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Police Commissioners Vote to Appoint Outside Counsel Attorney

 Outside counsel will investigate an allegation of hostile work environment

In what was a surprise to many members of the public attending the Dec. 7 meeting of the Board of Commissioners, police department attorney Ames Ressa proposed a resolution to the Board that they appoint outside counsel to investigate charges brought by Commissioner Angela Lawlor-Mullens regarding a hostile work environment.

The charge was brought to the Commissioners’ attention during the Nov. 10 meeting in the form of the following statement, which was read into the record by Lawlor-Mullens. “I submit notice to this board that a hostile work environment is in violation of the law and harmful to members of this district and the public trust. This statement is in reference to the behavior at the arbitration meeting held on Oct. 27, 2011. Please note that this is the second notice of hostile work conditions. The first notice was submitted to the Board on May 12, 2010.” Attorney Ressa recommended that the commissioners engage Steven Leventhal, Esquire to investigate the charges. The resolution passed unanimously.

Commissioner James Duncan, in comments made after the meeting, stressed that both complaints were very specific, limited to the two referenced incidents and the actions of one commissioner. Lawlor-Mullens did not respond to a request for additional information.