Depew's new police chief has resigned less than two weeks after being sworn in.
Albert J. Liberatore, a Buffalo police captain, took over as interim village chief at a Jan. 10 standing-room-only meeting filled with supportive police officers.
"I just don't know why," said Trustee Carl Monti, who confirmed the resignation. "I'm going to find out. I just don't know at this time."
Liberatore, who reportedly was unhappy in the Depew post, could not be reached for comment Friday.
He was back his captain's post at the Northeast District station on Bailey Avenue, one of the busiest in the city, according to police sources who asked not to be identified.
Monti said the crowded scene for Liberatore's swearing-in was a contrast to days earlier when members of the Police Benevolent Association walked out of a meeting in protest of the plan to put a non-Depew officer in charge of the department.
"His resume was just mind-boggling," Monti said of Liberatore. "He was just a really, really qualified guy."
Liberatore, 52, has 28 years of experience, a master's degree and teaches criminal justice at Buffalo State College. This expertise appealed to village trustees, Monti said, because the former chief, Thomas Domino, resigned last summer, leaving behind a relatively young department. Capt. Stanley Carwile headed the department on a temporary basis.
"I was kind of shocked," Monti said of Domino's July retirement announcement, "just like I am about this deal here."
"You would think they would give more notice," Monti said.
Liberatore, who has a family and was a Grand Island resident, had found a place to stay in Depew, Monti said.
"I don't think he had moved yet because I think he was just trying it out," Monti said. The village chief position pays about $108,000 a year, he said.
Monti said he did not know what the board will do next. The village is approaching March elections and the terms of four of the five board members, including Mayor Barbara Alberti, are expiring.
Board positions are now held by the local People's Voice of Depew Party. Monti said he, Alberti and Trustee Joseph Keefe intend to run for re-election. Another party member may run for William Maryniewski's position. Deputy Mayor Linda Hammer, who is also a trustee, is not up for re-election.
News Staff Reporter Lou Michel contributed to this report.