Wednesday, October 11, 2017

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Wappingers Falls elimination of police department challenged in court

WAPPINGERS FALLS – An August vote by the Wappingers Falls Village Board to abolish the police department and shift law enforcement to the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office is being challenged in State Supreme Court in Poughkeepsie by three residents.         

The village clerk’s ruling that a petition calling for a permissive referendum on the conversion is invalid is also being challenged by Michael Hendryk, Devin Ludwig and Carl Calabrese.

The village board voted to do away with the local police department as of next January subject to a permissive referendum saying it would save the village $600,000 in expenses annually and cut the property tax levy by 16 percent.

After being served with the lawsuit on Tuesday, Mayor Matthew Alexander said he believes the village did everything according to Hoyle.

“We certainly understand where they are coming from; however, we know that this is a highly emotional reaction, but we feel very strongly that we have been served well by our police, but we also feel very strongly that we have done everything according to the law and we can defend that in the court,” Alexander said.

The Article 78 proceeding, which will be heard on Thursday, is seeking the permissive referendum to be allowed to go forward and for the village board elimination of the police department to be “null and invalid as it is misleading, ambiguous, illegal, politically partisan and inconsistent with existing law.”

 


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