Benjamin Carroll

Clarkstown Town Board Votes to Fire Suspended Police Chief

Clarkstown Town Board Tuesday night voted to fire Police Chief Michael Sullivan for misconduct charges, including insubordination over his failure to oversee an intelligence unit accused in lawsuits of illegal surveillance.

Sullivan, the top cop in the Rockland County town since 2011, was suspended from his $273,000-a-year job in July 2016, and had been on suspension since. The termination decision is effective immediately. 

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.

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 has aggressively defended himself in past, saying he was the victim of a political witch hunt. 

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