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Hempstead Village trustees pick new acting assistant police chief

Hempstead Village Hall in 2016.

Hempstead Village Hall in 2016. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

The Hempstead Village board of trustees on Monday voted to appoint a new acting assistant chief of police, days after the prior assistant chief retired.

The board voted 3-2 to appoint Kevin Colgan, a lieutenant in the department, to the position. Trustees LaMont Johnson and Jeffery Daniels voted against the appointment.

Colgan, a 26-year veteran of the agency, will replace Patrick Cooke, who retired Friday.

Mayor Don Ryan said Colgan will effectively lead the agency for the time being, as Chief Paul Johnson, who is unrelated to the trustee, and Deputy Chief Richard Holland are both under indictment on corruption charges.

Ryan said he supported Colgan’s appointment because of his “experience, wide range of ability and leadership qualities.”

Trustee Johnson declined to say why he voted against Colgan. Daniels said he voted against him because the resolution appointing Colgan did not specify the term in which he would serve in the new role.

Village Attorney Cherice Vanderhall said the contract for the position, which will specify the term of service and pay, has not yet been negotiated.

Colgan, 52, of Islip, was not present at the meeting. In an interview after the vote, he said he was “happy that things went our way, and I'm looking forward to getting started.”

Chris Giardino, the department’s union president, said there is no civil service exam for assistant chief, but Colgan was the second-highest scorer on the most recent civil service exam for chief.

Colgan was paid $226,400 last year, including $41,000 in overtime, payroll records show.

Chief Johnson pleaded not guilty last month to charges including felony tampering with public records and grand larceny. Prosecutors alleged he fixed tickets before his appointment as top cop.

Holland pleaded not guilty in November to a felony bribery charge. He was accused of paying former village trustee Perry Pettus in exchange for his vote supporting his promotion to deputy chief.

Johnson and Holland are on modified administrative duty with pay, Ryan said.

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