EXCLUSIVE: Colonie EMS chief, deputy chief file ethics complaint against town officials

Colonie Emergency Medical Services Chief Jonathan Politis and Deputy Chief Peter Berry have submitted an Ethics Complaint to the Town of Colonie Board of Ethics alleging misconduct of Supervisor Paula Mahan and her administration.

Spotlight Newspapers obtained a copy of the Monday, Jan. 5 dated complaint, which states that, The at-issues town officials have abused the powers of their offices and positions and have misused public funds for purposes of political and personal retribution.

Politis said the complaint was filed Wednesday, Jan.7, and that, "We're hoping the Town Board and Town Ethics Committee take action against what was written in the complaint."

The officials specifically named in the complaint are Town Supervisor Paula Mahan, Town Attorney Michael Magguilli and Director of Operations Peter Gannon.

According to the complaint, the "harassment" began after Politis and Berry were involved in the 2004 disciplinary actions that involved Hugh Skerker and William Gardner. The complaint states that "During [Mahan's] campaign, Skerker and Gardner openly supported Mahan for her bid for office and made it publicly known they had an axe to grind against Politis and Berry because of the previous disciplinary action."

After Mahan won the election and took office, Mahan and her administration began looking into the costs of up-keeping the EMS LifeGuard Air Rescue Program, a program that marries the Colonie EMS department and New York State Police on helicopter flight rescue missions. The complaint describes Magguilli's inquiring about the programs' savings to Politis.

"On or about February 11, 2008 Mahan and Magguilli and Director of Operations Peter Gannon made a surprise 'raid' at the NYS Police Aviation demanding to see equipment," the statement said before describing a conversation between Mahan and Politis days before the "raid" in which the complaint states that Mahan ended her conversation, "by issuing a threat to Politis that, 'she was going to handle [me] in another way.'"

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