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.