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New London — A motion filed by the city and police chief to dismiss a lawsuit brought by police union President Todd Lynch was denied last month.
Filed in August, the motion was denied Dec. 14 and the case alleging violations of Lynch’s civil rights by Chief Margaret Ackley will continue in federal district court, according to online court records.
The latest action on the case came Friday, when the law firm representing the city and Ackley filed answers admitting or denying claims in Lynch’s amended complaint, which he filed in July. The original suit was filed in April.
In the suit, Lynch, an outspoken critic of Ackley, alleges the chief violated his civil right to free speech and libeled him. He now seeks monetary damages.
Ackley has been limited to two hours of work per day since late October, after an on the job injury during Hurricane Sandy. A window pane fell on Ackley’s head, and Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio said today the chief has been ordered by medical professionals to not work more than two hours per day. There is no timetable for her full duty return, Finizio said, though he hopes Ackley is back soon. In her absence, Ackley’s duties have been overseen by Deputy Chief Peter Reichard.
“I know first hand, the chief is never fully away from her job no matter where she is or for what reason,” Finizio said. “She is on top of her department and in communication frequently. The department operations have not been adversely affected.”
Finizio would not comment directly on the suit, noting the ongoing litigation.