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Town of Tonawanda Police union sues over the release of police disciplinary records

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Posted at 1:53 PM, Aug 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-31 15:02:18-04

TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Town of Tonawanda Police Club is suing the Town, Town Board, its Police Department, and Town Supervisor over the release of police disciplinary records.

The suit alleges complaints against officers include matters that are pending as well as unsubstantiated matters or issues where the officer was exonerated. The union says the release of that information violates due process and stigmatizes members of the police department.

The complaint field says the union is not challenging the disclosure or “proven or final disciplinary matters”.

This all comes on after the 50-a law was repealed making police disciplinary records public once again.

The union is asking State Supreme Court Judge Frank Sedita to put a temporary restraining order in place immediately that bars the release of records.

We reached out to Town Supervisor Joe Emminger said in a statement to 7 Eyewitness News he can't comment in detail because of the pending litigation but is in support of records being made public. Read his full statement below.

"I believe the Police discipline records should be made available but not anything that would be considered part of their training. We are always working to make our police officers, and for that matter, all of our town employees, better at their jobs and training plays a vital/crucial role in helping us achieve that goal."
Town Supervisor Joe Emminger