GUILDERLAND: Chief placed on unpaid leave

"You'll have to draw your own conclusions from that," he said.

All of the allegations originated following a complaint on Feb. 5 from the head of a town department. At that time, the town retained attorney Claudia Ryan to investigate, and during the course of her investigation, she uncovered further misconduct.

According to Runion, most of the alleged misconduct occurred within the last year.

The town has asked the state police and the Albany County district attorney's office for cooperation in the investigation. Any criminal charges that are brought would come from those agencies, said Runion. He would not speculate whether any of the misconduct warranted criminal charges.

In addition to protecting Murley's confidentiality, Runion gave two other reasons for being tight-lipped with the media about the investigation.

According to Runion, Murley was believed to have close relationships with one or more individuals in the media, including going to lunch with reporters and on a visit to Cape Cod with one reporter. Runion said none of the relationships with media members was romantic. Because of those relationships, Runion said he was concerned about the objectivity the case would receive in news reports. Additionally, Runion said he thought in-depth coverage of the case in the media would compromise witnesses coming forward.

Acting as chief in Murley's absence is deputy police Chief Carol Lawlor, who said operations in the department have continued as normal.

"The department in operating fine," she said. "The officers' morale is fine.""

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