Investigation Leads to Demotion for Sleepy Hollow Police Officer
Recently the fate of one Sleepy Hollow police officer was revealed following an investigation that took place over the last several months. The investigation came after allegations were made against the officer for his conduct.
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The officer at the center of this months long investigation was identified as now former Sleepy Hollow Lieutenant Stephen Dougherty. It was alleged that Dougherty had "groped" a woman identified as Joan Morrison, the wife of Officer Clifford Morrison at a "family gathering six years ago".
The report by Lohud states that the investigation into Dougherty began in the late Spring when Mrs. Morrison wrote village officials about the groping incident and that her husband Officer Morrison alleged that Dougherty had engaged in "retaliatory treatment" against him following the incident. The investigation would expand to include other instances and allegations made against Dougherty in reference to his conduct.
One incident allegedly occurred shortly after Dougherty received his promotion from sergeant to lieutenant in 2020. News 12: Hudson Valley reported, that in this incident, it was claimed that Dougherty was seen engaging in sexaul activity with a woman in a police car while he was on duty. Dougherty also faced disciplinary actions in 2021 for his conduct when he reportedly used a police car off-duty to bring a female officer from her home to a "fire promotion celebration". The female officer bringing alcohol with her to the event.
Investigation Process and Ramifications
This entire investigation is different from many others for one specific reason. That reason, as Lohud pointed out is that "investigative findings related to Stephen Dougherty have not been made public". This begs the question of how we can reach the conclusion of this investigation with definitively knowing the specifics?
For starters, it was reported that on November 28, the Sleepy Hollow Village Board of Trustees had held a meeting where they approved of a "disciplinary agreement". at the time though the identity of the individual disciplined was not made. It wasn't until this week when Mayor Martin Rutyna issued a press release that Dougherty's identity was confirmed.
The press release though short, detailed that Dougherty had accepted his demotion from lieutenant down to administrative sergeant "in the face of disciplinary charges". The release then went on to state that Police Chief Bueti will continue working with his department to move forward after the investigation.
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Gallery Credit: Nick Kessler