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Oct 19, 2018 10:28 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Police Lieutenant Receives $185,000 Settlement From Town

Oct 23, 2018 3:28 PM

Southampton Town Police Detective Lieutenant James Kiernan was paid a one-time sum of $185,000 and given a promotion as part of the settlement of a $7.5 million lawsuit that he filed against the town and the department’s former chief, William Wilson, in 2014.

Previously a lieutenant, Det. Lt. Kiernan will receive a 7-percent bump in pay with the promotion. He will also be credited with 73 days—60 sick days, 11 vacation days and two personal days—that, according to the settlement, can be carried over from year to year indefinitely, and if never used, will be paid out at the time of his retirement at the daily rate of pay at that time.

Det. Lt. Kiernan’s promotion went into effect on September 11, 2018, just 10 days before the agreement was reached on September 21.

Early last week, town officials refused to disclose the amount of money Det. Lt. Kiernan would receive in the settlement.

Russell Kratoville, the town’s management services administrator, said he could not say how much money the settlement would cost taxpayers because the agreement had not been executed. The agreement was executed on Thursday, according to Mr. Kratoville, who provided the settlement documents to The Press on Friday.

According to court documents, Det. Lt. Kiernan accused Mr. Wilson of asking him to apply political pressure to help him become police chief.

While Mr. Wilson was a candidate for police chief, and later as head of the police department, he, according to the suit, asked Det. Lt. Kiernan to use his political connections to swing Republican officials in favor of his appointment to chief.

When Lt. Kiernan, a veteran police officer and longtime town Republican Committee member, declined, the suit alleges that Mr. Wilson mounted a public campaign of misinformation to remove Lt. Kiernan from the department—a campaign, he said in court filings, that cost him months of pay, a potential promotion to second-in-command, and caused him a great deal of pain and suffering.

Lt. Kiernan, who was suspended for six months during Mr. Wilson’s tumultuous 18-month tenure with the department, had claimed in the original suit, filed in 2014, that the former chief and members of the Town Board had colluded to retaliate against him for not having used his political connections to support Mr. Wilson’s hiring in the spring of 2011. He alleged that they had conspired to block him from getting a promotion, caused him pain and suffering, and also damaged his reputation because of his suspension and the charges of dereliction of duty becoming public.

This is the third settlement to be reached between the Town and a member of the police force in just over a year.

In August 2017, Detective Sergeant Lisa Costa received a $300,000 payment to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit she filed against the police department and the town in 2014.

In the lawsuit, Det. Sgt. Costa alleged that she had been unfairly passed over for promotions and was sexually harassed as a female cop.

Lieutenant Susan Ralph also settled a gender discrimination lawsuit that she filed against the town and the police department in 2015, in May 2018, receiving a payment of $120,000. She was also credited with 22 sick days.

Lt. Ralph claimed that she was sexually discriminated against by her male superiors, and a month after filing the suit, she was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant. She was the first woman to ever be promoted to lieutenant in the Southampton Town Police Department.

The settlement, signed on March 23, did not indicate an admission of guilt in the legal battle. Still, in the settlement of the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, the town agreed to write Lt. Ralph a $120,000 check and give her a credit for 59 sick days, seven days of vacation and the use of a police vehicle. The town also agreed to provide Lt. Ralph with recommendations from the police department so she could attend training at the Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

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What a scam.
By jjinhb (16), Hampton Bays on Oct 19, 18 11:37 AM
2 members liked this comment
Help me understand this. There was an internal Republican Party fight and we the TAXPAYERS have to pay for it? Who was on the Town Board when this occurred? Why can't the present Town Board sue the Republican Party and get OUR money back? And what about this guy Wilson, doesn't he owe us?
By SpeedRacer (146), Southampton on Oct 19, 18 12:11 PM
1 member liked this comment
Taxpayers shouldn't pay a penny. Plenty of slush money in police budget to cover their mistakes. Take from Wilson's pension!
By deepchanel (80), Hampton Bays on Oct 19, 18 1:34 PM
So he was supposed to be demoted back to Sgt but crooked Nuzzi went against that, he plead guilty to 4 charges and now he gets a promotion and money?!?! Something smells bad here. The Town Board is a joke
By mrobin (119), North Sea on Oct 19, 18 12:31 PM
Town Hall can send up puffs of white smoke and anoint Kiernan Pope, it doesn’t change the fact that he plead GUILTY. Kiernan’s Union was footing the bill for his legal expenses, so his assertion that he “couldn’t afford” a hearing is utter nonsense.

The Town knows he’s guilty, his peers know he’s guilty, the DA knows he’s guilty and he knows he’s guilty. No amount of deflection, litigation, denial or rationalization will change the ...more
By Disgustedwithyou (36), Hampton Bays on Oct 19, 18 2:08 PM
Gross. Pathetic. Dirty. Clowns. All involved. And once again, we pay up.
By Lets go mets (366), Southampton on Oct 19, 18 5:44 PM
lmao When do these over paid traffic cops get disbanded? Cant wait till the pension fund goes bust!
By chief1 (2740), southampton on Oct 19, 18 7:27 PM
Well CHIEF stupid, you will be waiting a long time. The NYS Police and Fire Pension fund is one of the most solvent and well managed pension systems in the Nation! The most recent statement from Albany which is mailed annually to pension recipients states that the system is now 94% self funded. Get the facts before you shoot off your stupid mouth!!!!
By mtkfishman (71), montauk on Oct 23, 18 8:05 AM
Its a Republican revenge using the Democratic controlled NY state laws to benefit the unions. Politically correct, etc. U know the drill. Gotta love it.
By realistic (465), westhampton on Oct 19, 18 8:31 PM
Time to shut down the SHTPD and turn it over to the NY State Police... Because they're not corrupt.. LOL
By DisgustedHamptons (56), Hampton Bays on Oct 19, 18 9:14 PM
What can one say?

An independent expert consulted by Newsday who examined Kiernan's record in the narcotics-use-on-the-job scandal was of the opinion that his conduct was a "termination offense". Nothing happened.

Kiernan then sued the Town for a million dollars claiming that he was persecuted - - - and lost. Nothing happened.

Now, The Town Board is paying him hundreds of thousands of dollars (Don't forget all those Sick Day$, Vacation Day$, and Personal Day$ that ...more
By highhatsize (4076), East Quogue on Oct 19, 18 10:36 PM
2 members liked this comment
Bad, bad, bad.
By Arnold Timer (326), Sag Harbor on Oct 20, 18 10:32 PM
I can't wait till the next SHPD community barbeque. It's a great time to connect with our law enforcement. Wait, the only news you hear is when one of their officers is suing.
By lirider (274), Hampton Bays on Oct 21, 18 7:44 PM
Mtkfishman......Suffolk County alone needs to contribute nearly 300 mil a year to the pension fund. Many times counties in New York need to go in debt to pay their pension contributions. How long can we go at this place? How long can taxpayers keep equalizing pension funds? You are so wrong!
By chief1 (2740), southampton on Oct 24, 18 9:52 AM
I think what I've learned since moving to Southampton Town in 2008 is that no one gets promoted in this police department based upon their own merit and hard work. Instead, you basically need to be a criminal and a complete scumbag. I sincerely hope the DA is not finished investigating Kiernan and the rest of his little buddies. The administration there needs to all get the boot. Out with the old and in with the new. Can't wait to see what will be in the papers next week since we can't seem ...more
By DHampt843 (1), Hampton Bays on Oct 24, 18 11:58 AM
1 member liked this comment
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