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Lt. Kiernan's Fate Will Go Before Hearing Officer

Southampton Town Board appoints disciplinary hearing officer.

Southampton Town Police Lt. James Kiernan's suspension is headed to arbitration, after the Town Board appointed a disciplinary hearing officer Tuesday.

Passed 5-0, the resolution appointing Roger Maher as arbitrator states that Kiernan, whose been , requested a hearing to challenge the disciplinary charged leveled against him by Chief William Wilson. Kiernan has a right to a hearing under the collective bargaining agreement between the town and the Superior Officers Association, the union for the Police Department's top brass.

Under former Chief James Overton, Kiernan, a sergeant at the time, was the commanding officer of the Police Department's now-defunct street crimes unit, which, along with the handling of internal police records, is the subject of an investigation by Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota’s Government Corruption Bureau.

As a result of the DA's inquiry into the unit, drug charges against two prisoners were . One of the now-free men is .

Although the town has not explicitly and publicly stated reasons for Kiernan's suspension, an officer under Kiernan's command was reportedly addicted to drugs.

Wilson has said the street crimes unit lacked oversight and .

At arbitration, the town could seek a longer suspension or, potentially, termination. 

Kiernan became a police officer in 1997 and was promoted to sergeant in 2005. He was on Oct. 11, 2011.

Jim June 14, 2012 at 07:11 PM
I cant fault thean for trying to help a fellow officer. Maybe he cant make the tough decisions and should be demoted back to sgt but i dont thonk he should fired. I have lived here 25 uears and have only been pulled over once when ran a stop sign maybe the guy who calls them barney fife should slow down and use his turn signal.
KRUSH June 18, 2012 at 12:55 PM
WHAT ARE THE CHARGES AGAINST THIS OFFICER? - WHY IS THE PUBLIC KEPT IN THE DARK - OUR TAXES PAY THESE OFFICERS SALARIES (SOME FEEL EXCESSIVE SALARIES AND BENEFITS) - OUR TAXES WILL PAY TO DEFEND THE TOWN AGAINST LAWSUITS (AND MAY WELL PAY OUT A SETTLEMENT) - WHY ARE WE NOT PROPERLY INFORMED? - WHAT WAS OVERTONS INVOLVEMENT IN THIS SITUATION (THE PAST ARROGANT AND EMBARRESSING CHIEF OF POLICE)
Eastender12 June 23, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Possibly he can not make tough decisions...but if you are incapable of being a superior officer and fail to do your job why should you just be demoted...you are incapable of meeting the requirements of being a police officer at any rank if you are not upholding the law.
Eastender12 June 23, 2012 at 05:53 PM
I agree that Southampton police department is over-paid. It is one of the highest paid forces in this country; but not the most dangerous area to patrol. What would you like a personal phone call from the DA to explain exactly what is being investigated? When a situation is being investigated...does the agency doing the investigating show it's hand?? Hold your fire there....the truth will eventually come to light. If the officer is not in the wrong, charges will be dismissed and he will be compensated for time off...if he is in the wrong..oh well!! Something must definitely be wrong otherwise the two convicted would not have been released from jail and the town would not be looking at yet another lawsuit because of F Troop!
Eastender12 June 23, 2012 at 05:54 PM
held responsible for??? his superior officer's lack of performing his job??

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