Mayor's Statement on Police Department "Complaint"

For Immediate Release:
March 10, 2023
Plattsburgh, New York

On the evening of March 8, 2023, an anonymous complaint was sent by e-mail to the Mayor and members of the Common Council for the City of Plattsburgh, from someone claiming to be a “Concerned Member” of the City Police Department. The e-mail was then sent to many local media outlets. The e-mail stated that the “Concerned Member” had serious concerns regarding allegedly unethical behavior and racially discriminatory statements from the leadership of the department. The complaint included allegations of specific racially charged comments between two members of the department.

Based on the seriousness of the allegations, the City called an emergency meeting of the Public Safety Committee and immediately commenced an investigation. As a result of the first stages of that investigation—which focused on the alleged conversation—both participants in the conversation have been interviewed, and both deny that any insensitive or racially charged comments were made.
There were no other specific allegations contained in the complaint which can be investigated, based on the highly general nature of the claims, and the anonymous transmission. The City responded to the email address, requesting additional information, and reiterating that the City’s whistleblower policy protects individuals making good faith complaints. At the time of this release, the City has yet to receive a response to this email. Based on the allegations, the public way in which they were transmitted to the media, and the results of the interviews, the City believes it is very likely that the conduct in sending the anonymous e-mail, purportedly by a member of the Police Department, may have created a harassing or hostile work environment for members of the Department.

The City will be investigating the publication of the anonymous complaint and has also referred the matter to the regional office of the New York State Attorney General for investigation.

Thank you,
Mayor Christopher C. Rosenquest