Lackawanna NY Chief James Michel denied commissioner position due to sexual harassment
NOT SO FAST !
Chief James “Greasy” Michel got shot down for Commissioner position due to shady past.
Michel Pursues Legal Action Over Personnel File Leak
Buffalo, NY (WBEN) A day after Lackawanna Police Chief James Michel’s name was withdrawn from consideration to become Erie County Central Police Services Commissioner, he is pursuing legal action against whoever leaked information from his personnel file with the city of Lackawanna.
Attorney Howard Cohen, who represents James Michel, says the investigation should begin with Erie County legislator Joseph Lorigo. “He must tell us who gave him the internal memo.” says Cohen. He’s not insinuating wrongdoing by the legislator., Cohen says he just wants to find the source of stolen documents.
Michel says “No one requested them. No one even filed a FOIA.” At issue was a 1999 incident where Michel was the focus of an investigation over using derogatory language around a female employee while he was a lieutenant. That was in the hands of County Executive Mark Poloncarz Thursday just hours before a vote to confirm Michel, leading to Poloncarz’s decision to withdraw his name from consideration. “I’m insisting on a full investigation into this matter because my rights were violated and now my life has been turned upside down,” adds Michel.
Michel says the 1999 incident was not major. He and employee have continued to have a professional relationship at the police department for the last 17 years. He emphasized many at the precinct used foul language, but he did apologize to the employee at the time.
Cohen says the motivation for releasing stolen personnel files is “totally political.” He is seeking a state attorney general investigation.