Bethlehem cop alleges racism cover up

"I find the timing suspicious," he said of his back-to-back 30-day suspension notices, received within the past month. "I am not paranoid, I am not a conspiracy theorist and I can read the writing on the wall. I'm a thorn in their side, I'm starting to be vocal and I'm starting to get agitated.

"What they're trying to do is terminate me," Hughes concluded.

Cunningham told The Spotlight during a Friday night telephone interview that he couldn't comment specifically on the matter because it is currently under investigation, but did confirm he spoke with Hughes about the matter.

"The content of what we talked about is consistent," he said of an internal police investigation. "I can confirm that. ... Until the investigation is completed, I cannot comment on it."

He said he contacted counsel after speaking with Hughes.

"After I spoke with Officer Hughes I immediately called our Town Attorney James Potter," Cunningham said. "As soon as I learned of this, I took action with the town."

Cunningham added that the two town attorneys have been conducting an investigation for "some time now," and that they could conclude their findings by next week.

Hughes said he received the intent of interrogation letter two days after speaking with Cunningham and contacted attorney Steve Coffey.

"Two days later I get a letter of notice to interrogate me based on comments that I made to Jack Cunningham," Hughes said.

The Spotlight has obtained copies of the original "notice of intent to conduct interrogation" sent to Hughes by Beebe on May 19. The notice states the police department wanted to question Hughes "in relation to its investigation of certain claims made by you to Supervisor John Cunningham ... in relation to the alleged conduct of Chief Corsi during a phone conversation with a representative of the Albany County Sheriff's Department.Since this investigation will also involve an inquiry as to how you obtained the tape, or how it is this information came into your possession, and what town or other systems were accessed by you or on your behalf, and your use of your claimed possession of this tape during your conversation with the town supervisor, and otherwise, your answers and the conduct which will be the subject of this investigation may give rise to disciplinary charges against you for misconduct."

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