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Lawlor cited as 'whistleblower'

Grimm also said the order itself was illegal, and the chief of police should not be allowed prevent board members access to police officers.

"Whether it was legal or illegal is inconsequential," Runion said.

Lawlor was nominated in 2008 for the position of chief of police. Grimm said at the time she was interviewing, he was unaware that she had brought information to the Town Board about Murley.

He has criticized Runion for supporting her even though he had knowledge of the code name and money transfers, however Runion said to prevent her promotion based on her husband loaning money to Murley, her use of a code name with him, or any information she brought to the board, would be illegal based on section of the town code that protects whistleblowers.

"What I may or may not have known would have been irrelevant to the hiring process," Runion added.

Runion told The Spotlight that all of the board members had the opportunity to view the town's investigation of Murley prior to Lawlor's interview, and Grimm and Councilman Warren Redlich declined to view the information.

Grimm said he was never offered any information about the Murley investigation, and has recently made a Freedom of Information Law Request for the files that was denied.

Grimm also said he believed the approval of Linda Cure to a full-time position as public relations officer is partly related to the matter, and also the wrong decision in light on the economy.

"What Runion is doing now is trying to prop his image up," Grimm said. "He's doing it now because he's under fire."

Grimm said using the money to restore emergency service workers cut due to budget constraints would be better.

Runion said Cure's move to full-time was merit-based, and she has done a lot of good work for the town in the past.

Grimm said Cure is a fine employee, and was not questioning her capability, but only the creation of her position in light of the economy.

"I'm not beating up the employee, I'm challenging what Ken Runion did," Grimm said.

Runion maintains that Lawlor had committed no wrongdoing, and the lack of charges against her is evidence of that.

Grimm is "out of touch with reality," Runion said.

Lawlor has not been charged by any investigating entity including the Albany County District Attorney, and New York State Police for wrongdoing. She was unavailable to comment before press time.

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