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NL Council, in closed session, to hear report on Police Chief Ackley's employment

By Chuck Potter

Publication: theday.com

Published August 10. 2011 6:20PM   Updated August 10. 2011 9:41PM

New London -- The mayor, six members of the City Council, Police Chief Margaret Ackley and her attorney went into an executive session at a special meeting of the council at 5:30 p.m. this evening.

The official notice of the special meeting says the purpose is to "receive a report from Thomas J. Londregan concerning the employment (not the evaluation or the performance) of the Chief of Police." Londregan is the city law director.

At the public meeting preceding the executive session, Mayor Martin Olsen said,"I'm going in there to find out what the hell is going on."

Olsen was referring to the possibility that city administrators approved a questionable contract regarding Ackley's employment.

Four councilors voted to enter executive session, with Republicans Rob Pero and Adam Sprecace voting no. Councilor Michael Passero is participating remotely.

Londregan told the council the agreement contains a clause that the contract will be confidential. Public employee contracts are normally public documents under the state's Freedom of Information law.

Ackley, through her attorney, Shelley Graves, agreed that the council could go into executive session. Under the FOI law she could have demanded that the session be public.

Graves and Ackley then asked for Councilor Michael Buscetto III to recuse himself. He refused. The session ensued and is ongoing.

Before the council went into executive session, Richard Gudis, who said he is the attorney for the police union but was not there to represent the union at the time, asked why there was no public comment allowed.

Olsen said there is no need for public comment at a special meeting and invited Gudis to return to Monday's regular council meeting and make his comments at that time.

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