GUILDERLAND: Chief placed on unpaid leave

At a press conference Friday, March 9, Guilderland Supervisor Kenneth Runion announced that the town has placed police Chief James Murley on an unpaid suspension and would seek termination based on misconduct and ethics code violations. Prior to his suspension, Murley had been on paid administrative leave since Feb. 8 for undisclosed reasons.

Runion said the reasons for Murley's suspension include misconduct regarding interaction with a vendor, alleged violations of the town's ethics law with respect to his interaction with town employees and misconduct in his maintenance of attendance and leave records.

When a final determination has been made, a hearing will be held at which the town board could vote to terminate Murley.

I do think the charges are serious enough that termination is warranted, said Runion.

Runion would not elaborate on the specifics of the allegations, citing confidentiality laws that protect town employees who are under investigation.

According to Runion, Murley could retire but would still be subject to penalties found in the town's ethics laws, which could include fines and forfeiture of health insurance benefits.

Runion said Murley has not been asked to resign.

At the press conference, Runion shed light on various aspects of the case that have developed over the past month.

Previously, reports have alleged that the charges stemmed from allegations of sexual harassment, which Runion dismissed as "unfounded rumors in the media."

Regarding the misconduct of attendance records allegations, Runion said that while Murley is not expected to be at his desk 40 hours a week, his normal working hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and like all town employees, he is required to file leave slips for sick time and personal time.

Runion would not discuss specifics regarding the investigation of Murley's attendance records, which dates back to 2001, only to say that there were discrepancies.

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