Chief Ackley skewered in police union accusations

New London - The city's police union has filed a complaint with the state Labor Department in which it accuses Chief Margaret Ackley of undermining union business and harassing union executive board members.

In a three-page document filed Wednesday in City Hall, the complaint alleges that former City Manager Denise Rose, Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio and Ackley fostered an anti-union, "hostile work environment'' during the past two years.

The complaint alleges that Ackley accused union President Todd Lynch of being part of a "lynch mob"; suggested "it is time to throw another bomb'' at Lynch; and urged an unnamed citizen to look into Lynch's personnel file while he was a resident state trooper.

Lynch, who joined the New London department in 2007 after retiring from the state police, also filed an intent to sue the city and Ackley last month, alleging they had violated his First Amendment right to free speech. Lynch was elected union president in November and has been an outspoken critic of Ackley.

Lynch's attorney, Christine S. Synodi of Synodi & Videll of New London, had requested copies of all pertinent, electronically stored information from the police department, including emails, videos, audio recordings and other potentially relevant evidence. That intent to sue was filed on behalf of Lynch as an individual.

The complaint also alleges that Ackley instructed a private citizen to file Freedom of Information requests for citizens' complaints against Lynch and union members Charles Flynn, Neil Rodgers and Roger Baker, and inappropriately shared information about Lynch's personal life and family life.

Richard Gudis, they union's attorney, could not be reached to comment Wednesday.

The complaint alleges that the unnamed citizen and Ackley "appear to have possibly conspired to circumvent FOIA to obtain employment records and investigations of Executive Board members."

"Ackley also targeted members of the union executive board by 'divulging confidential information to members of the public for the specific purpose of undermining the Police Union and harassing executive board members,''' the complain states.

k.edgecomb@theday.com

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