The East Hampton Village Board on Thursday announced the appointment of an independent hearing officer to hear disciplinary charges against Julio Galeano, a village police officer who was suspended without pay on Feb. 21 after an alleged romantic encounter in December with another member of the department at a house in which neither had permission to be.
The board's Feb. 21 action followed its approval of new legislation on police discipline that bypasses the previous process, which had been negotiated with the East Hampton Village Police Benevolent Association. The new legislation does away with the arbitration procedures previously required and provides for dismissal as an option.
On Dec. 30, Officer Galeano was allegedly discovered at a house on Talmage Lane with a traffic control officer, Jennifer Rosa, who was reported to have a key to the house because she had worked there as a cleaner. The house's owner was not there, but guests that were authorized to enter and stay at the house discovered the pair and called the police. Ms. Rosa was fired from her job with the Village Police Department in January. Officer Galeano's gun and badge had already been confiscated when Chief Gerard Larsen brought disciplinary charged against him on Feb. 11. He was at first dismissed with pay. Officer Galeano has denied the charges against him.
The hearing officer, John G. Callahan, an attorney, will listen to comments and testimony from both sides and will issue a recommendation to the village for the appropriate disciplinary action. A date and location for the proceedings has not yet been determined.