Hearing officer: Suspended Schenectady cop should not be fired
SCHENECTADY The Schenectady police officer who got into a loud argument with his girlfriend on a public street should not be fired from the force, Hearing Officer Jeffrey Selchick recommended.
Selchick sent his 59-page recommendation to the city Monday. Today, Mayor Gary McCarthy said he did not plan to fight Selchick’s ruling.
“I’m not going to appeal,” he said. “There is an appeal process, but the likelihood of any municipality prevailing — it’s stacked against us. I’m not looking to spend time or money in a frivolous manner.”
Eric Peters was suspended with pay in March 2011 after being arrested on domestic abuse charges. He was acquitted in January.
Selchick said the witnesses could not have seen Peters strike his girlfriend. Peters and his girlfriend testified that they were merely gesticulating while arguing.
“Significantly, the Hearing Officer notes the location of [the witness’] car and [the girlfriend’s] truck, the fact that the truck’s rear seat window on the driver’s side is heavily tinted, and the configuration of the interior of the truck made it very difficult for either [witness] to have had a clear view of what was occurring in the truck,” Selchick wrote. “Adding to their difficulty in obtaining a clear view, of course, was the fact that their observations were made in the evening hours.”
Selchick also visited the location to see how far apart the two cars were on that night and said he felt the distance was too far to see anything clearly.
Peters’ attorney, Kevin Luibrand, said Peters has been offered jobs at other police departments but wanted to clear his name here instead.
“Eric is one of the good guys,” Luibrand said. “He wanted to clear up his reputation.”