ITHACA, N.Y. (WETM) – The City of Ithaca leaders are remaining quiet about canceling the civil service exam for the position of Police Chief.
On March 9, 18 News published a story about the cancelation of the civil service exam for the position of Police Chief for the City of Ithaca. We reached out to city leaders on March 8 to allow them to respond prior to the original story being published, however, none of the officials we reached out to responded.
Also on March 8, we reached out to the company hired by the city to head up the search for a chief, and New York State Civil Service. Both responded prior to publishing the story the next day. Also, prior to publishing the story, we filed a FOIL request with the city.
We received the initial response from the City of Ithaca on March 9 stating we would “receive a response if our FOIL request was granted or denied by 4/4/2023.” However, that date came and passed. On April 6, we reached out to the city again, and the city responded the next day stating that “we are still in the process of reviewing your request and searching for responsive records. You will receive a response that your FOIL request has either been granted or denied, on or before April 25, 2023.”
We did respond reminding them that they had already passed the date that they had provided; additionally, we have not had any further correspondence from the city.
18 News is attempting to get information from city officials; however, the City of Ithaca is not cooperating and is delaying the release of the information that has been requested for over a month. This is more than a quarter of the maximum time that the firm hired said that it would take to complete their search (90-120 days). It’s unclear whether the city will wait until that is complete before allowing the public to know what is going on.
The information requested in our FOIL request consists of:
We reached out to (without a response from) the Mayor, Laura Lewis, who originally nominated the current Acting Police Chief Joly to the permanent Chief. However, the nomination was withdrawn, prompting another legal issue for the city. We have filed another FOIL request, as they would not release the Notice of Claim without it; however, they gave us a date in May to let us know if it was approved or denied. The contact information for the mayor and the other Common Council members can be located on the City of Ithaca’s website.
Check back for updates on this story as officials make more information available. The purpose of this article is to let our readers know that we are working on it and the obstacles that city officials are placing on the release of public information.