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BOARD VOTES DISMISSAL FOR DEPEW OFFICER ATTORNEY FOR GUMMO WILL APPEAL DECISION

The Depew Village Board voted, 4-2, Wednesday evening to dismiss suspended Police Officer William M. Gummo effective immediately.

Gummo's lawyer, Joseph E. Orsini, challenged the legality of the board's action and said after the brief session he would appeal the decision in a State Supreme Court.

The board's majority carried out the recommendation of Miriam Winokur, an arbitrator who presided at a two-day hearing in August.

Her decision, issued last week, found Gummo guilty of three of the four charges brought by Police Chief John T. Maccarone of violating departmental regulations.

Gummo was found guilty of two counts of unbecoming conduct and one county of disobedience, all related to disagreements between Gummo and Maccarone over conflicts in Gummo's duty schedules as a police officer and an Air Force reservist.

Gummo was found innocent of one charge, falsifying a duty roster.

Trustee Francis Roscoe moved to dismiss Gummo, reading a prepared resolution that noted Mrs. Winokur's decision. Trustee Robert C. Meyer seconded the resolution.

Orsini then asked each board member to say whether each had reviewed the transcript, briefs, and the departmental rules, requesting, he said, "to poll the jury."

Village Attorney Joseph J. Schultz ordered, "Proceed with the vote."

Waldemar J. Pawlowski, a member of the audience, asked to speak. "You can't," Schultz said. Without any additional comment, Mayor Arthur J. Domino ordered a roll call.

Trustees Michael J. Rusinek and James S. Nusall cast the dissenting votes. Trustee Florian M. Urbanski was absent.

The meeting was adjourned immediately after the vote.

Spectators, many of them relatives and friends of Gummo, filled the board meeting room for the brief session, and a uniformed police lieutenant and two police officers were on hand to keep order. Spectators were ordered to leave after the meeting was over, and the Municipal Building was quickly closed.

Orsini said his legal challenge of the decision will focus on the lack of a standard of proof in either the departmental rules or the Civil Service Law, under which the August hearing was held. Neither specifies any degree of proof required, he said.

He said it was obvious that the board had met in private to discuss the case before the open meeting, in violation of the state's Open Meetings Law.

"There's no way they could have reviewed the 477 pages of transcript and briefs," as required by law, he said.

In his dismissal motion, Trustee Roscoe noted Mrs. Winokur's decision said that "Gummo has demonstrated an unwillingness and inability to work under the authority of his supervisor, Chief Maccarone," and observed that Gummo had previously been suspended by the Village Board for violation of rules involving insubordination.

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