PORT CHESTER, N.Y. -- Port Chester Police Chief Joseph Krzeminksi has been charged with tampering with and retaliating against a federal witness, both felonies, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.
According to a sworn complaint signed by F.B.I. Special Agent Michael Mazzuca, Krzeminski physically threatened Acting Chief John Telesca at Telesca's home on the night of Oct. 28. Krzeminski is accused of trying to prevent Telesca from providing information to the FBI, which is conducting an investigation into the disappearance of $26,000 and a large amount of cocaine from Port Chester's evidence storage over the summer.
Shortly after the investigation began, Krzeminski was placed on medical leave and Telesca was named acting chief of the department. Krzeminski was ordered not to perform the duties and responsibilities of the chief until his return was approved by the Board of Trustees.
According to the complaint, Krzeminski had reported the missing cash to the FBI prior to going on leave, but did not report other thefts of evidence from earlier in the year. After taking the position of acting chief, Telesca provided the FBI with a folder of information he found in Krzeminski's office that contained information regarding a particular corruption investigation.
Telesca told federal investigators that Krzeminski called him on Oct. 24, demanding the folder be returned. On Oct. 28 he forced himself into Telesca's home, according to federal reports. Investigators say he called Telesca a "rat" and said, "Who do you think you are telling these people what's going on?" The report also says that he placed his hands near Telesca's neck, cocked his fist as if to punch Telesca, and threatened to fire him once he returned to active duty.
After leaving Telesca's house, Mazzuca reported that Krzeminski called the Port Chester Police Department and told the supervising officer that he would retaliate against Telesca upon returning to active duty. Following the incident at Telesca's house, a protective order was placed, ordering Krzeminski to stay away from Telesca. Krzeminski was suspended without pay from the department.
On Oct. 31, Krzeminski was arrested after refusing to leave a closed-door meeting of the Board of Trustees. He was charged locally with obstruction of governmental administration, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
Krzeminski was taken into custody Monday on the federal charges and arraigned at the federal courthouse in White Plains. He was released on a $100,000 bond. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison.
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