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OFFICE OF THE SUPERVISOR TOWN OF SOUTHOLD
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: June 10, 2020
Contact: Southold Town Supervisor Scott A. Russell
Re: Independent Investigator Authorized for Investigation into Police Officer Retirement Party
At a Special Meeting of the Southold Town Board held on June 9, 2020, the Town Board directed the Town Attorney to retain an independent investigator to conduct an investigation of the events surrounding a party held May 29, 2020 for an officer who had retired that day from the Southold Town Police Department. In the days following the party, the Town received numerous complaints that the police department failed to respond to calls from the public complaining that social distancing protocols were not being followed and that fireworks were being shot off.
The decision to retain an independent investigator came after the Board went into an executive session and were briefed by the Town Attorney on the preliminary investigation performed by Chief Martin Flatley.
“It is of paramount importance that the people of the Town of Southold are able to maintain trust and confidence in their local police department, and local government,” Supervisor Russell said after the meeting. “As a Board we decided that the best way to maintain that trust and confidence was to retain an independent investigator.”
“The Town Board wants the residents of Southold to know that we are taking the allegations very seriously and are determined to get to the bottom of what happened” Supervisor Russell said. “These allegations are very troubling, the public wants answers – and they deserve answers.” Supervisor Russell said.
The Supervisor went on to explain that as part of the investigation there are certain procedures under civil service law that must be observed and asked for patience while the investigation is ongoing. “Once the investigation is complete and all the facts are known, the Board will be able to comment further. We have been advised by our legal counsel to refrain from commenting on the events of that night, or on the investigation, in order to ensure the integrity of the process.”