BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – A Binghamton Police Lieutenant, currently on paid suspension, is speaking out against what he alleges is racism and retaliation within the department.

Last September, the City of Binghamton took action to fire Lieutenant Alan Quinones, a 15-year veteran of the force.

The city accuses Quinones of covering up the misconduct of another officer, Nicholas Hardy, and then lying about it under oath.

Quinones alleges that he is being retaliated against for having complained about racial discrimination within the department and having submitted an affidavit on behalf of a third officer, Christopher Hamlett, who had brought a racial discrimination case against the city.

Quinones says that when he was hired in 2008, he was shocked to find that racial slurs were tolerated within the department.

As a Cuban-American, he says he was called Ricky Ricardo and that other officers would mock him when he spoke Spanish over the phone.

Quinones, who served 8 and a half years in the Marines, including 2 overseas deployments, says he’s being punished for speaking out.

“Prior to this, I’ve never received any lengthy suspension, I’ve never been in trouble, I’ve been promoted two times, I have great evaluations. Prior to this, and supporting Chris Hamlett, I had a good reputation at the department.”

Quinones had filed a federal lawsuit against the city and members of the police adminsitration alleging retaliation and discrimination.

However, the courts ruled that he did not prove his retaliation claim and Quinones later withdrew his discrimination suit.

His attorney, Ron Benjamin, says Quinones still has other cases pending in both state and federal courts.

Last year, Mayor Jared Kraham rejected a hearing officer recommendation that Hardy be suspended and demoted and chose to fire him instead.

Nevertheless, Quinones is certain that he’ll be vindicated following his disciplinary hearing.

“I’m confident that I’m going to be successful in the hearing. I have no qualms whatsoever. If they want to hold a hearing, that’s fine, we can hold a hearing. But, the real losers right now are the taxpayers. I’m reinstated, I’m receiving a salary and I’m sitting at home not doing what I love to do and what I’m good at.”

The hearing is not expected to take place for several months.

In his ruling terminating Hardy, Kraham wrote that Quinones had provided Hardy with improper warnings of internal investigations and had mocked and harassed his fellow officers.

Due to those conclusions, a State Supreme Court Judge recently ruled that Kraham would need to appoint someone else to determine Quinones’s fate.

Hamlett settled with the city and has since retired.