NEW LONDON--A political, and public safety, mess is brewing in New London.
The city's council voted to approve a $20,000 investigation into Police Chief Margaret Ackley, who was suspended with pay in July for misconduct.
The city's mayor, Daryl Finizio, requested the money for the investigation. He is also the person who suspended Ackley in the first place.
It is said that there is a feud between Finizio and Ackley since he accused her of unfairly disciplining police union members, withholding public safety information about the annual sailfest in town, and failing to assign police officers to patrol Ocean Beach Park on July 4.
In turn, Ackley filed a lawsuit against the city, which is still pending.
The $20,000, which will come from taxpayer money, is to hire Manchester-based attorney Kathleen Edlergill, who will head up an independent investigation into Ackley.
While five council members voted in favor of the investigation, saying they just want the situation dealt with so everyone can move on, one council member voted against funding the investigation. "He's been sitting on this for six damn months," Councilman Martin Olsen said. "That's outrageous. Outrageous. It just boggles my mind. I haven't been this angry, sitting in these quarters, ever."
Finizio thinks the money is well worth it; he says that dealing with this now in a proper manner can prevent financial liability down the line. "Those liabilities could stretch into the millions," Finizio said. "So whatever the cost of getting it right, we want to make sure we get it right."
Ackley's attorney says the suspension was payback for the lawsuit she field against finizio and the city. Meanwhile, since her suspension in July, Ackley is still being paid her annual $110,000 salary, and she also started taking college classes on the city's dime.