In the midst of an on-going investigation into an alleged tape recording of the Bethlehem police chief making racist remarks and allegedly ordering the tape eased, town officials believe the tape in question may still be out there.
Bethlehem town attorney James Potter told The Spotlight on Wednesday, June 3, that the sought after audio recording reported by police officer Christopher Hughes is still being sought after.
We think the tape still exists, Potter said. "To go back to find a particular conversation from three years ago is a daunting task."
Currently, incoming calls handled by the department's dispatchers are recorded but erased after 30 days. Potter said that system wasn't in place three years ago when Bethlehem Police Chief Louis Corsi supposedly took a phone call from the Albany County Sheriff's Office and made disparaging remarks about one of his administrative officers.
"We have no reason to believe the tape was erased," Potter said. "We're not even aware if it's possible to erase the tapes."
That's a point Hughes has been making, too.
"I don't think they could have erased that tape even if they wanted to," Hughes told The Spotlight in an exclusive interview about Corsi allegedly asking his dispatchers to erase his recorded conversation.
Hughes said he has been the target of a town and police investigation since coming out with the allegations against Corsi as well as raising other internal problems such unions issues, complaints against a detective on the force and medical absence procedures.
The 13-year veteran has been slapped with back-to-back 30-day suspensions both in April and May, which he attributes to speaking out. Town officials say Hughes was suspended for abusing his sick time privileges and filing false documents for extra over-time pay and time off of work.
The town is insinuating Hughes cried foul against Corsi after being served his suspensions.