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Bethlehem suspends chief for 10 days

"If we tried to terminate him and he appealed, we would have lost," Cunningham said.

He went on to state that Corsi has no other disciplinary issues in his 24-year history with the department.

"There was never a pattern of behavior with the chief that would indicate this was an ongoing issue," he said. "He's got a perfect file."

Supervisor contacts

Spotlight reader

In the wake of the discovery and release of Corsi's comment, Cunningham contacted Spotlight reader and Slingerlands resident Susan Peters, who wrote a letter to the paper last week supporting the coverage of the matter.

"He indicated that he was unhappy that I questioned his integrity in the newspaper," said Peters when contacted by The Spotlight. "The tone of the conversation left me feeling like I had done something wrong, when I merely expressed my opinion."

The phone conversation occurred on the afternoon of Wednesday, Sept. 23, the day that the issue of The Spotlight with Peters' letter ran.

Cunningham confirmed that he spoke with Peters about her assertion that when Officer Chris Hughes brought the allegations to the supervisor, "these concerns were not taken seriously and investigated independently."

"I thought it was an unusual letter because Ms. Peters had not contacted me before to get this information," Cunningham said. "I asked her if she was going to question my integrity that she have her facts straight."

Cunningham said that he contacted the town's attorneys immediately after speaking with Hughes and noted that the Albany County District Attorney's Public Integrity Unit looked into the matter and decided not to pursue an investigation.

Peters said that she has never met Cunningham. Though she said she did not feel threatened or harassed by Cunningham's call, she indicated she was initially hesitant to speak to a Spotlight reporter for fear of retaliation against a family member who works for the town.

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