City settles with police chief; Buscetto says it's part of 'smear campaign'

New London ‑ Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio announced today a settlement with police Chief Margaret Ackley.

According to a copy of the settlement, the city will pay Chief Margaret Ackley $25,000 as result of the complaints she made against then Councilor Michael Buscetto III.

Buscetto told people that Ackley was unqualified to be chief, "made repeated allegations in print media and radio that Chief Ackley was responsible for youth violence in the city" and the murder of Matthew Chew and dealt directly with police officers while refusing to interact with her, according to a letter from Ackley's lawyer to the city.

Ackley also claimed that members of the department kept Buscetto's name out of an investigation of an incident at a casino nightclub involving off-duty New London police officers. According to statements by police officers during an internal investigation, Buscetto groped three women, including a female office.

"It's just part of a continued smear campaign against me,'' Buscetto said when reached at home Friday night. "The chief has been less than honest with the public in many areas. I think it's unfortunate someone can make allegations and make money.''

Not included in the documents emailed to the media today was a copy of a report by a former Superior Court judge whom the City Council hired last October to investigate Ackley's allegations against Buscetto. Finizio has refused to give a copy of that report to The Day and the City Council.

Finizio said at the press conference that he will share the report with City Council and the council will review it in executive session Wednesday.

Capt. William Dittman and Capt. Michael Lacey have retired, the mayor said.

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