Port Chester Police Chief Joseph Krzeminski was arrested by his own officers after refusing to leave a closed Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, Oct. 31.
Krzeminski was handcuffed and removed from Village Hall and reportedly charged with misdemeanor crimes.
“They treated me like a common criminal,” Krzeminski told News12 last week.
Krzemenski was suspended from duty after he allegedly assaulted Acting Chief John Telesca on Oct. 28, according to a press release from Village Manager Chris Steers.
“The realization of the escalation of the situation has been my concern and now unfortunately is a reality,” Steers said. “For Joe to conduct himself in the manner that he has is an unfortunate turn of events that further blemishes his department and my hope is that we can bring this chapter to a close, rebuild the credibility of the department, and remove the tension existing throughout Village Hall caused by this situation.”
The Board named Telseca Acting Chief on Sept. 5, assigning him to take over Krzeminski’s duties while Krzeminski is on sick leave due to an apparent illness.
The timing raised some eyebrows, as it was only one week after $27,000 and drugs went missing from the police evidence room. The Westchester County District Attorney’s office and FBI are currently investigating the missing drugs and money.
Krzeminski says that village officials are trying to shove him out and force him to retire and denies the assault charge, according to The Journal News.
Read the full Village Manager’s press release here:
Upon the action of the Village Board of Trustees at a special meeting held on September 5th, 2013; Captain John Telesca was appointed Acting Chief of Police and Chief Joseph Krzeminski was directed not to exercise any of the authority, responsibilities and duties associated with being the Chief of Police until he is able to perform the essential functions of his position and the Board of Trustees approves his return to duty. The two Board actions were approved through a unanimous vote of those present and the resulting resolutions addresses the continued absence of the current Chief, Joeseph Krzeminski, due to his apparent illness.
At that time Mayor Pagano remarked that due to the exigent circumstances presented the Board of Trustees was required to take immediate and decisive action. Mayor Pagano further remarked that “The Board of Trustees’ appointment of an Acting Chief assures an unambiguous chain of command for the continued operation of one of the Village’s most important departments and maintains an executive officer with the authority to carry out all of the responsibilities and duties of the Police Chief. The Board of Trustees has full faith and confidence in John Telesca to perform these duties.”
Since then a number of personnel matters have come to the forefront relating to the above including but not limited to the reported assault of Acting Chief Telesca by Joseph Krzeminski on Monday October 28th, 2013. The alleged assault is currently under investigation and charges are pending. Chief Krzeminski was subsequently suspended following the incident.
Further on October 31st, 2013 during a special meeting of the Board of Trustees in their capacity as Police Commissioners; Joseph Krzeminski was arrested during said meeting and removed from the premises of Village Hall for refusing to leave an executive session of the Board. The arrest of Mr. Krzeminski is an open matter and charges are pending.
Village Manager, Christopher Steers remarked:
“My primary concern throughout this situation has been to maintain the safety of the members of the Board of Trustees, and all Village employees including myself and Joe Krzeminski as well. The realization of the escalation of the situation has been my concern and now unfortunately is a reality. For Joe to conduct himself in the manner that he has is an unfortunate turn of events that further blemishes his department and my hope is that we can bring this chapter to a close, rebuild the credibility of the department, and remove the tension existing throughout Village Hall caused by this situation. We owe it to our residents to get through this situation and get back to our charge of protecting public safety and serving this community.”
In all likelihood there will be additional developments. In the interim a police presence will remain at Village Hall for safety due to the seriousness of the situation.