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Attorney: Port Chester Police Chief 'Was Treated Like A Common Criminal'

Port Chester Police Chief Joseph Krzeminski was charged with obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest last week.
Port Chester Police Chief Joseph Krzeminski was charged with obstructing governmental administration and resisting arrest last week. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue

PORT CHESTER, N.Y.  -- Port Chester Police Chief Joseph Krzeminski was arrested at a Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, Oct. 31 after officials say he refused to leave a closed-door session.

Krzeminksi was charged with obstruction of governmental administration, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct and will appear in court on Friday.

Krzeminski was also suspended without pay after he was reported to have assaulted Acting Chief John Telesca at Telesca's, according to Village Manager Chris Steers. No charges have yet been filed in that incident.

Krzeminski's attorney, Warren J. Roth, said he believes the arrest of Krzeminski was unwarranted.

"He was simply trying to, in his capacity as Chief of Police, to address the Board about the facts and circumstances regarding the current status of the department," Roth said.

He said that Krzeminski has addressed the Board in executive session dozens of times in his 18 years as police chief, and that he was properly attired and soft-spoken during the meeting.

"He was treated like a common criminal," Roth said. He said that Krzeminski was handcuffed behind his back by four officers and taken to headquarters in the back of a police squad car.

Telesca was named acting chief in early September when Krzeminski was placed on leave due to an illness. At that time, Krzeminski was directed not to exercise any of the duties associated with the chief of police until he was deemed fit and the Board of Trustees approved his return.

Roth said that Krzeminski denies assaulting Telesca, and said the two were simply having a heated discussion about the current status of the department. He said that if charges are filed against Krzeminski, then Krzeminski will be filing counter charges. Roth said that the village has been attempting to force Krzeminski ever since the chief went on medical leave.

“My primary concern throughout this situation has been to maintain the safety of the members of the Board of Trustees, and all Village employees including myself and Joe Krzeminski as well," said Steers in a statement. "The realization of the escalation of the situation has been my concern and now unfortunately is a reality.

"For Joe to conduct himself in the manner that he has is an unfortunate turn of events that further blemishes his department and my hope is that we can bring this chapter to a close, rebuild the credibility of the department, and remove the tension existing throughout Village Hall caused by this situation. We owe it to our residents to get through this situation and get back to our charge of protecting public safety and serving this community.”

In the event of further developments in the matter, there will be an increased police presence at Village Hall.

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