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Southold refuses to release report that fired police chief

Charles Lane

The town of Southold on Long Island is refusing to turn over records related to an investigation by the town board into a police retirement party.

At the height of the pandemic lockdown, Southold police held a party for a retiring sergeant. According to the Suffolk Times, there were 150 people in attendance while the county banned more than 10 from gathering.

The town board hired an outside attorney to investigate which led to the firing of Police Chief Martin Flatley. The Suffolk Times requested the report through the state’s freedom of information law, but was refused in part because what it said was an ongoing investigation with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.

According to county prosecutors, that case was closed earlier this year, but Southold is still withholding the investigation report.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.