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Police chief returns to job after leave of 13 months



Published: Wed, September 6, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



Mayor Art Magee said he hopes he and the chief get along.

By ED RUNYAN

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

HUBBARD -- After 13 months off, city Police Chief Martin Kanetsky is on the job again.

"I'm glad to be back serving the community," Kanetsky said as he stood with officers Tuesday during the arrest of a convenience store manager charged with selling drugs and illegally redeeming food stamps. It was his first day back on the job.

As for a reason why he was off work so long, Kanetsky said: "I don't even know why. The mayor [Art Magee] saw fit to put me on administrative leave for 13 months. "I'm sure he thinks he is right, but that doesn't always make it right. The fact that we are both strong-willed is a part of it," he said.

Contacted Tuesday, Magee said he would not discuss the reasons for Kanetsky's being placed on paid leave in August 2005. When asked whether he thought he and the chief will get along, he said, "I certainly hope so."

He added, "I have an excellent relationship with the police department."

A little delay

Law Director Jeff Adler said in July he expected Kanetsky to be back at work Aug. 1 after Kanetsky and his attorneys worked through some terms and conditions. Kanetsky said Tuesday the extra month was necessary to complete paperwork.

At the time Kanetsky was placed on administrative leave, officials said it was because of an investigation, but neither Magee or then-Law Director Gary Gilmartin would specify why the police chief was being investigated.

Kanetsky has been a member of the department for more than 20 years.

Retaliation alleged

Kanetsky and his attorneys have said the investigation was a means of retaliation against him for a workers' compensation claim Kanetsky filed against the city concerning health problems from mold that he said was growing in the former police department quarters.

Detective Sgt. James Taafe has been serving as acting police chief, and police have moved to a new building.

runyan@vindy.com




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