TROY, N.Y. — A longtime sergeant with a family tradition in Troy's Police Department has been suspended from the force, as prosecutors investigate his role in the illicit leak of a recorded 911 call.
Troy Police Chief John Tedesco confirmed Monday that Detective Sgt. Tim Colaneri is suspended without pay during the probe, which began during the 2015 election season. Sources have confirmed to Time Warner Cable News that Colaneri is believed to have been involved in the passing of a recorded 911 call from the police department to a Democratic Party operative.
The recording depicts a call made by Melissa Gordon on July 16, 2015, reporting a domestic dispute with her husband, then-city councilman Jim Gordon. It was leaked and published in the Albany Times Union in October, just three weeks before Troy's mayoral election.
Gordon was the Republican candidate for mayor at the time. He later lost the election to a Democrat, Patrick Madden.
In a Bureau of Public Safety document obtained by Time Warner Cable News, Colaneri is listed as the contact in an official request for the recording.
Speaking to Time Warner Cable News reporter Karen Tararache in an exclusive interview after the election, Gordon expressed anger over the leak, and said he believes it likely derailed his bid for mayor.
"We're supposed to trust in these people, and in the motto of the Troy Police Department: 'Service, Trust and Professionalism,' " Gordon said. "And from what we understand, that was violated."
Gordon says the domestic dispute, which did not lead to any charges, was a typical marital battle of "childish" remarks, which he says got out of hand.
"Melissa had said, 'Why don't you just leave or I'll call the cops?' " Gordon recalls. "I said, 'Well, go ahead, call the cops.' "
She did, but Melissa Gordon says she never expected that call would become public, much less be used against her husband in an election.
"The fact that our personal argument became public — I mean, everybody fights," she said. "It's just hard."
To this day, Melissa Gordon maintains that she stands by her husband.
The chairman of Troy's Republican Committee, Thomas Casey, said on Monday that everyone was talking about Gordon's 911 scandal leading up to the election, especially since Democrats used it on a campaign robocall.
"Unfortunately, it's par for the course for the Troy City and Rensselaer County Democratic committees," Casey said. "None of this is for the betterment of Troy; it's basically for power and to line their own pockets."
Troy's Democratic committee chairman, Thomas Wade, could not be reached for comment on Monday.
Chief John Tedesco could not comment Monday, beyond confirming Colaneri's suspension. The chief has not yet said what the penalty could be, should Colaneri be indicted, convicted or otherwise found responsible for the leak.
Sgt. Colaneri has served in the department with his brother, John Colaneri, for several decades. His son Nick Colaneri was newly sworn-in as a patrol officer in January, following a successful year-long battle with cancer.
Includes extensive reporting by Karen Tararache.