State complaint says Ithaca Police Officer had 117 open cases

Local News - - -

ITHACA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A state complaint filed by an Ithaca Police Officer who the City of Ithaca is attempting to terminate has provided more details about what happened inside the department during the last year.

According to a complaint filed last summer with the New York State Division of Human Rights, Ithaca Police Officer Christine Barksdale claimed discrimination by the Ithaca Police Department.

According to the complaint, in March of 2019 Ithaca Police Lt. John Joly took over Barksdale’s division and noticed a backlog of cases.

“This Lieutenant took charge of the investigations division and, set to professionalizing it,” Mayor Svante Myrick said Monday. “We were going to meet weekly with all the investigators and I am going to keep track of all of your cases, we are going to put them in one big spread sheet. That is when he started to see something fishy.”

The complaint states Barksdale was not following that new system of tracking and closing cases. She was not checking in with Lt. Joly every two weeks as he requested.

In May 2019, Joly began assigning cases she did not complete to other detectives. By her own count, Barksdale had 117 open cases. Another detective mentioned in the report had just four open cases.

Barksdale was moved from investigations to the patrol division in May 2019.

She filed a complaint with New York State Division of Human Rights a month later.

The Ithaca Police Department was found to not have done anything wrong by the New York State Division of Human Rights and the lawsuit was dismissed.

The City of Ithaca is seeking the termination of Officer Barksdale. The union that represents Ithaca Police Officers plans on fighting the attempt to fire her.

There’s been criticism toward Mayor Myrick for releasing the information. He said he felt it was the right thing to do.

“It was our desire to be transparent,” he said. “When we found out last year how bad this was, we knew that we couldn’t keep this from the people of Ithaca. The only path toward healing included transparency. And we remain committed to that ethos.”

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