Media Frenzy

A line of television cameras faced the board's table in the village hall at noon on Dec. 7. Village Trustees John Curtin and William Luchetti and Mayor Mike Plochocki sat facing the press with Marcellus police officer in charge Lawrence Dellicolli and officer Keith Gates standing at attention behind them.

The subject was Chief David Wilkinson, who allegedly has been double-dipping between jobs in Marcellus and North Syracuse.

Plochocki noted that the wrong-doings were all alleged to have taken place before he took office on April 1. He then read a statement to the press, which said another Marcellus officer, was under investigation too.

"Today Chief Wilkinson was arrested by the District Attorney's Office. After consulting with the village board, I have decided to suspend Chief Wilkinson until further notice and to conduct an internal investigation into this matter. In accordance with Article 75 of the Civil Service Law his suspension will be with pay for the time being.

"It is with a heavy heart that I suspend Chief Wilkinson. The current allegations notwithstanding, in the past several months that I have worked with Chief Wilkinson I have always found him to be a man of great integrity and an outstanding police chief. In fact, he has often put in extra hours without compensation. I hope for the sake of the residents of Marcellus and North Syracuse, and for the sake of Chief Wilkinson that in the end no wrongdoing is found.

"That being said the charges against the chief are serious and must be fully investigated. I am determined to fully cooperate with the district attorney's office to get to the truth of this matter."

It was noted there might have been 188 falsely reported hours. Plochocki said the district attorney has had the advantage of the books of both North Syracuse and Marcellus.

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