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Supervisor Cunningham disputes cop's claim

"Of course people think I got off half-cocked because I've known this a long time that the rumor is out there, but I do my homework and it's not a rumor, it's fact," Hughes said. "Sources who do not want to be named tell me there are copies of that tape out there."

Hughes claims Corsi asked subordinates in the communications department to erase the tapes.

"I don't know the exact date of this, but [it] couldn't be erased if they wanted to erase it, the technology was not in place to do that," Hughes said. "If it could be done, they would have done it."

Cunningham and Potter agree that dispatchers couldn't erase the tape.

Hughes said he exposed the audiotape because Corsi was targeting him for causing waves and being vocal about union issues.

"I told [Cunningham] about the tape to prove a point that the chief and the command staff are throwing stones here and living in a glass house," Hughes said. "All I want to do is come back to work and be treated fairly."

Hughes is still out of work on an undisclosed medical leave, not for the back-to-back suspensions he was dealt in recent months.

Hughes contends the charges are bogus and the Bethlehem Police Benevolent Association is in the middle of a grievance on his behalf.

Cunningham said he doesn't believe there have been any other suspensions during his past three years as supervisor. Hughes said suspensions are rare but have happened at least "two or three times" in the department during his 13 years on the force.

Hughes has been vocal about union issues over the past few years, including the decision to remove police sergeants from the grievance process. Hughes said he was willing to show Cunningham his personnel records in order to prove he was not a problematic officer, but was unable because he has not been allowed access to them. "I told him I would love to show him [my record] but I've been FOILing the town for months and they won't give me my file," said Hughes.

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