Geneva Police Chief Mike Passalacqua has confirmed that a city officer was disciplined for violating the department’s general orders by creating a disparaging screensaver of Ward 5 City Councilor Laura Salamendra.
That screensaver, which was saved on a GPD booking area computer, showed Salamendra with the letters ‘GPD’ across her forehead.
The Finger Lakes Times obtained the report, in which Officer Richard Baskin admitted to creating the doctored image. He lost two holidays or vacation days, as result of the issue.
The report said Baskin violated three general orders involving unbecoming conduct, use of equipment, and use of technology.
That investigation into the screensaver came after an April 20 press conference, which was organized by the Geneva Women’s Assembly. Salamendra is a member of the Assembly.
Lt. Matt Colton conducted the investigation and Baskin admitted to the screensaver being his within a short time of it beginning.
Baskin claimed Salamendra was among the group of individuals who used chalk to sketch anti-police messages on the public safety building. The detail of whether Salamendra did, in fact, chalk any of the messages onto the public safety building was not confirmed.
Chief Passalacqua said officers need to be held accountable for their actions, and the screensaver had a negative impact on the department’s reputation.
Baskin has been recognized numerous times over the years for his work as a police officer. He’s a former member of the Marine Crops.