New London mayor places police chief on paid leave

NEW LONDON, Conn. (WTNH) – New London Mayor Daryl Finizio placed Police Chief Margaret Ackley on administrative leave a day after she requested an injunction against him.

She claimed he has usurped her authority by doing things like giving orders to her subordinates and taking over contract negotiations with the police union.

In a statement, the mayor says he placed Ackley on paid leave pending an investigation into, among other things, allegations she targeted certain members of her department for “selective discipline based upon their political positions.” And during the July festivals she “withheld information… and possibly reassigned officers from critical patrol duties… because of her political differences with the administration.”

Ackley’s attorney laughed at those allegations. Leon Rosenblatt says, “To me it’s just transparently obvious that it was retribution for her filing a motion for preliminary injunction.”

Some New London residents expressed concern to see this infighting among city leaders. Vanessa Jones says, “Who’s going to support us if they’re fighting amongst themselves?”

Luis Santiago adds, “Sometimes it’s like hearsay, instead of going to the right source of the person who is really saying it.”

One City Council member tells News 8 he is glad to see the mayor make a decision and take charge but he also confirmed the mayor does not allow communication between the chief and the City Council without it going through him. Donna Ruggs says, “If they’re all working together as a team then everything is going to run much smoother.”

A preliminary hearing on the police chief’s request is expected in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, the investigation into allegations against her continues.

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