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Three Ithaca Police Officers Cleared in Investigation


A months-long investigation conducted by State Police into allegations made by an anonymous source of overtime fraud by three members of the Ithaca Police Department has resulted in all three being cleared.

The investigation into Lieutenants Jacob Young and David Amaro, as well as Acting Ithaca Police Chief John Joly, started in December when a Common Council Alderperson received an anonymous email accusing the trio of committing overtime fraud. The Ithaca Police Benevolent Association said the email had strong undertones of political and personal motivations.

Photo provided by the Ithaca Police Benevolent Association

The complaint was forwarded to the State Attorney General’s Office, which declined to open an investigation into the matter after its review. That’s when the Tompkins County District Attorney’s Office requested a State Police investigation. That investigation concluded last week with all officers being cleared of any wrongdoing.

Now, the Ithaca PBA is calling on the District Attorney’s Office to conduct a full investigation to identify the source of the complaint.

The President of the Ithaca PBA, Thomas Condzella, said that this was the outcome that the PBA expected all along. Condzella said, “ My members cooperated fully with the investigation, they had nothing to hide. It’s a shame that the resources of the DA’s Office and the New York State Police had to be used on what we knew were bogus accusations. I commend Alderpersons Brock and Nguyen for bringing this forward, and I commend the DA for initiating the investigation, like us they are public officials who have a duty to uphold. ” Condzella continued stating, “I question the motivations of this complaint, it appeared to be an attempt to smear the reputations of my members and Acting Chief Joly, as opposed to a genuinely concerned member of our community bringing this forward in good faith.”

The PBA President said he believes that the person that brought the allegations forward had a personal vendetta against Young, Amaro, and Joly. Condzella also said, “All the ghostwriter accomplished here was successfully misappropriating county and state-level law enforcement resources. They succeeded in putting an immense amount of stress on my members, Acting Chief Joly, and their families. At a time when we can’t afford to lose more cops, they’ve also succeeded in pushing Dave and John to seriously consider resigning from the Department, and they’ve succeeded in pushing Jake to retire when he otherwise might have stayed.” Condzella also asked “ Why weren’t these allegations, which were originally made public during a rally on the Ithaca Commons in 2020, investigated then? Why didn’t the Human Resources Director initiate an internal investigation? Why didn’t HR further vet these complaints and coordinate with the DA’s Office before a criminal investigation was launched? If these allegations we serious enough to warrant a criminal investigation, why did Mayor Lewis tell my members and Acting Chief Joly that they were to continue reporting to work?” Business as usual is what she said.”

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