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City hall largely silent on UFD disciplinary issue

Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri says that, after being made aware of allegations against a member of the city fire department, Utica Police investigated, found no criminal wrongdoing, but a member of the fire department was disciplined as a result of the investigation.

Posted: Jun 14, 2018 6:16 PM
Updated: Jun 14, 2018 6:16 PM

Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri says that, after being made aware of allegations against a member of the city fire department, Utica Police investigated, found no criminal wrongdoing, but a member of the fire department was disciplined as a result of the investigation.

Citing civil rights law, the mayor says he cannot release the findings of the investigation or the discipline that was administered.
Some local media outlets this week have published text messages of a sexual nature, naming a high-ranking member of the Utica Fire Department as the author. Corresponding news stories accuse that high-ranking member of the department of preying on a potential recruit. NewsChannel 2 does not broadcast such accusations without identifying the person making them. Mayor Palmieri would not say when the incident or investigation at the fire department occured.

On Thursday, City Councilman Joe Marino called on the mayor to step aside as public safety commissioner and hire one, saying that the mayor serving in that capacity raises ethical dilemmas.

"This gives a terrible impression that there is not true, objective investigation. This has lead to animosity and could even lead to the perception of you directing the entire chain of events on disciplinary hearings," said Palmieri. 

Mayor Palmieri did not return multiple calls and messages Thursday, inquiring as to whether he'd received any resignations from any fire department members.

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