live in New London, so I really don't care all that much. You folks will get what you asked for. There will though, be a lot of people who will wish they had come out to vote.
Thomas Cornick November 22, 2011 at 12:21 AM
Like you I have zero sympathy for the folks who could not get off their butts and out to the polls. In some countries they fine people for not voting which may have some merit if it were law here. I think of the choices we were given we got the best man for the job, if not then we got one who is at least qualified for it. As for the voters wishes ? vote all you want, the contract had expired. Nice to see someone actually read the fine print. Nice job on the wine press .
Ken November 22, 2011 at 12:22 AM
Conventional people are roused to fury by departures from convention, largely because they regard such departures as a criticism of themselves. ... Where the environment is stupid or prejudiced or cruel, it is a sign of merit to be out of harmony with it. … Galileo and Kepler had “dangerous thoughts” … and so have the most intelligent men of our day. ---Bertrand Russell, 1930
Bob Stuller November 22, 2011 at 01:06 AM
@Alan: If you don't mind, I'd like to elaborate upon the reality of the contract. You were absolutely right as far as you went. There is a bit more in there for folks that believe in "rule of the law." Mr. Finizio stated, and was backed up by Attorney Londregan, that the contract had expired through "operation of the law." It might be reasonable to ask why the recipient of the letter, Mayor Olsen, didn't think to question its basic tenet –that contracts can be changed unilaterally– before assuming that it had the force of law. Or, possibly, he also believed that "in no event" is not open to interpretation. Then there is the other nail in the contract's coffin. Most who read the contract have to cross-reference the part about complying with Connecticut General Statute Section 7-131n. Easily found on the State's website, it clearly states, "[S]uch municipality shall provide comparable replacement land at least equal in value and per unit area size to the value and per unit area size of the land taken" Most proponents of the sale wanted to gloss over this requirement for replacement open space but that is not the way that the law and contracts work.
Alan Green, Jr. November 22, 2011 at 02:12 PM
Thanks, Bob! I'm glad some people are up on the law - including our new Mayor! We'll be well served I know! I hope you're involved somehow in the new New London!
John Yannacci, Sr. November 22, 2011 at 02:42 PM
If you want a copy of the plans for the wine press, I can send them to you. They're on Adobe Acrobat. It was a lot of fun to make.
Randy Drummond November 22, 2011 at 03:12 PM
OMG How fitting from the supporters of Mr. Finizio to come out and state that that the people that did not vote do not count. That is a statement of uniting the city and including every neighborhood and every citizen for equal representation under the FInizio administration. Is equality just for a select few and the young people in the world of Finizio and his supporters. The division of New London as a community is being crafted and implemented by Finizio and his supporters. And you all do this under the umbrella that you call "Positive Change". The members of a protected class discriminating against so many others based on their age, if they voted or not is so wrong and hypocritical. You all shall get what you deserve on judjement day when you stand before god to answer for all your sins.
Barbara Crocker November 22, 2011 at 03:36 PM
@Randy, What????
Thomas Cornick November 22, 2011 at 04:01 PM
When you next return to reality what you will discover is that those who did not vote were not counted. This is in effect a ballot cast for I don't care.
Randy Drummond November 22, 2011 at 04:03 PM
@ Barbara, Read it again Barbara you seem like an intelligent woman. The Finizio supporters are stating that the 8,068 registered voters that did not vote do not count! What about all those citizens that are not registered to vote, do they count? Hmmm that seems like a gesture of unity for the people of the city for positive change. The reality is that the core group of supporters for Finizio are the most prejudiced people to comment in these pages. The attacks against the director of law because of his age, it goes on and on. When hard facts are pointed out the supporters change direction and attack something else. Like children in the school yard bullying the other smaller or weaker kids. Open your mind just a bit Barbara. On judgement day we will all have to answer to god for sins we have participated in or done ourselves. Unless you do not believe in god, if you are right in that belief then all is well, if you are wrong in that belief you will pay the price. A pricey bet on the roullette wheel of life.
Sara Florek November 22, 2011 at 04:23 PM
@Randy, I do not think FInizio supporters said they "do not count" as individuals. That is taken way out of context. However, you can't count ghost voters in the tally. I, as a Finizio supporter, do not attack, and have pointed out to many supporters of other campaigns that their attacks on these blogs are disrespectful. I hope that more of these non voters, will chose to vote once they see our city move in a positive direction! This election brought out more voters than in previous years, and that to me seems like a step in the right direction! Again, the campaigning stage is over, the election is over. Time for New London to pull up it's boot straps and support our elected mayor!
Randy Drummond November 22, 2011 at 10:26 PM
Sara Florek November 22, 2011 at 11:29 PM
I am glad we agree on pulling together, if only that. However, when it comes to an election and you don't vote, your vote can't count. It's pretty simple. Similar to if a tree falls in the woods and no one is around does it make a sound? I do think before I speak. However, I do not find that comment of yours necessary or productive.
Randy Drummond November 22, 2011 at 11:48 PM
That was a collective you, not a specific (SARA) you about the thinking before you speak. Afterall you did not make the age or does not count comment.
Jim November 23, 2011 at 01:00 AM
Its time to let this thread DIE...It has gone far beyond anything useful or meaningful. New London will prosper inspite of all the nay-sayers...
Bob Stuller November 23, 2011 at 01:13 AM
@George: Right you are. As Murray the Eye used to say, "The town too tough to die!" Everyone: Go out and catch some art, music or good food –or just go for a walk– in this vibrant & whacky place. You won't be sorry!
Sara Florek November 23, 2011 at 01:17 AM
Thanks Randy! And Bob and George I agree. Happy Thanksgiving all!
Alan Green, Jr. November 23, 2011 at 01:34 AM
And neither did Mr. Finizio or any of his supporters make such statements. These are fabricated issues. Come to the swearing in and listen to our New Mayor speak. If, after hearing him with fresh ears, you still feel disenfranchised and under appreciated, please let us know.
Alan Green, Jr. November 23, 2011 at 01:35 AM
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!
Kathy Tinoco January 06, 2012 at 04:05 AM
YES Sara, you go girl. Thank you for standing up for OUR MAYOR. I too am sick of hearing the negative remarks from outsiders, ( meaning those who are not New Londoners ), and those who are simply pouting because the person they wanted lost. We need and have begun changing our City. It's time for those to support our Mayor and help to build our city/town something to be PROUD of. Thank you again Sara


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