Thursday, March 5, 2009
The Court Report
By Richard Blassberg
Harrison Town Board Sitting As Police
Commissioners Suspend 3 Police Officers
As Rightly Recommended By Chief Hall
Town Code Enforcer Also Suspended After Second Executive Session
Last Thursday evening, the Harrison Town Board, meeting as Town Police Commissioners, went quickly into executive session accompanied
by Police Chief David Hall to discuss and deliberate a personnel matter involving three veteran Harrison Police Officers ranging in service
with the Department from seven to seventeen years; Detectives Richard Light and Frank Massaro, and Police Officer Mike DiLauria, all accused of inappropriate conduct involving use of the Internet.
It had been brought to the attention of Supervisor Joan Walsh, 74, that she had become the object of inappropriate and insubordinate sexual and personal observations, dialogue and ridicule, on the pages of Facebook.com. At the same site, President Barack Obama was ridiculed
with racist humor. It should be noted Detective Light is also a defendant in a federal lawsuit filed nine months ago by a Harrison teen who accused him of sexually abusing her.
After more than an hour submerged in executive session, during which time some 40 residents and spectators, including a dozen or so past
and present Harrison police officers, had joined the crowd together with reporters from local, as well as most major New York television stations, the police commissioners emerged and announced the outcome of their deliberations.
Supervisor Walsh declared, “The Police Chief has recommended that we suspend three police officers, effective immediately. He will
be conducting an investigation and reporting to the Board.”
Supervisor Walsh, attempting to avoid a dialogue with reporters concerning a personnel matter, nonetheless acknowledged that she was
upset with having been targeted on the Internet.
Following the announcement of the officers’ suspensions, Chief Hall left the courtroom and took questions from reporters in the lobby of Town Hall. Hall declared, “I expect my of-ficers to act the way I act. I don’t use that kind of language. It’s intolerable.”
He then proceeded to answer several questions. When asked by this reporter, “Chief, might it be in the best interest of the Department if you bring in an independent investigator,” Hall, who appeared disappointed and disgusted with the actions of the accused officers, responded, “That might be necessary.”