T.C.O. Fired

       The East Hampton Village police investigation of two department members who allegedly used a Talmage Lane house without permission of its owner for a romantic tryst on Dec. 30 has resulted in the suspension of a male officer with pay and the dismissal of a female traffic control officer.

       The East Hampton Village Board took action on Friday, making the suspension and dismissal retroactive to Dec. 30.

       The traffic control officer, a civilian employee, was identified in a village board resolution as Jennifer Rosa, 20.

       Gerard Larsen, the department’s chief, would not comment Monday about the specifics of the current investigation or even confirm the officer’s identity. However, numerous other publications and multiple police sources have identified him as Mario Julio Galeano. Even before the official action Friday, his badge and gun had been confiscated by the department. In 2013, Mr. Galeano was recognized by the department for his role the year before in the arrest and conviction of a man accused of having sexual relations with a child. Born in Colombia, he is the only Latino officer on the village force. 

       A fellow traffic control agent who asked that her name not be published, said that Ms.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

       While not speaking specifically to the current investigation, Chief Larsen 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.”

       “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,” he said. 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.


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