New London police chief wants to retire, cites harassment by city councilor

New London — Police Chief Margaret Ackley announced Wednesday that she will retire and accused Councilor Michael Buscetto III of discrimination, harassment and trying to undermine her authority with some members of the police department.

"Because of the ongoing distress caused by Councilor Buscetto, I'm requesting to retire,'' Ackley told the City Council during a special meeting.

After meeting in an executive session to discuss a lawsuit Ackley is threatening against the city, the council directed City Attorney Thomas Londregan to hire a private investigator to check the validity of the chief's accusations.

Buscetto is one of three City Councilors running for the full-time elected mayor position.

Ackley told the council that Buscetto has "systematically" created a hostile work environment for her, made inflammatory remarks about her and called her subordinates directly after being told not to.

"I am no longer able to effectively lead this department,'' she said. "Today I make my choice. I will not tolerate it any longer."

Ackley's lawyer also presented Londregan with a letter with a list of claims against Buscetto that would form the basis of a lawsuit. Londregan refused to release the letter saying Freedom of Information laws don't require it.

Buscetto said he welcomes any investigation into the chief's allegations.

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