Clarkstown police chief Michael Sullivan should be terminated for abusing his office to investigate opponents and for insubordination toward town officials, a hearing officer ruled Tuesday after months of testimony.
Sullivan, the chief in the Rockland County town since 2011, was suspended from his $273,000-a-year job in July 2016 and has been on suspension since. The town's board will now vote on the hearing officer's recommendations.
An independent special prosecutor hired by the town of Clarkstown said in August 2016 he had found evidence the police department's Special Intelligence Unit engaged in illegal surveillance of black community members and officials considered political foes.
Special prosecutor William Harrington said at the time that the intelligence unit unlawfully targeted the town supervisor, Rockland County sheriff and a judge.
"It runs from the unconstitutional to the illegal," Harrington said.
In July 2017, more than a dozen members of a community group in Rockland County settled their racial profiling and illegal surveillance lawsuit against Clarkstown, Sullivan and several other top local law enforcement officials, according to court filings obtained by the I-Team.
Sullivan's attorney could not immediately be reached for comment. Sullivan has aggressively defended himself in past, saying he was the victim of a political witch hunt.