The First Shoe...

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The First Shoe...

...of perhaps three, has dropped as the West­hampton Beach Village Board met in Special Session today and unanimously accepted Dis­ciplinary Hearing Officer Stephen Bluth's rec­ommendation regarding a solitary charge of making a false statement heard against Police Officer Joseph Pesapane.

The brief resolution read:

Authorize action on a Hearing Officer's report with regard to a disciplinary issue

resolved, that the Board of Trustees of the Village of Westhampton Beach hereby accepts in its entirety the opinion and recommen­dations of the Hearing Officer in the Village Law Section 8-804 and Civil Service Law Section 75 discipli­nary hearing; and

be it further resolved, that the Board of Trustees of the Village of Westhamp­ton Beach hereby authorize forfeiture of twenty days of accruals from this employee effective March 8, 2011 and, to the extent the employee does not have sufficient accruals to satisfy the penalty then the employee shall be suspended with­out pay, effective March 9, 2011, for a period of time equal to the difference between the number of forfeited days and the twenty day penalty.

A second Pesapane hearing is underway on additional charges: two counts of making false statements and one of intentionally providing false/incomplete in­formation to investigators.

Michael Bruetsch, the other officer suspended following a lengthy, and by some accounts on-going, Suffolk County Police Internal Affairs investigation, is set to begin Disciplinary Hear­ings of his own next Monday, March 14th.

Bruetsch is charged with three counts of con­duct unbecoming of an officer and five counts of lying.

The underlying event occurred two years ago when a personally-owned handgun of Officer Steven McManus' was discovered to be missing from his locker in the Police Station.

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