Alleged dirty cop follow-up

I’m angrier than an eagle without prey.  That’s because I was today reminded about Sergeant George Thomaides, a Colonie New York Police Department officer who retired amid accusations that he improperly handled weapons in the evidence locker.

As part of the writing process, I did reach out to the CPD to get information on Thomaides, who joined in the department in 1987 after a long period of town employment.  One of the things that I requested was his personnel file.

I also requested information about discipline, but was told via email today that they cannot release the information about the more recent allegations as it is part of an “ongoing investigation.”I was going to leave this story alone as I don’t typically tell both sides of the tale, but in this case, I feel that it is warranted.  Diving into his personnel file, it’s clear that, at one point, he was one of the good guys:

  • Six command recognition
  • One distinguished service
  • One career recognition

He certainly did his part to keep Colonie’s streets free of marijuana.  On September 1, 2004, he and his partner encountered two people who were in a vehicle that had a strong odor of pot.  There was also a lit joint.  As part of the investigation, they found cocaine, packaged for sale, a felony.

Children were playing nearby, his award recommendation said.  So it looks like Thomaides was at one point a decent officer.

This wasn’t his first rodeo.  Going back to September 19, 2002, he and his partner made another drug bust that resulted in numerous charges, including traffic violations as well as drug possession charges.

Going back even further to 1999, a citizen, whose name is redacted in the file, commended Thomaides for handling a situation where an unidentified male was seen creepily observing children at play.

It’s not clear how that situation was handled in regards to criminal charges or perhaps a stalking order of protection, but if someone took the time to write to the department, that’s usually a sign that the officer did a very good or very bad thing.  Here, it’s the former.

The personnel file is 102 pages long, and I’m not going to sit here and cite everything in his file, but he has numerous letters that attest to the fact that he’s a good police officer.

But I will say that there are numerous promotions in his file.  His evaluations reveal that he’s a good officer, which kind of angers me, because I can no longer say that he’s a bad cop.  If he did do the things that he’s accused of, it looks as though that they were lapses in judgement.

What I find humorous is that at one point in 1990, he was making $5.25 an hour as a recreation attendant.  It looks like, then, he worked his way up the chain, gaining accolades along the way.

I did, however, find one thing troubling: it appears as though he wasn’t a US citizen at one point.  On December 19, 1984, he was issued a certificate of citizenship, back when he was a child.  He graduated high school in 1989, so it would be interesting to hear about that particular tale.

Also in his file is a civil service examination application that was filed in 1987.  This would mean that he started working for Colonie as a high school student.

So basically, this guy’s career has been strictly at CPD.  At the time of the application, he stated that he lived in Colonie for 14 years, meaning that he came to Colonie in 1973 as a young child. It’s looking and more like this guy’s a decent person who worked his way up.  That really frosts my cupcakes!

Indeed, his file indicates that he’s worked at a car wash, and as a stock clerk.  Man, this guy’s starting to sound less and less scummy.

Oh, but wait a minute!

There are citizen complaints on his file.  I’m not going to go into details there, but it looks like in both cases, both he and his partner were the subject of complaints.  But given his length of service, let’s be honest: complaints are going to happen.

Now comes the matter at hand.  He was, as reported in the previous article, suspended without pay as the result of a disciplinary matter.  The first charge was for misconduct/incompetence.  In March of this year, he became the subject of an investigation in regards to the proper disposal of weapons that were “surrendered to the department for destruction,” according to the filing.

On April 12, Thomaides was interviewed and, the report says, he stands accused of “[providing] false information regarding conversations with an Evidence Clerk.”  Well, now.  So much for an impressive personnel file.  The filing goes on to say that he gave false testimony.

On May 9, he was placed on paid leave.  On that same day, an email was sent out to all in the police department advising that he was suspended and is to not enter any CPD facility.

As of May 20, he had a salary of $111,335.  So he potentially threw that a way to allegedly mishandle guns to his advantage?  If he did what he’s accused of, and I don’t see how the charges could be false, then he’s a dumbass.  Why would he threaten that kind of salary?  Only an idiot would piss away that kind of money!

On May 22, Thomaides apparently retired, but that won’t end the investigation.  In fact, he was suspended while being retired!  This means that he’s being held accountable and can’t just turn tail and run.  There is no paperwork in his personnel file in regards to the retirement.

On May 23, the filing says, he was placed on that unpaid suspension for a period of 30 days.  That means that something has to be done by next week.  But given that he retired, there’s really not much the department can do unless they’re allowed to go retroactive and somehow affect his retirement.  Will that happen?

It’s a shame, because earlier this year, he received positive feedback regarding a case where a minor was allegedly being groomed.  He handled the situation well, the feedback said.

For his part, Thomaides denied, on May 28, any wrongdoing as part of his answer to the charges.  It’s only fair that I mention that, because fair is fair, even though I don’t typically give the accused a side on this site.

Now, what we have to do is wait and see what happens.  If something is done retroactively, it’ll be interesting to see if any action is taken against his pension or against him.  Could criminal charges arise?  This does seem like a serious matter, so accountability is paramount here.

What does trouble me is this:  if he’s innocent, which he says that he is, why did he retire so suddenly?  I feel that innocent people don’t do that.  Just saying.

Since I’m unable to see anything pertaining to the current investigation, all we can do is see what happens next.  If he did it, then he needs to pay.  If it’s legal to do so, and if he did it, then he should have his retirement revoked and he should then be fired and made to lose any and all retirement benefits.