Supervisor Cunningham disputes cop's claim

The fallout from Bethlehem Police Chief Louis Corsi's alleged audiotape of him making derogatory remarks continues as Supervisor Jack Cunningham disputes some details of police officer Christopher Hughes' portrayal of a conversation between Hughes and the supervisor.

Cunningham contends Hughes told him he had a copy of the three-year old Corsi audiotape, in which the police chief allegedly uses a racial slur, when the two met on May 17. Hughes claims he specifically told the supervisor he never had the tape and wrote a letter to the town stating as such on May 21.

Hughes represented to me that he had a copy of the audiotape in his possession, Cunningham told The Spotlight. "Right now the matter is under investigation but I am going to a meeting with the people who hold the disks this week, the whole thing is a lengthy process."

The audio recordings are contained on disks held by the county.

Hughes said he was careful in his language with Cunningham and that he never claimed to have a copy of the tape. "My recollection of nearly exactly what was said was, 'It's my understanding that there are copies out there," said Hughes.

The Albany County District Attorney's Office is currently investigating the matter, as well as Hughes' May 28 allegations of being targeted by the town and department brass after speaking out about the tape and internal matters.

He spoke with Cunningham on May 17 and was issued an "intent to conduct an interrogation" notice two days later on May 19.

Bethlehem Town Attorney James Potter said the town is researching the legal ramifications of the allegations in question.

"Assuming the statement was made, whether that could be the subject of disciplinary action is something that we're looking into," he said. Potter added that the outcome of the case would still remain a "personnel matter."

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