Tuesday, just a day after the Clarkstown board added an additional 15 charges to the seven previously filed against him, suspended Clarkstown Chief of Police, Michael Sullivan brought a lawsuit against the town board claiming that since his election as Clarkstown Supervisor, George Hoehmann and board members Frank Borelli and John J. Noto have worked in concert to “publicly humiliate and marginalize” him.
The suit claims Hoehmann and the board acting as a “non-existent board of police commissioners” is working to “usurp the powers invested” in him as chief executive officer of the Clarkstown Police Department and is designed to force his retirement from the department. Sullivan, a 33-year veteran with an unblemished career in law enforcement is in “excellent health”, enjoys his work, his community and hasn’t considered early retirement, the suit contends. The suit claims that as a permanent civil service appointee with no intention of retiring, the board has “embarked on a scheme to force (his) departure through charges of misconduct to justify his dismissal under the Rockland County Police Act.”
In response to the suit, William Harrington, the special prosecutor representing the board stated, “Chief Sullivan’s state lawsuit has no merit. However, having commenced this proceeding, Chief Sullivan has finally, albeit unwittingly, allowed the public disclosure of the unconstitutional manner in which the Police Department has operated under his command.” There will be an initial hearing on the lawsuit Friday.