First Selectman, Chairman of Police Commission Respond To Police Union Complaints

First Selectman, Chairman of Police Commission Respond To Police Union Complaints

Bethel Police Commission Chairman Nick Ellis -Photo Contributed

Editor’s Note:

On Tuesday, August 2, 2011 Bethel Buzz published an article (click here to read) containing excerpts from the police commission meeting minutes, as well as excerpts from a letter the Police Union sent to First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker regarding their desire to remove of Police Commission Chairman Nick Ellis from his post. At the time of publishing the article Nick Ellis could not be reached for comment. Below is his response, along with First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker’s response, to the complaint filed by the Police Union and Detective George Bryce’s comments.

First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker’s Response

Bethel First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker -Photo Credit: Wendy Mitchell

“I am extremely disappointed that Det. Bryce has elected to target me, personally, as First Selectman in his complaint against Mr. Ellis.”

“As I explained to Det. Bryce previously, the Board of Selectmen has NO LEGAL AUTHORITY to remove an elected official from office.  In order to do this, specific language must be included in the town charter that describes the procedures to be followed and definitions of the misbehavior that would constitute “cause for removal.”  Bethel ‘s charter currently contains none of this language.”

“Despite my request, the sexual harassment complaint referenced in Det. Bryce’s letter has never been forwarded to me or to the HR office.  Even when legal as described above, disciplinary actions cannot be taken based upon “hearsay” information.”

“I personally do not condone any actions by a town official that cast a negative light on our town and community.  But the simple fact is that until the town changes its charter, complaints like this are strictly between the elected official and the voters.”

Nick Ellis’ Response

“The stag pictures [Det. Bryce referred to in his letter] were from 2 years ago and  was political payback [from Bob Burke]. The Bethel Police sent it right to the state police. The detectives talked to everyone involved and just recently they closed the case. These were unfounded allegations.”

“Chief Finch did not bury this complaint. Matt Knickerbocker did not bury this complaint.  Being in union executive committee doesn’t give him [Det. Bryce] the right to try to pick who’s on the commission and pick who the chairman is. The union doesn’t have a say unless they live in Bethel and then they can vote for who they want.”

“This is why good people don’t run for politics. There were no behavioral issues [found in the investigation] they just don’t like some of the decisions I made. If I was breaking the law where is all the paperwork? Two years later they’re trying to dig up all this? Is that the best they have?”

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Posted on August 4, 2011, in Police and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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