The Haddon Township Board of Commissioners on Tuesday voted to rescind a resolution it approved last week to hire a lawyer to investigate allegations of administrative misconduct in the township police department.
Commissioner John Foley introduced the measure to rescind the resolution. It was seconded by Commissioner Randy Teague, the mayor, and both voted for it. It was not immediately clear if Commissioner Paul Dougherty, the director of public safety, voted on the resolution.
Teague said after the meeting he wasn't sure if Dougherty voted but that he and Foley voting affirmative approved the measure.
The commissioners voted unanimously last week to hire outside counsel to investigate at least one member of the Haddon Township police force who did not properly investigate an accident involving a former, on-duty police officer and a pedestrian last February. The Camden County Prosecutor's Office advised the township that at least one township officer "failed to do adequate investigation at the scene of the accident."
The prosecutor's officer decided it was not going to file criminal charges in the matter, but the township should decide if it wanted to file administrative charges. Gary D'Alessio, the officer involved in the accident, is no longer employed by the township. He was not reappointed in April to his position as an auxiliary officer.
Last week during a caucus session, Dougherty urged Foley and Teague to approve the hire of an outside counsel at $200 per hour to investigate the allegations of administrative misconduct. Dougherty said the prosecutor's officer, after a nine-month investigation, gave the township 45 days, starting on Oct. 11, to act on its report that that an officer failed to do an adequate investigation.
Teague wanted to go into a closed-door executive session to discuss the matter last week but township Solicitor Eric Riso advised against it because an employee must be notified in advance if there is discussion of administrative action against them.
Dougherty said Tuesday the township will explore if the matter can be investigated internally without outside counsel. The prosecutor's office reported it thought the township police department had a conflict of interest investigating itself.