Departmental charges have been leveled against the Suffolk police academy’s head of recruit training and a high-level PBA official who works at the academy in connection with improperly giving a connected applicant an extra chance to pass the agility test, according to county sources.
Lt. Robert Sweeney, who was transferred earlier this week from his academy post to the Second Precinct in Huntington, now also faces two charges for neglect of duty and failing to supervise properly, according to the sources familiar with a police teletype issued late Wednesday.
The teletype, which is a communication to members of the department, also disclosed that Officer Ronald Ross, a Police Benevolent Association sergeant of arms who is assigned to the academy as a recruit trainer, was charged with releasing information to another department or agency, the sources said.
A spokesman for Police Commissioner Tim Sini declined comment on the disciplinary charges.
Sgt. Paul Memay, former head of applicant investigations, on Tuesday was demoted from his recent promotion to lieutenant, which pays $167,666 a year, according to county and union sources familiar with an earlier teletype. As a $151,174-a-year sergeant, Memay had been in charge of applicant investigation at the time that Christopher McAdam, the son of a subordinate in his unit, was improperly given a third chance to pass the sit-up portion of the test, despite a longstanding policy to allow only a single retest.
McAdam was terminated at the academy late last year, sued and briefly returned to training before a State Supreme Court judge upheld the firing in March. Richard Roth, McAdam’s stepfather, remains in applicant investigation and has not been charged.
Noel DiGerolamo, Suffolk PBA president, said Ross did not act improperly in his communications, which involved the union. “The union is part of the police department and we’re police officers,” he said. “I’m confident he acted appropriately. We will defend him against any charges or any other member.”
A second academy trainer, Michael Santarpia, has been transferred to the Third Precinct in Brentwood.
The union maintains department officials have the right to transfer officers, but not for arbitrary reasons or for purposes of discipline or punishment. PBA officers have a right to challenge the department’s moves in binding arbitration.
Members of the Superior Officers Association, which represents police supervisors, have a right to a hearing and binding arbitration when firing may be involved. Tim Morris, SOA president, declined comment Thursday, but earlier had said his union will fight all actions against members.