After a thorough New York State Police investigation, Ithaca Police Lieutenants Jacob Young and David Amaro, as well as Acting Ithaca Police Chief John Joly, have been cleared of any wrongdoing regarding allegations of overtime fraud. The allegations were brought forward by an anonymous source in late 2022, accusing the officers of “double dipping” and stealing from taxpayers.
Ithaca Common Council Alderperson Cynthia Brock received an anonymous email with the accusations, which also contained strong political and personal motivations. Despite concerns over the unspecified nature of the claims, Brock and Alderperson Ducson Nguyen forwarded the complaint to the District Attorney’s Office and HR Director Schelley Michell-Nunn.
The District Attorney initially forwarded the complaint to the New York State Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Misconduct Investigative Office (LEMIO), which declined to open an investigation. Consequently, the New York State Police took on the case. Yesterday, District Attorney Matthew VanHouten informed the Ithaca Police Benevolent Association (PBA) that all officers involved had been cleared.
PBA President Thomas Condzella expressed relief at the outcome and questioned the motivations behind the complaint. Condzella believes the person responsible had a personal vendetta against the accused officers and called for an end to the attacks on the Ithaca Police Department.
Alderperson Brock acknowledged the challenging situation the accusatory email created for the officers, who have already faced many difficulties. Condzella is now calling on DA VanHouten to continue the investigation to identify the source of the complaint and reveal their motivations, as well as to determine if there are other complaints against police officers or city officials that require investigation.
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