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Amityville Village board criticizes member for his comments about a police officer

Amityville Village Hall is shown here on Feb.

Amityville Village Hall is shown here on Feb. 25, 2014. Photo Credit: Steve Pfost

The Amityville Village Board has formally rebutted comments trustee Dennis Siry made last month criticizing disciplinary proceedings against a village police officer, saying they were "totally inaccurate" and "contrary to Village policy."

Siry had opposed the board's decision to settledisciplinary charges against Police Officer Eric Onderdonk over the summer for volunteering with the fire department while on duty as an officer. In an interview with Newsday following the resolution of those charges, Siry said Onderdonk had been the victim of a broader struggle between the village board majority and the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association related to police pay.

He also described that board's actions as "vengeful." A story incorporating those comments appeared in Newsday on Oct. 13.

Monday's 4-0 resolution, passed with Siry abstaining, declared that the reasons Siry had mentioned "were never a part of the Board's deliberations."

The resolution also says that Siry may have violated a confidentiality agreement between Onderdonk, the PBA and the village by commenting on the outcome of the disciplinary proceeding.

"My opinion is my opinion," Siry said at Monday's meeting. "I was a little upset at the time, and I still am, because I don't agree" with the board's handling of the Onderdonk charges.

According to a statement released last month by the village that was jointly attributed to the village, PBA and Onderdonk, Onderdonk violated New York State law but not village policy when he performed fire department service while on police duty, earning credits in the village's pension-like program for firefighters at the same time he was drawing a salary and benefits as an officer.

While Siry said then that time on the clock as a village employee "probably" should not count toward the pension-like Length of Service Awards Program for firefighters, commonly referred to by the acronym LOSAP, he said that what Onderdonk had done was common practice for village employees for years.

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