BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – A State Supreme Court Judge has ordered back pay for a suspended Binghamton cop embroiled in a case that alleges racism and retaliation within the department.
Judge Jeffrey Tait issued a ruling Tuesday that ordered Binghamton to provide Lieutenant Alan Quinones with back pay while he awaits a hearing on charges that he lied under oath.
BPD suspended Quinones last September on charges that he had lied during and interfered with the disciplinary hearing of another officer, Nicholas Hardy.
Hardy was subsequently fired by Mayor Jared Kraham.
In his decision to terminate Hardy, Kraham wrote that Quinones had made misrepresentations during his testimony.
Tait ruled that as a result, Kraham can not serve as an impartial determiner of Quinones’s conduct following his hearing.
The attorney for both officers, Ron Benjamin, says they are both being punished for speaking out on behalf of a third officer, Christopher Hamlett, who brought racial discrimination allegations against the department.
Benjamin says Hamlett has since settled with the city.
“They’re going to get hit with severe, significant judgments. Because what they’ve done, and what they’re continuing to do, is try to cover up the vendetta that the Chief had because these two officers supported Hamlett and make up bogus charges which are never going to be successful. Who gets the bill? The taxpayer.”
Tait ordered that Kraham appoint a qualified and impartial individual to decide Quinones’s fate following his hearing which Benjamin says will likely take place in May.
Kraham issued a statement saying that Quinones faces disciplinary charges for covering up Hardy’s misconduct and lying about it under oath and that both men’s actions put the safety of their fellow officers and the public at risk.
Kraham calls lawsuits brought by Benjamin on behalf of the men baseless.