ELMIRA, N.Y. – Four days after former Elmira Police Chief Anthony Alvernaz was dismissed without explanation on January 9th, WETM requested his disciplinary records from the city. These records can be released to the public under state law. After an initial waiting period of five business days, the city requested an extension. Today, 33 days after our initial request, WETM received this response from the City Clerk:

“In response to your FOIL request dated January 13th, 2023, requesting the disciplinary records of former Chief Anthony Alvernaz, the City does not possess any disciplinary records relating to former Chief Alvernaz during his time as Chief of Police. Therefore, your request is denied. You have the right to appeal this decision in writing to Hon. Daniel J. Mandell, Mayor of the City of Elmira, at 317 East Church Street, Elmira, New York 14901.

Angela Williams, City Clerk / Records Manager”

Today WETM served the city a new Freedom of Information Act letter requesting Mr. Alvernaz’s personnel records. We have also requested emails sent between the Elmira City Manager and Council regarding the former chief’s departure.

Mr. Alvernaz is also staying quiet. He made his only public statement two days after leaving his job. The former chief said he was given the option to resign or be fired, adding quote “ultimately my beliefs cost me my job.”

Full statement from Anthony Alvernaz on Jan. 11th, 2023:

I want to thank the many members of the community who have contacted me and my family with words of encouragement and support over these last 24 hours.

On January 9, 2023 I was advised that my position as Chief of Police of the Elmira Police Department was ending and I was given the option to resign or be terminated.

Throughout my 27 years as an Elmira Police Officer, my oath of office was very important to me. I am unable to comment on the specifics at this time, but the community should know that I was not willing to compromise my principles or ethics. Ultimately, my beliefs cost me my job.

My saddest regret is that I will be unable to continue to strengthen the developing close partnerships between the department and members of our community. I am confident the new generation of officers will continue to foster this sensitive and important relationship.

As I move to the next chapter of my life, I would like to thank the department and its members, both past and present for their service and sacrafice. I’d especially like to thank the community for supporting me in my career and providing me a lifetime of rewarding experiences and memories.

I wish everyone all the best and a happy and peaceful future.

– Anthony Alvernaz