Hearing officer recommends firing Clarkstown police chief

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A hearing officer is recommending the firing of Clarkstown Police Chief Michael Sullivan after finding him guilty of illegal surveillance among other charges.

Sullivan, who had already been found guilty on counts related to use of a town-issued cellphone, is calling the charges part of a political witch hunt.

The embattled chief was found guilty of using improper surveillance for personal and political purposes. He was also found guilty of abuse of power and misconduct regarding unauthorized posts he made on social media.

He has been suspended from his job since July 2016, but the hearing officer recommended that he be terminated.

"This evidence that he cites for his decisions is not well-documented. I think it was rushed,” said Sullivan.

Sullivan, who is currently running for town supervisor against George Hoehmann, says he believes he's just the victim of a political attack.

A statement on the hearing officer’s decision from Hoehmann said, "The people of Clarkstown must be able to have trust and confidence in those who represent them in government. I look forward to the day when we can turn the page of this sad and unfortunate chapter in our town's history."

The town board will vote on whether it accepts the recommendation.

Sullivan says he plans to continue his campaign for town supervisor even if he's terminated.

The town board has still not voted on Sullivan's first round of guilty charges relating to the use of his town-issued cellphone. A hearing officer recommended then that the former chief should be suspended for 15 days without pay.

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