The Village of Lynbrook has agreed to pay New York City $25,000 in a compensation settlement for hiring away one of its police officers after two weeks on the job.
"And we're ahead in the game, and would probably do it again," a defiant Lynbrook Mayor William Hendrick said Thursday.
Officer Patrick Kelly "was still on the list, eligible for hiring," Hendrick continued. "Anybody is allowed to take a job anywhere they want."
But in January 2013, the city filed a court action, citing state general municipal law, which requires reimbursement to the city for police training expenses.
Kelly resigned from the NYPD on Jan. 5, 2012, about two weeks after graduating from the police academy, and then went to work as an officer for the Lynbrook Police Department.
New York City asked for $56,031.06 plus interest for the village's failure to reimburse the costs of Kelly's 6 1/2 months at the academy.
The action wended its way through the courts, with the Nassau State Supreme Court siding with the village. But the Appellate Division reversed that ruling in June.
Hendrick said the village considered appealing but decided against the risks.
"We do what's in the best interests of our community," he said. "If they're on the list again, we'll try to hire them again."
He said: "When the village hires from the city, we give them some in-house training for a few weeks. But we don't lose them to the Nassau Academy for 24 weeks."
Hendrick said it appears the NYPD requires two years on the job to prevent them from seeking compensation for their officer going to another municipality.
NYPD officials did not respond to Newsday's request for comment.
"Officer Kelly is a very good member of the department," Lynbrook Police Chief Joseph Neve said. "We hire from the Nassau County Civil Service list, and if you're at or near the top of the list, we'll consider you."