Lt. Kiernan Headed Back to Work

Settlement agreement lifts suspension of embattled Southampton Town police officer.

The Southampton Town Board voted unanimously Tuesday to ratify a settlement with James Kiernan of the town police department — an agreement that puts the lieutenant back to work for the first time in about six months.

Town Board members did not discuss the details of the settlement during Tuesday's public board meeting, but did say after the meeting that it lifts Kiernan's suspension. Had disciplinary hearings continued, Kiernan could potentially have had his employment terminated.

In April, Chief William Wilson put Kiernan, the former commander of the now-defunct Street Crimes Unit, on administrative leave, and in May, the Town Board suspended him without pay.

Just days after Kiernan's suspension, detectives with Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota's Government Corruption Bureau subpoenaed the Southampton Town clerk's office and seized boxes of police documents said to contain details of "every confidential personnel police investigation from the police department from the years 1990-2009."

The seizure came following allegations that documents were shredded just before Wilson assumed his post in 2011.

A couple weeks after executing the subpoena at Town Hall, Spota announced that two convicts who has been the subject of Street Crimes Unit cases would have their sentences vacated and be released from prison. The move came after his office began reviewing more than 100 cases involving a Street Crimes Unit officer whose credibility was called into question, according to Spota.

The police officer was later identified as Eric Sickles, who was suspended himself in July. The outcome of his suspension is still pending.

According to Town Board resolutions and minutes, Kiernan became a police officer in 1997 and was promoted to sergeant in 2005. He was sworn in as a lieutenant at a Town Board meeting on Oct. 11, 2011.

Barry Van Dawater October 24, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Congratulations Jim, I hope the town had to give you a win fall. As for the previous moronic statements, remember lots of people still live with their heads up their a--.
DrSique October 24, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Unfortunately, we will never know the whole truth about what happened in this case. The problem may not have been Kiernan but, since the town has decided to hide many of the facts, he will forever be branded. Personally, I wouldn't trust Wilson as far as I can urinate.
John D. October 25, 2012 at 12:46 AM
The facts of this case have been so misrepresented its disgraceful. The press has been manipulated by the chief and his very small group of desperate colleagues who would distort the truth for their own personal gain. My wish is for a real journalist to do his or her job and do some investigative reporting on the truth. Newsday and these other publications have done a horrendous job in fact checking their stories. Lt. Kiernan is a dedicated and loyal public servant who deserves a sincere apology. Those who would defame for personal gain and advancement must be exposed for what they truly are, morally corrupt and reprehensible human beings.
Thomas M Jones October 27, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Wow,Let me get this straight Lt gets charged with 20 counts of misconduct. Police Officer susupended for alleged drug use. Two convicted felons let out of prison. It's all better now. Lt comes back to work we give him big hugs and kisses and gun back. But, still DA's investigation? Holy Shi... Batman who really runs Gotham?Disgraceful! Either all a lie and Chief and Council conspired against him. When do we John Q citizen get the facts? We need answers to this or who do we trust going forward.
Thomas M Jones October 27, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Right on.. This is disgusting. Can it be that corrupt? Who runs the show?


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