Southold Town Board reaches settlement agreement to reinstate police chief
The Southold Town Board announced it reached a settlement with the police chief in order for him to be reinstated.
Chief Martin Flatley was under fire after a retirement party was held during the height of the pandemic, when gatherings of 10 or more people were not allowed. Many people in the community called 911 to complain about how the police and Flatley handled it.
The terms of the agreement include a reprimand letter that will be permanently placed in Flatley's personnel file. The chief will also have to release a letter of apology to the public and retire effective June 24, 2024.
He has been suspended without pay since Aug. 12, 2022.
Following the announcement by the town board, Flatley read his own statement, saying in part, "I apologize to all the residents of the town and in particular to the residents who called 911 or the police department to register a complain regarding activities associated with the retirement party. They deserved a professional response from our department, which they did not receive. The breakdown in training, communication and failure to follow policy and procedure amongst department members is inexcusable and understandably has eroded the public's trust in their police department."
Flatley told News 12 he is just anxious to get back to serving the community.
Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell says he wants the situation behind them and it's time to focus on the future.
Russell tells News 12 Flatley will be restored to duty once all the terms of the agreement are met.
He says hearings are scheduled to consider disciplinary action against four other town employees still under investigation because of the response to the retirement party, but the town cannot release the larger report into the investigations before the pending hearings.