Ackley files complaint with New London's ethics board

New London - The city police chief has filed a complaint with the Board of Ethics.

Chief Margaret Ackley, who last week publicly accused City Councilor Michael Buscetto III of interfering with police business and undermining her authority, on Friday acknowledged she has filed a complaint. She decline to elaborate on the nature of the complaint.

During a City Council meeting last week, and at a special meeting in July, Ackley asked Buscetto to recuse himself from a closed-door meeting at which her retirement agreement and specific allegations she has lodged against him were discussed. Buscetto refused.

On Friday, Buscetto, who is running for mayor, said he didn't know about any complaint.

"I haven't been notified,'' he said.

K. Robert Lewis, chairman of the Board of Ethics, would neither confirm nor deny that a complaint has been received.

The board, which can investigate allegations of unethical behavior concerning city officials or employees, does not release information on complaints unless it finds probable cause for a hearing. The person being accused can also request in writing that the proceedings be open to the public.

City Clerk Michael Tranchida said the chief brought in a sealed envelop last week and asked him to forward it to the chairman of the Board of Ethics.

The board was scheduled to meet Friday but canceled the meeting because it was not properly posted. Lewis said the meeting will be rescheduled next week.

The City Council has asked City Attorney Thomas Londregan to find a private investigator to look into Ackley's allegations. But Lewis sent a memo to city councilors last week suggesting the ethics board investigate any complaints against Buscetto because "the council cannot investigate itself.''

Friday's meeting was called, in part, to discuss whether the board should look into the allegations.

k.edgecomb@theday.com

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