Clarkstown Police Chief Michael Sullivan Suspended

Clarkstown officials suspended Police Chief Michael Sullivan on Wednesday, but remained mum on the reasons.

Capt. Robert Mahon will take over the helm of the county’s largest police department for now.

Supervisor George Hoehmann and Sullivan have been at odds, especially after Sullivan publicly questioned the decision to hire a firm to study his $50 million police department with an eye toward making financial savings.

Sullivan said the upstate firm hired by the town lacked the experience for the job, leading Hoehmann to say Sullivan’s remarks were “defensive” and that they demonstrated why such a review is needed.

Sullivan said Hoehmann and the Town Board excluded him from the vetting process that culminated in the selection of the Bonadio Group for the 90-day study.

The Pittsford, New York-based company will be paid up to $98,500.

The department — with 162 officers and 24 civilian employees  makes up a hefty 34 percent of the town’s budget.

Average pay, which includes salary and overtime, was $166,719 a year for uniformed officers in 2015, according to the Empire Center for New York State Policy.

Sullivan’s annual salary in 2015 was $272,037, according to SeeThroughNY.

Hoehmann’s chief of staff, Vincent Balascio, said the Republican-controlled Town Board voted for the chief’s suspension, which took effect today.

The Town Board unanimously decided to suspend Sullivan.

Balascio said that charges were presented to Sullivan on Wednesday.

Sullivan will continue to be paid at this time, until charges are drawn up and disciplinary proceedings are held.

Sullivan has been with the department for 29 years with the last five years as chief.

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