Archive for August 19th, 2009

August 19, 2009

Police Sergeant Exonerated of Accusations

A State Police investigation has exonerated Wolcott Sgt. Brian Thies of any sexual wrongdoing in February. He was accused of engaging in a lewd act in February after he accidentally keyed his radio microphone while laying down in pain from an illness. Audible noise heard over the radio were somehow interpreted as sexual intonations. Since the allegations were made at the time, Thies has maintained his innocence. The State Police investigation backs him up. A Wolcott internal affairs investigation conducted in February also cleared Thies at that time, but because of a slew of other complaints surrounding other officers, the Town decided to have the State Police conduct an investigation of their own so the results would be cleared of any bias.

Since the allegations were made, many of Thies family members have supported him through the ordeal, some sending letters to the Town Council and Wolcott Community News. Its very unfortunate that the police report took so long, yet hopefully this is one step that will begin the healing of a Department that has experienced a series of problems this year. To their credit, officers including Thies have come to work and performed their duties with professionalism throughout this and other investigations.

August 19, 2009

Town Council Meeting 8/18

Last night the Town Council held a meeting. It was not televised. The next Council meeting will be on September 1st at 7:30 pm. It will be televised. Note that these are not official minutes and simply a summary in the view of Councilman O’Brien.

The Mayor introduced Acting Chief O’Leary to the Council.

The Council gave permission for Tax Collector Lorraine McQueen to sell a property on Wolcott Rd. next to JD’s Roadhouse Cafe in court to recoup back taxes. While the Council gave their blessing, Tax Collector McQueen did not provide any tangible paperwork to the Council. At one point, while the motion to approve the sale was being approved, she was asked for the address of the property. She replied “I think it is _____” in which she gave an address in the 1500 block of Wolcott Rd. Councilman O’Brien interjected, stating he believed the address she gave was at least half a mile north on Wolcott Rd. and closer to Woodtick Rd than being next to JD’s Cafe. “That number is too high for the address you’re referring to”. While it wasn’t his job to do so,Town Attorney Tynan found a phone book in the lobby and later gave the Town Council secretary the correct address after the meeting. In fact, the address given by the Tax Collector was incorrect. A revised motion later listed the correct address.

The Assessor’s contract was tabled until its September meeting.

Michael Bruce video was approved to carry televised Council meetings for the next 10 months. The video service will be paid $160 for the entirity. Additional meetings can be broadcast at the request of the Chair for a fee.

A new section of Cedar Avenue was accepted as a town road. I spoke with residents up there yesterday and will talk to them today to let them know that they can put their garbage out in front of their residence. There is usually a brief delay before mail service is provided, but they should get that soon. These are standard wehn any town road is approved. The last road we approved was Borghesi Court, off of Upson Rd. Both of these streets are already marked on town maps.

Unapproved roads generally are not maintained by the Town and the Postal Service will not drive on unapproved roads. The garbage company wants to make sure there are assurances that an unapproved road is built to standard specifications and that there is a bond taken out to ensure that their equipment and personnel are safe to operate before they do garbage pickup on these types of private roads.

Golf Pro Craig Kealey’s contract was approved. He runs the pro shop at Farmingbury Golf course and is in charge of much of the operation of the golf course.

A contract for Acting Chief O’Leary was approved. His contract runs through August, 2010 at which time the Mayor will decide what will be done. This will give the Chief time to do his job in improving the Police Department and bring it to a level that the Mayor and the Council would like to see it go. If a search began too early, then there would be little incentive for anyone sitting in the Chief’s position to fulfill his duties in the way that this Chief would like to. The Council has unanimously agreed that Neil O’Leary is the right man for the job.