Frankfort Police Chief retiring in August; Harris named Public Safety Commissioner

By By CAROLINE GABLE

FRANKFORT, N.Y. (WKTV) - After several years of scandals and accusations that range from assault to intimidation of witnesses in trials, Frankfort Police Chief Steven Conley is retiring at the end of August and moving out of state.

According to the Village of Frankfort, Chief Conley submitted his written notice of retirement to Village Mayor Frank Moracco this week, with his retirement to take effect August 30, 2010.

Mayor Moracco said that Conley informed him that "he wishes to pursue other endeavors and spend more time with his family."

"(The Village) accepted the notice, thanking Chief Conley for his hard work and dedicated service to the Village and wishing him the best of luck in his future endeavors," Mayor Moracco's office said in a statement.

Village of Frankfort officials said that with the announcement of Conley's retirement, former village board member Mark Harris will be appointed Public Safety Commissioner of the Village of Frankfort.

Officials also said that a Selection Committee would be created, composed of Harris, Trustee John Spina and Trustee Richard Adams Jr., who will review the input of Herkimer County Civil Service Commission regarding potential candidates for the Village Police Chief position as soon as possible.

The Frankfort Village Board requested a canvas of possible candidates to replace Conley, finding two that are currently viable replacements. Those candidates are Scott Beach, a former Little Falls police officer; and James Goldsmith, a retired Utica police officer who's worked part time with the Town of Frankfort Police.

Both Beach and Goldsmith say they are still interested in the job.

Conley said that his job as chief has been rough, citing poor communication with the Herkimer County District Attorney's office. Calls to the Herkimer County District Attorney were not returned Tuesday evening.

Conley is confident that any charges against him will be dropped, and he says has witnesses to prove he's innocent.

Now, the Police Chief is considering a second career. However, whatever he decides, he says it won't be another job in law enforcement.

Conley says he's had enough of the allegations and thinks that once he's gone, the village won't experience many of the problems it has now.

In the meantime, he plans to file a counter claim in response to charges of assault.

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