Manor police chief retired as interviews on formal complaint by village officer were finishing

Pelham+Manor+police+headquarters.

Pelham Manor police headquarters.

Pelham Manor Police Chief Jeffrey Carpenter abruptly retired over Memorial Day weekend just as an investigator was concluding interviews about a formal complaint made by an officer in the village department, according to a emailed press release Monday from the Village of Pelham Manor.

The officer, the nature of the complaint and the names of police officers interviewed were all confidential, the statement said.

The village said Carpenter “resigned to retire” from the department he served since 1998 in an email Wednesday. He was named to the top job in 2015.

On March 16, said Monday’s statement, Trustee Breda Bennett received “a communication from a PMPD officer containing a formal complaint,” and the village board contacted outside employment counsel. The board also hired a “seasoned, independent investigator” to review what it called an “internal personnel matter.”

March 16 was election day in Pelham Manor. Mayor Jennifer Monachino Lapey and trustees Angela Michele DeLillo and Joseph Senerchia—all Republican incumbents—ran on a platform of providing high levels of service from village departments. The village’s police reform process was criticized by the Democratic opposition during the campaign. Carpenter played an important role in developing the village’s reform report. The incumbents swept the election.

A month earlier on Feb. 11, Bennett, who serves as police commissioner, received an “anonymous communication alleging low morale in the department,” the Pelham Manor statement said. At the time, Village Manager John Pierpont began an internal investigation, “despite the difficulty in verifying anonymous statements,” the village said.

The Westchester Rockland Journal News previously reported the anonymous email.

“The village entered into an agreement with Chief Carpenter, which under federal law, was not enforceable until seven days after execution,” said the statement, without providing further details on the agreement.

Carpenter was promoted after then Pelham Manor Police Chief Alfred Mosiello was forced out of office in February 2015 over racist emails he shared with fellow officers, according to an article in the Journal News. The paper later reported Mosiello got back back $25,000 in salary and vacation days from a January 2015 suspension imposed by the village board due to the emails.