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Kulik: 'We're moving forward'

Town Board conducts closed session meeting about police chief

August 25, 2010 | 09:00 AM
Geneva — Some Town Board members still aren't talking about what happened between a supervisor and Police Chief Ed Gritzner at the Aug. 7 FunFestival.

But some pieces of the puzzle are falling together.

On Thursday, Aug. 19, the board conducted a closed session meeting "to consider financial, medical, social or personal histories or disciplinary data of specific persons, preliminary consideration of specific personnel problems or the investigation of charges against specific persons which, if discussed in public, would be likely to have a substantial adverse effect upon the reputation of any person referred to in such histories or data, or involved in such problems or investigations" about Gritzner.

In an e-mail the next day, Town Chairman Dan Lauderdale stated no action was taken at the meeting.

An attempt to reach Gritzner for comment was unsuccessful by press time.

Also on Friday, Supervisor Larry Kulik provided some insight into the board's ongoing investigation of the mysterious incident.

"We're moving forward," Kulik said. "This is all going to come out and will come to a close sooner than later because the town needs to move on."

He said the board took no official action Aug. 19, but its members brainstormed some ideas of how to handle the situation. Supervisor Steve Kukla was absent from the Aug. 19, but Kulik said the board will meet again in the future, likely in closed session, in the next couple weeks.

Kulik also said the board members in attendance Aug. 19 seem to be "on the same wavelength" and want to make sure whatever's done is done properly.

"We need to tell the public what is going on out there, but because this is a personnel issue, right now, we can't," Kulik said.

He said whatever happens, the final decision wouldn't be up to the board concerning Gritzner.

"If the board did anything, it would be a recommendation to the Police Commission," Kulik said. "They do the hiring, firing, discipline."

It's clear the incident involves Gritzner, but the supervisor's identity remains a mystery.

On Friday, during separate telephone interviews, Kulik and Supervisor Keith Millard said they couldn't release that information.

"None of the Town Board members are facing allegations," Millard said.

What's out in the open

It appears only the people near Gritzner and the supervisor during the incident know exactly what happened.

Last week, Kulik said he was out of the state during the FunFestival, and Supervisor Bob Kamps said he was at a Como Community Church function.

Initially, Lauderdale called it an "alleged" incident during a brief telephone interview Aug. 12. He also asked the Regional News not to investigate the incident and not to call other Town Board members.

"Let us do the job of investigation," Lauderdale said.

During a separate Aug. 12 telephone interview, Millard said he wouldn't comment on whether he and Gritzner were involved in an incident Aug. 7 or if attorneys are involved in the situation now.

"There were no arrests," Millard said.

Supervisor Bob Kamps said he heard about the incident Aug. 9, shortly after the Geneva Town Board meeting. He said someone told him the incident involved the police chief and a town supervisor. However, Kamps said he didn't know who the supervisor was.

The only public account so far is what's been posted in response to a blog on the Regional News website titled "Town of Geneva Festival."

One writer posted a comment asking the Regional News to investigate the incident. The writer stated he or she heard "the police chief got drunk at the FunFestival and had an altercation with one of the town supervisors."

On Friday, Kulik said he wants to assure town residents the board is handling the situation.

"We have no intentions of sweeping this thing anywhere except to clean it up," he said.

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