New London Police Union Asks City Council For Investigation Of Ackley

Union president accuses police chief of violation of duty manual and ordinances

Accusing her of a “systematic campaign…to retaliate against and undermine the leadership of the union and intimidate union members,” the president of the New London Police Union has asked the City Council to investigate Chief Margaret Ackley.

Todd Lynch, president of the union, said in an Aug. 14 letter to Council President Michael Passero that Ackley has violated the duty manual as well as associated rules and regulations and city ordinances. Lynch asked that the investigation make its findings public and take any appropriate action on the determination.

The council voted unanimously on Tuesday to send the request to the Administration Committee for further discussion. Councilor Anthony Nolan, a police officer, recused himself from the vote.

Lynch said the union based this request on e-mails from Ackley to resident Kathleen Mitchell. In these messages, Ackley advised Mitchell to request personnel and disciplinary files on Lynch; Officer Charles Flynn, the union’s political director; Master Patrol Officer Roger Baker; Officer Cornelius Rodgers; and Officer Joshua Bergeson, who was in January.

Lynch also mentions the e-mails in a , which accuses her of acting against him in a retaliatory manner due to past disagreements with her. He said in the letter to Passero that residents may request disclosure of such materials under the Freedom of Information Act, but that he considered Ackley violated ordinances by:

  • Seeking to “embarrass, humiliate, harass, and retaliate against the aforementioned officers.”
  • Disclosing information under “morally questionable” circumstances while “many of the allegations are simply untrue.”
  • Citing officers who “were active in union activity and appear to be targeted for reasons that are not fair or impartial.”
  • Encouraging Mitchell to file FOI requests in an attempt “to influence employees not to participate in protected union activity.”
  • Using city equipment and time to send e-mails that were not official city business.
  • Using municipal equipment of facilities in an improper way.

“It is our belief that due to the sensitivity and possible conflicts of the allegations made herein, that the city should utilize an impartial investigator to conduct the investigation and issue its findings,” said Lynch. “As you are aware, Chief Ackley is the subject of multiple complaints by police department members and the union, and the union believes that it is incumbent upon the city through the City Council to complete a full investigation of the claims made against Chief Ackley in order to ensure the public safety of the citizens of New London.”

Lynch said a similar request was made to Finizio and the union was told that an investigation has been requested. However, he said the union is concerned that an investigation ordered by the mayor could be “insufficient.” Lynch said the union has not been informed of whether any investigation has started and that members are concerned that it could be too limited in scope and that an investigation by municipal officials or employees could be influenced by “conscious or unconscious biases.”

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Get Real September 08, 2012 at 10:32 AM
Some interesting points... Ever look at the education level of some of those that are working in municipal jobs? Ever work the hours that a lot of the municipal workers do? Probably not. That is why it is easy to make those comments. I bet you are a private worker. That is why you would make those comments. No fault of your own. Look at the police and fire. Average fireman cannot do the job when they hit their fifts. Yet, they have to continue to. Average policeman in a city like New London, if they can make it that long, would retire and have to continue to work. All city workers would retire at close to poverty levels. And for what? The fact is, the money contributed to the pensions is partially paid by the employee and the city. That is the way the system works. If private sector employees are upset with the money they earn and have to contribute one hundered percent to their own retirement, then they should make the same deals and make less money like a municipal employee, have the employer contribute to their retirement as well, work all different hours of the day, in all weather, and risk their lives as well. Maybe then they will have a right to complain. Just a thought.
Greg Bryant September 08, 2012 at 11:09 AM
The issues in the city are too numerous to be solved overnight. Yes the city unions have very lucrative contracts, fact is that the city administration negotiated these contracts with the unions. No one just decided we want this and you have to give it to us. The exception to that is the most recent deal with the New London Fire Fighters by Daryl. When Daryl made this deal he knew the financial status of the city and made a deal that would require $4,000,000.00 in new bonding to cover it. Yet he makes a plea for higher taxes saying he has become fically responsible. When did he do that? What did happen was Mr. Mike Passero was bought and paid for with bonded taxpayer money. Notice the changes in the votes of Mr. Passero since Daryl got him an extra $30,000.00 a year in his pension. Yes Passero is bought and paid for as are the rest of the union fire fighters. Bought and paid for with our money. They should be supporting us not Daryl. How do we save money with the unions? Look at all the fat and out of shape city employees, police, fire, public works department. We need a maintanance of physical standards clause in the union contracts. The employees need to be able to pass the same physical agility test that they took to get the job semi-annually or they are no longer city employees. Want to clear the ranks of older high paid emplyees and keep the ones that can do their jobs. This is the way to accomplish that. That is the next executive order that Daryl should sign.
Alphonse DeLachance September 08, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Greg, Mr. Passero has clearly shifted his focus away from the best interest of the people of New London and to the following of Daryl. Remember that a big part of this is that under the two agreements with the Police and Fire Unions. Councilor Passero and Councilor Nolan are bound to speak only in favor of the budget and the referendum. Their individualism and their personal convictions have been bargained away. Nolan got nothing for his soul, Passero got a doubling of his annual pension payments when he retires. Good deal for selling your soul to the Daryl. You deal with the Daryl you get the horns. Passero has proven to be a great disappointment and a sellout. Mr. Passero has no integrity in this city any longer. Nolan and Passero should resign from the council. How can either one of them act fiscally responsible for the citizens when they are bound by their employment contract to support the current budget no matter what?
Sue P. September 08, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Oh Boy Mr. DeLachance you hit the nail right on the head. What you just wrote is so true and eye opening. It seems politics as usual in New London doubled. I honestly feel foolish for standing up for the Fire fighters because I thought they were going to lose their jobs. When all is said and done all they did was stab the tax payer in the back to get what they want. Now that I think about it if Daryl did lay off all the people he said he was going to, half of Waterford would be jobless.
Daniella Ruiz September 13, 2012 at 01:59 PM
9:56 am on Thursday, September 13, 2012 i will not miss this opportunity to comment on the size of some belly's attached to a few of those 'peace officers. perhaps they are special operations officers that handle the arrest and detention of sumo wrestlers?. seriously, can they and other like employees really be consider 'fit and ready' to perform? unions may protect basic employment rights, yet they protect members that fail to perform fully and who also present opportunity for health disability claims in the future, early retirement benefits and thus, extra expense to find, recruit, train and initiate new officers to replace them. what many outside the 'business of govt' fail to grasp, is the long term costs they are forced to bear (as taxes) from these seemingly personal issues within the 'union protectorate'. obesity may be protected under some frivolous civil rights protection, but obesity doesn't protect the good of the common people paying for it.


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