East Hampton cop found in vacation home suspended without pay

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An East Hampton Village police officer has been suspended without pay after he and a female village traffic control officer were reportedly found in a "compromising position" in an unoccupied vacation home in December.

The action against officer John Galeano took place Feb. 21 at a village board of trustees meeting, and is effective to March 21. Galeano earns $117,025 a year and has been on the force for nine years. He has already been stripped of his badge and gun.

The incident, which is still being reviewed by village officials, occurred Dec. 30 when friends of the homeowner, a Manhattan interior designer, went to the property on Talmage Lane to spend New Year's Eve. They notified village police after reportedly finding Galeano and the female traffic control officer, who worked at the home as a part-time house cleaner, inside.

At a Jan. 17 board meeting, the woman, whom officials have not identified, was fired retroactive to Dec. 30, and Mayor Paul Rickenbach Jr. promised a swift investigation, saying "the alleged conduct is totally not in keeping with how the village likes to present itself."

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Galeano, who has denied any wrongdoing and is covered by a different contract and covenants with the PBA, was off duty at the time of the incident.

East Hampton's police chief did not return calls Monday seeking comment.

Village trustees voted on the suspension as permitted by the village code, according to village administrator Rebecca Molinaro. She said the village has not begun disciplinary proceedings against Galeano and added that no formal hearing on the case has been scheduled. If the matter is not resolved by March 21, Galeano will be back on the town payroll, she said.

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