Leyden Selectboard to share results of executive session on police chief next week

  • Residents gather at the start of the Leyden Selectboard’s Monday meeting, where members entered into executive session to discuss potential disciplinary action regarding emails with racist content shared by Police Chief Dan Galvis between 2015 and 2016. STAFF PHOTO/ZACK DELUCA


Staff Writer
Published: 10/19/2021 4:43:37 PM

LEYDEN — The results of this week’s Selectboard executive session, in which the members met to discuss potential disciplinary action in response to the racist content of emails shared by the police chief, will be made public during an open meeting this coming Monday, Oct. 25.

The Selectboard met in executive session for more than two hours Monday evening. The session was held in response to surfaced emails containing racist content that were shared by Police Chief Dan Galvis to other town employees and officers between 2015 and 2016.

The batch of emails in question were brought to light following a Sept. 7 meeting when Selectboard members discussed the chief’s decision not to recommend Police Sgt. Tina Riddell for reappointment. Riddell, who was not reappointed, in turn questioned the chief’s own conduct and shared several emails Galvis had forwarded from what was considered his official work email.

A petition was formed last month, and many residents have continued to attend recent public meetings to request oversight action, including suspension and termination, by the Selectboard — the body that oversees the Police Department.

Before the Selectboard entered into executive session on Monday, residents voiced their concerns with Galvis, who has served in his position for about 30 years, retaining his title.

“At this point no info can be shared until all parties agree on results and how to share them publicly,” Selectboard member Erica Jensen said via text message Tuesday morning. “I have asked that everything become public no later than the next (Selectboard) meeting to try to move things forward.”

The Oct. 25 meeting will be a regularly scheduled meeting, and discussion of this week’s executive session will be listed as an item on the agenda that will be posted Thursday. Monday’s meeting will be held at Town Hall, at 16 West Leyden Road — rather than the Town Offices in the former Pearl Rhodes Elementary School building — to accommodate anticipated public attendance.

Selectboard Chair Jeff Neipp confirmed Tuesday that the results of the executive session will be discussed on Oct. 25, but said he was “advised by town counsel not to comment further before releasing a public statement.”

According to Municipal Assistant Michelle Giarusso, the Selectboard will be coming out with a statement, but it will be reviewed by Town Counsel Donna MacNicol before it is released to the public during the Oct. 25 meeting.

“At that time,” Neipp said Tuesday, “we will discuss what was discussed at the meeting last night with the public.”

Zack DeLuca can be reached at zdeluca@recorder.com or 413-930-4579.


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