Clarkstown Police Feud With Officer Growing

A Clarkstown police officer is claiming that his impending firing is due to his military service. 31- year old officer Stephen Quinones was hired by the Clarkstown Police Department in February after graduating from the Rockland County Police Academy and in April was put on as a full-time officer. According to Quinones’ attorney, Maureen McNamara, he received satisfactory marks on all his evaluations, until November 13, when he requested a Saturday off for his duties as a military reservist, his latest evaluation was changed to unsatisfactory, an he was told to resign or be fired. McNamara stated that Quinones told a Clarkstown instructor that his unit could be deployed in 2014 while he was training at the academy, and she stated that allowing his requests for time off would create budget problems for the town so they decided to let him go. According to town officials, including Supervisor Alex Gromack, Quinones is being terminated because of personal problems within the force and his performance as an officer. Gromack stated that for the past five years the town has had a budget for 163 officers and they have always remained in that limit. Town Attorney Amy Mele stated that town officials have always followed the law when it comes to veterans and service people, and many officers have had time off to serve in the military. State law requires that military personnel cannot be penalized for needed time off for duties. McNamara stated that if the town board does not listen to Quinones’ side of the story he will file a suit against them.

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