Elmira City Manager Michael Collins is staying tight lipped about the departure of former Police Chief Anthony Alvernaz. 18 News reporter Nick Dubina spoke with Collins after a City Council meeting Thursday, where Collins addressed Alvernaz’s departure as a “personnel transaction”, only adding the former Chief is no longer employed by the city.
“What do you want the community to know about why Mr. Alvernaz is no longer the Police Chief?” asked Dubina. ““At this time, I am unable to comment.” answered Collins. Dubina asked “Why is that?” Collins replied: “I just cannot make a comment in regards to that”.
In a statement on Wednesday, Alvernaz said he also could not comment on specifics, but that he was quote “not willing to compromise my principals or ethics. Ultimately, my beliefs cost me my job.” Alvernaz, a 27 year veteran of the force and Police Chief since June of 2021, said he was given an option to resign or be terminated. He did not reveal his choice.
“Was he terminated or did he resign?” Dubina asked City Manager Collins. “His employment ended.” he replied.
Collins says a search is underway for a permanent replacement, while Deputy Chief Kris Thorne serves as Interim Chief. “As of right now we will continue to provide the same service that has been provided to the community, under the former chief’s guidance.” said Collins. “Interim Police Chief Thorne will continue to lead the Elmira Police department, and it will remain business as usual.”
18 News reporter Nick Dubina tried speaking with Elmira Mayor Dan Mandell at City Hall Thursday. Mayor Mandell said he had no comment, and referred all questions to City Manager Collins.