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Suffolk judge temporarily blocks police lieutenant’s demotion

A state Supreme Court justice has issued a temporary order reinstating Paul Mamay as a Suffolk police lieutenant after Police Commissioner Tim Sini demoted him following a probe of whether he improperly gave an aide’s stepson a third chance to pass a required situp test.

Justice Thomas Whelan issued a temporary restraining order last Wednesday to immediately return Mamay to lieutenant. Mamay was appointed to the $167,661-a-year rank from a competitive civil service list in February while in his six-month probation period.

County attorneys tried unsuccessfully to vacate the order Monday in the Appellate division, but will file further court papers to pursue the issue July 6.

Officials said a departmental order, reinstating Mamay, was to be issued last night.

Paul Linzer, an attorney for the Superior Officers Association, which is representing Mamay, said in court papers that Mamay was “improperly and illegally demoted” in an “an error of law, an abuse of discretion [and] bad faith.” The papers said Mamay was deprived of his “procedural due process rights on Civil Service Law Section 75.”

Justin Meyers, Sini’s spokesman, said Sini “stands by his decision and the county is appealing the temporary court order.”

Timothy Morris, SOA president, declined to comment. The union represents police supervisors.

Before his promotion, Mamay was a sergeant in command of the applicant investigation unit. He authorized the additional test for Christopher McAdam, stepson of Richard Roth, who also worked in the unit.

McAdam was terminated as a recruit from the police academy late last year, and the firing later was upheld in Supreme Court.

Sini acknowledged earlier that Mamay was under an internal affairs investigation. But Sini promoted him to lieutenant anyway because of his past record that included getting the large new police class ready quickly.

Alan Schneider, head of county Civil Service Department, said an officer can be demoted without reason or hearing during his or her probationary period. After that period, employees with permanent status in their job titles must receive a hearing before demotion or disciplinary action can occur.

Linzer said Mamay can only be demoted for “misconduct or incompetence,” and said he has gotten “glowing reviews” on evaluations in his new rank.

“The police commissioner has no foundation to demote him as a lieutenant, because he has done nothing wrong except be a great lieutenant,” Linzer said.

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