Mayor Daryl Finizio said more changes are expected for the administration of the , with a preliminary agreement for several managerial employees to retire.
Police Chief Margaret Ackley, whose reappointment was made official with a new three-year contract, will receive payment for a significant number of compensatory hours accrued during her time at the department.
Finizio said at a press conference at that the agreement has not been finalized and that an announcement on any such retirements would be held at a later date. The news follows an announcement that Finizio decided against renewing the contract of Deputy Chief Marshall Segar, which expires on Saturday; today was Segar’s last working day. Finizio’s reappointment of Police Chief Margaret Ackley was made official today with a new contract.
Chief’s allegations remain private
The announcement comes one day after a City Council request to receive a report on Ackley’s allegations of unethical behavior in the police department. The details of the accusations have not been revealed, but Ackley’s attorney said they provide the basis for a lawsuit against the city charging . Ackley also publicly —a former city councilor and mayoral candidate—of unethical behavior, a charge he said was politically motivated.
Finizio said Beverly Hodgson, who was , was appointed by former Law Director Thomas Londregan rather than the council. He said he has had at least three conversations with Council President Michael Passero on the issue as well as Councilor John Maynard.
Finizio said Ackley has no pending litigation against the city. He said discussions of potential litigation and settlement have been taking place.
“Many cases, almost half of cases, are settled before a case is filed,” he said.
Finizio said these discussions fall under attorney-client privilege and cannot be made public unless there is a resolution and the attorneys agree to disclose the information as part of the settlement. He said the issue is made more complex due to City Charter changes since Ackley’s accusations, and said he is considers that “the issues that were raised were ancillary to the chief’s performance.”
“I am not approaching a situation like this with political consideration,” said Finizio.
The new contract approved for Ackley carries her employment through to the end of 2015. It also increases her salary from $107,500 to $110,725.
Under a retirement agreement initially approved for Ackley, the police chief was to receive a number of benefits in exchange for waiving approximately $199,508.14 for 2,000 hours of compensatory time earned above her 40-hour work week. The contract states that the city will give Ackley a separate paycheck through June to pay wages equivalent to 1,196 hours of the compensatory time, with the remaining hours available as time off. Any remaining hours available at the end of her employment will not be paid.
The contract also includes 190 hours of vacation time; 40 hours of holiday time; medical, dental, and life insurance; and a city vehicle. Ackley may continue to receive single member medical benefits paid by the city upon her retirement, and the city will pay her supplemental Medicare insurance at no cost when she is eligible.
Ackley is required to be a New London resident. The contract may be terminated upon her death or disability, by mutual agreement with the mayor, for just cause, or upon retirement.
Ackley has been a member of the New London Police Department since 1986 and chief since 2009. Finizio after becoming mayor in November’s election.
Deputy chief and union reaction
Finizio said Segar had a one-year, non-renewable contract that was set to expire on Saturday. Finizio said he has made a number of changes in administrative positions and that his decision was not motivated by Segar’s performance or Ackley’s accusations. The deputy chief's position will not be eliminated.
“I would like to thank Deputy Chief Segar for his years of service to the City of New London and wish him well in all his future endeavors,” Finizio said in a press release.
The New London Police Union was critical of the decision on its website, describing Segar as a 20-year veteran who had been “blindsided.” The site also says union president Todd Lynch will be meeting with Finizio on Monday to discuss union accusations that Ackley is not releasing personnel files for officers leaving the department.
Original breaking news story:
Mayor Daryl Finizio has officially renewed the police chief's contract while declining to renew the contract of the deputy chief.
Finizio announced today that Police Chief Margaret Ackley has signed a new contract with the city. He also said that he has chosen not to renew the contract of Deputy Chief Marshall Segar, which expires on Saturday. Today is Segar's last working day.
"I would like to thank Chief Margaret Ackley for agreeing to stay and look forward to working with her in the years ahead," Finizio said in a press release issued through his executive assistant, Zak Leavy. He added, "I would like to thank Deputy Chief Segar for his years of service to the city of New London and wish him well in all his future endeavors."
The new contract confirms Ackley's decision to stay on as chief after Finizio . Ackley, who has been with since 1986 and chief since 2009, had negotiated a retirement agreement which would have gone into effect on Monday but allowed periods of time to opt out.
Ackley's retirement agreement was made public on the same day that she accused then City Councilor and mayoral candidate Michael Buscetto III of . Law Director Jeffrey Londregan said at Tuesday's City Council meeting that Ackley's accusations, including complaints about a hostile workplace and gender discrimination, have been investigated by a judge and that Finizio has received that report. The City Council has not yet received the findings, but made a formal motion to request them from the mayor's office at Tuesday's meeting.
Finizio will be holding press availability at 4 p.m. at City Hall. More information will be posted this evening.