Wait for test results puts hold on naming Niskayuna’s top cop


NISKAYUNA — Niskayuna cannot name a permanent police chief until the results of the civil service exam required for the position are posted, meaning Fran Wall is still the interim chief in the meantime. 

“We are currently awaiting those results,” said Town Supervisor Yasmine Syed on Wednesday. 

The county’s Civil Service Commission oversees the test but the exams are graded by the state, said Erin Roberts, the director of public communications for the county. 

“We don’t know when they will be released, however it typically takes about three months to get the results,” she said. 

The exam was given March 6. 

Roberts said while 125 tests were cancelled between March 2020 and February 2021, the chief’s exam for Niskayuna was not one of those tests. She also said test results have not been delayed. 

Syed said it’s likely Wall will be named the next chief, but three other people took the exam as well. They included current Deputy Chief Michael Stevens, Sgt. Todd Frenyea and Sgt. Jordan Kochan. 

Wall was named interim chief following the retirement of Dan McManus in September 2020 after he was placed on leave in July of the same year while the town investigated him for an alleged violation of town policies. 

Wall filed a lawsuit against the department in 2005 for gender discrimination but lost the trial in 2009. Also in 2009, Wall was involved in a police shooting after firing at a Schenectady murder suspect they thought was shooting at them, but had actually shot himself. 

Stevens is currently under investigation by the town, Syed said. The exact details of the investigation have not been released. 

Frenyea and Stevens were both named in a federal lawsuit in 2012. That lawsuit alleged Fenyea and Stevens in 2010 ignored a then-16-year-old’s injuries during an altercation with an off-duty Schenectady police officer, therefore delaying him treatment. The outcome of the case is sealed because of the 16-year-old’s injuries. 

Categories: News, Schenectady County, Your Niskayuna

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