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May 16, 2012 11:23 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

In Light Of Police Files Investigation,Tenaglia Claims No Wrongdoing

May 16, 2012 11:47 AM

Scrutiny has focused on Southampton Town and its police department in the wake of Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas J. Spota’s Government Corruption Bureau seizing seven boxes of confidential police investigative files from the town clerk’s vault last week, and the D.A. having empaneled a grand jury to determine whether there was any criminal behavior in connection with the handling of the records.

Amid this backdrop, former Town Police Captain Anthony Tenaglia has spoken out—to say there was no wrongdoing.

“There were no records destroyed. There were no records missing,” the former captain, now retired, who was in charge of police headquarters at the time of the incident, said in a phone interview on Monday. “This was some concocted conspiracy theory that never occurred.”

Allegations that police documents were being improperly removed from police headquarters in Hampton Bays, or destroyed—by police brass, among others—arose during a transition in police administrations in May 2011, when Captain Tenaglia was the acting chief. The allegations surfaced publicly several months ago when it came to light that the D.A.’s office was probing the issue.

Matters intensified last week with a subpoena from the D.A’s office for police records that had been transferred to Town Hall last May following the claims of shredding, and allegations that police files were being removed from headquarters.

“It’s getting to the point that it’s looking like something was done improperly, and I just can’t let it continue and continue without saying something,” Captain Tenaglia said. “There’s nothing to hide. There’s nothing going on. Southampton Town is a good police department. It’s an honest police department. It was then and it is now.”

In addition to challenging the allegations of records tampering, the Captain Tenaglia also disputed Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst’s claim that she had been the one to order police records be transferred from headquarters to Town Hall to protect their integrity, in light of the allegations.

“I ordered those records,” Captain Tengalia stated, stressing the “I,” and saying he asked the town to take control of them during the transition between the two police administrations. “I didn’t know at that time if I was going to stay long, or not stay, because I was disappointed I didn’t get made the chief of police, so I was considering retiring rather soon. So I said, ‘These are extremely sensitive records. I would be uncomfortable leaving these extremely sensitive records unattended. I want them to be safeguarded.’”

He said he then called the town’s labor attorney, Vincent Toomey, and that the arrangement was made with Mr. Toomey, under the guidance and direction of Town Clerk Sundy Schermeyer, for the records to be safeguarded.

Captain Tenaglia, who became captain in 1990—the same year former Police Chief James Overton became chief—served as the former chief’s executive officer until Chief Overton retired in April 2011. Though widely seen as his presumptive successor, Captain Tenaglia was ultimately passed over for the job, which went to then-Southampton Village Police Chief William Wilson Jr. Captain Tenaglia officially retired in February 2012. Prior to retiring, he had not been at work since the end of September when he left to have a cervical operation.

Captain Tenaglia would not get into any more detail of the records other than to say they were “extremely sensitive documents.”

According to a copy of the subpoena, the D.A’s office sought “any and all records, documents, files, folders, boxes, audio recordings, video records or other images transported on or about May 13, 2011,” as well as “any and all logs, records, sign in/out sheets, file request forms for the materials referenced above, reflecting who gained access, review or possession of materials,” since May 13, 2011. It states that all subpoenaed materials will be retained pending the final resolution of a grand jury’s investigation.

Accompanying the subpoena was a Town Police memo dated May 13, 2011, stating that the seven boxes of folders “represent every confidential personnel police investigation from the police department from the years 1990-2009,” nearly the entire span of the Overton-Tenaglia administration. The memo was signed by Captain Tenaglia, as well as Sergeant Michael Joyce, who escorted the records; Town Management Services Administrator Russell Kratoville, who received them; and Town Clerk Sundy Schermeyer, who transported them.

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quote: Captain Tenaglia said. “There’s nothing to hide. There’s nothing going on."  

As the cat spit out a few feathers from his mouth when asked, "where's the canary?"

quote: "Mr. Kratoville’s office in the Human Resources Department was the most appropriate place for them."  - in reference to the files.  

Yeah,  Kratoville is as honest as the day is long and is only good at delivering mail from certain Republican thugs.

I ...more
By Geppetto (59), Southampton on May 16, 12 3:09 PM
I think Gepetto needs to spend more time making puppets and less time thinking about local government. ATH has been caught in yet another lie......I think we are in double digits.......and this lie involves the police just like her BIGGEST lie (about not getting a call on the Kabot DWI from her buddies in the PD when she actually did at about 2AM). Can't you understand that there is something very insidious here with respect to ATH and her friends in the PD and those she perceives as the enemy ...more
By mrmako61 (148), southampton on May 16, 12 6:52 PM
2 members liked this comment
Hope no one gets left out - that should be going out.
By fix-it-now (216), sag harbor on May 17, 12 10:55 AM
There are enough puppets in this town. Seems like there is also an influx in clowns as well.
By Geppetto (59), Southampton on May 17, 12 12:57 PM
1 member liked this comment
I want to thank Mr Tenaglia for assuring us that there was no wrong doing. Now this matter can be put to rest.
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on May 16, 12 4:17 PM
2 members liked this comment
Really! Who is to know what the facts really are?
By joan s (53), hampton bays on May 17, 12 3:46 PM
You ole cynic, you!

The headline doesn't help:

>> "Tenaglia Claims No Wrongdoing"

Implicit in the use of "claims" is editorial doubt. They might as well as said, "Tenaglia, Lying through his Teeth, Claims No Wrongdoing."

Does 27East have special information? Share, share!
By Frank Wheeler (1826), Northampton on May 18, 12 1:01 PM
Attention fiddlers, time to tune up your instruments.

You can't make this stuff up!

FIDDLE FIDDLE FIDDLE
By Nero (301), Sag Harbor on May 16, 12 5:34 PM
Dangerous iceberg time. Keep your eyes below the waterline.
By barberosa (39), Watermill on May 16, 12 7:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
Does someone have a guilty conscience or is that just Marietta telling him what to say as usual? Hope retirement is treating you well, the party seems to just be getting started.
By mrobin (121), North Sea on May 16, 12 9:55 PM
The misgivings of The Street Crime Unit and the charges levied against the Lieutenant are going to have much to do with that uninterrupted day of shredded files. Obviously the most damning evidence is destroyed first and you work your way down. God knows all the good stuff was turned into recycled toilet paper by now..... and Tenaglia knows it.
By banina81 (11), Sag Harbor on May 17, 12 12:43 AM
1 member liked this comment
"recycled toilet paper" ??!!?? I think I'm going to gag
By CaptainSig (716), Dutch Harbor on May 17, 12 10:39 PM
1 member liked this comment
The simple fact that no other law enforcement agencies will work with you or share information with you speaks volumes in and of itself alone.
By sayitaintsojoe (100), Westhampton on May 17, 12 11:05 AM
The simple fact that no other law enforcement agencies will work with you or share information with you speaks volumes in and of itself alone.
By sayitaintsojoe (100), Westhampton on May 17, 12 11:05 AM
"multiple calls that Ms. Kabot and Chief Overton were at headquarters and that documents were being shredded and removed."

This thing smells real bad!! I wonder what was in the files that walked out in Linda Kabot's arms?
By SHNative (554), Southampton on May 19, 12 10:12 PM
1 member liked this comment
maybe suffolk county needs to send in a BAT TRUCK to fight corruption, too.
By milkdilk (49), Southampton on May 26, 12 8:18 AM