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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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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