This is a curious story. West Seneca Police Chief Edward F. Gehen called in the FBI to investigate an officer, Sean P. Kelley, who had a long line of disciplinary problems, but was rumored to be too well-connected to fire.
Kelley is accused of attacking a young man who made a rude remark to Kelley and his wife at a tavern. That is usually not the type of offense that leads to an FBI investigation and a charge of violating civil rights.
According to reports, Kelley, 30, had a long list of disciplinary problems. He was hired in 2005 despite objections that his background investigation showed a history of misconduct while working for the highway department and a domestic abuse allegation. However, then-Town Supervisor Paul T. Clark reportedly pushed him through the process. He was retained even when training officers complained in the first few weeks of a bad attitude and poor work. Officers were told that his father was a close friend of Clark and that made Kelley untouchable.
Nothing changed even after Kelley was disciplined 10 times, suspended, and ordered to attend counseling for alcohol abuse and anger management. This includes such acts as entering a cellblock off-hours and offering an alcoholic drink to a female prisoner as well as another domestic abuse allegation involving slapping his wife.
Nevertheless, Gehen does not have the power to fire an officer. Kelley had been unanimously hired despite objections by Clark, Vincent J. Graber Jr., a former town councilman, and other Town Board members — Craig J. Hicks, Christopher F. Osmanski and Christine Wleklinski-Bove.
The final incident came when a man called J.Y. made a crude remark at a bar. He reportedly later sent a round of drinks to Kelley’s table to apologize, but Kelley called the police dispatcher and asked to speak to the on-duty officer to say that the man was harassing him and his wife and that the bartender needed assistance. When the officers arrived, Kelley grabbed the man and forced him out of the bar with the man reportedly saying “I’m sorry, dude, I’m sorry.” Witnesses said that Kelley smashed JY’s head against the exit door and choked and punched him. He is also accused of smashing his head against an outside wall. One witness said Kelley was screaming “I’m a f***ing cop.”
After resigning from the police department and being charged by the FBI, Kelley was back in trouble for allegedly assaulting three officers and resisting arrest in a bar in South Buffalo. Kelley reportedly told the officers at the time of his arrest, “I’m a cop.”
Source: Buffalo News