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DISMISSAL SUGGESTED FOR DEPEW POLICEMAN ARBITRATOR'S DECISION SETS STAGE FOR FINAL RULING BY VILLAGE BOARD

An arbitrator has concluded that suspended Depew police Officer William M. Gummo is guilty of three of the four departmental charges filed by Police Chief John T. Maccarone and has recommended that he be dismissed.

The decision was issued by Miriam Winokur, a Hamburg arbitrator hired by the Village Board to conduct a two-day hearing in August in accordance with the state Civil Service Law.

The board will hold a special meeting next week to decide whether to implement Mrs. Winokur's recommendation, Mayor Arthur J. Domino said Tuesday.

The charges stemmed from a long-standing dispute between Maccarone and Gummo about Gummo's membership in the Air Force Reserve and the resulting conflicts with his police schedule.

Mrs. Winokur found Gummo guilty of two counts of conduct unbecoming an officer and one count of disobedience, both violations of departmental regulations. Gummo, an 11-year police veteran who had received both commendations and reprimands, is a Vietnam War veteran who became a reservist in 1986. The charges concerned Gummo's schedule for reserve duty as a staff sergeant with the 914th Technical Airlift Group. He was to report to Niagara Falls Air Reserve Base at 7:30 a.m. June 9 for 16 days of duty, including a trip to Turkey.

Gummo was scheduled to work the night of June 8 for the police, but he said he needed time off to rest and travel to Niagara Falls.

Mrs. Winokur found him guilty of conduct unbecoming an officer in deceiving Maccarone by saying he had military orders for June 8 and by denying on June 8 that he had mentioned military orders or had said they were in the mail.

She found him guilty of disobedience in refusing to answer questions about his reserve duty that were posed by the chief June 27.

Gummo said he was denied counsel and "felt I was being tried" during the interrogation. Mrs. Winokur said that "due process does not require that right of counsel be extended to preliminary investigative inquiries in police disciplinary matters."

Mrs. Winokur said she found no evidence "that the chief acted in an arbitrary or capricious manner in dealing with the request for June 8 off. Neither is there any proof he deliberately set out to harass Officer Gummo." She said the recommendation for dismissal resulted from Gummo's long-standing conflict with Maccarone.

Mrs. Winokur dismissed one charge against Gummo, of altering a police duty record.

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