Cop in Tryst Suspended

East Hampton Village officer asked to turn over badge and gun

    The East Hampton Village police investigation of a male officer and a female village traffic control officer who allegedly used a Talmage Lane house without permission of its owner for a romantic tryst on Dec. 30 resulted in the officer being suspended with pay and the village board dismissing the traffic control officer, identified in the minutes of the meeting as Jennifer Rosa, 20. Both actions were retroactive to Dec. 30.

     A fellow traffic control agent, who asked that her name not be published, said that Ms. Rosa knew where the key for the house was because she had previously worked at the house as a cleaner.

     The officer, who has been identified by the New York Post as well as by multiple police sources as Mario Julio Galeano, has had his badge and gun confiscated by the force. In 2013, the officer was recognized by the department for his role in the arrest and conviction the year before of a man accused of having sexual relations with a child.

     The officer, a native of Colombia, is the only Latino officer on the force.

Gerard Larsen, the department's chief, would not comment today about the specifics of the current investigation or even confirm the officer's identity.

     However, he did talk about the steps in disciplining or removing an officer from the force. The first thing people need to realize, he said, is that "there is a process involved." He explained that process by saying, "When something happens that generates an internal investigation, if we find misconduct, we relieve the officer of duty. We have to do that with pay." The entire process, he explained, is part of the collective bargaining agreement between the village the Police Benevolent Association.

     The chief said that the police investigative side of the current action has been concluded, as far as he is concerned.

     When an officer is relieved of duty, he said, the matter is then brought before the East Hampton Village Board. That appears to be what happened on Friday. The officer, he said, could be suspended or even terminated. "People are getting off track here," he said about published reports. "It takes time. The officer has rights under collective bargaining." But he added, "I think, in the end, people will be satisfied with the outcome."

     "I run a very strict Police Department," he said. "If these allegations are true, it brings embarrassment to the entire Police Department."

     David Davis, an attorney representing the officer on behalf of the P.B.A., was unavailable for comment.