9 county legislators sign statement calling for Clarkstown Police Chief Michael Sullivan to be reinstated

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COUNTY PRESS RELEASE

Nine Democratic members of the Rockland County Legislature today signed a Statement of Support for Clarkstown Police Chief Michael Sullivan claiming his suspension is unwarranted and that he should be reinstated.

Legislator Harriet Cornell (D-West Nyack) informed board members and the public that she intended to write a message of support at the Aug. 2 Legislature meeting. A resolution introduced by Cornell and Legislators Ilan Schoenberger (D-Wesley Hills) and Alden H. Wolfe (D-Montebello) is on the Aug. 30 agenda of the Public Safety Committee.

In the statement, which has bipartisan support and is signed by 11 of the board’s 17 members, Legislators write:

“A directive was given to Chief Sullivan by George Hoehmann, Town of Clarkstown Supervisor, to reassign another officer in the Clarkstown P.D. Chief Sullivan did what was requested after following procedure and meeting with the Town Board. Chief Sullivan has committed no wrongdoing and has done nothing that constitutes action unbecoming to an officer. The suspension is unwarranted. He should be reinstated.”

The statement also notes that while there is no Rockland County Police Department, the law enforcement community in Rockland has banded together over the years and with the County Sheriff’s Department, collaborates in many ways that ensure ever-more effective policing.

“All County Legislators and County employees working in New City, the County Seat within the Town of Clarkstown, are both grateful and proud of the safety provided by the County Sheriff and the Clarkstown P.D. We feel a responsibility now to speak on behalf of Chief Sullivan.”

The Statement of Support concludes:

“Given the anger, suspicion and hostility that has affected relationships between police and communities in various locations throughout the United States, we are immensely grateful for the leadership of Police Chief Michael Sullivan in our County of Rockland and deplore this unnecessary and very divisive action taken by the Town Board of Clarkstown which will continue to inflame our community until the suspension is rescinded.”

Signees included all Democratic legislators except Nancy Low-Hogan of District 17. No Republicans joined the statement: Patrick Moroney of District 15.

Note – An earlier version of this press release included Republicans Doug Jobson, Jr. and Pat Moroney as signees of the letter. This was a mistake on the part of the Legislature.

Jobson, Jr. clarified that while he has a high opinion of Sullivan, he does not want to stick his nose into Clarkstown’s business. Moroney likewise said he intended to sign a letter expressing his general high opinion of Mr. Sullivan but did not like the wording of the letter, which criticized the town board harshly and was intrusive toward another governing body’s business. 

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