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Commissioner to review incident involving city officer

Commissioner to review incident involving city officer

Eidens: Off-duty conduct by police can result in discipline, even without criminal charges

SCHENECTADY -- City Public Safety Commissioner Michael Eidens will review criminal charges filed last week against a woman that relate to an extramarital affair with a city police officer, Eidens said Monday.

No criminal accusations have been made against the officer, identified in court papers as Sean Clifford, but he is named in the charges filed against a Mechanicville woman who allegedly stalked Clifford's wife and sent her nude photos of herself after the affair ended.

Clifford is the brother of city Police Chief Eric Clifford. The chief said he has recused himself from the matter due to the family connection and shifted all decision making to Eidens.

Kimberly S. Duncan, 31, faces stalking and obscenity charges. 

In addition sending obscene photos to Clifford's wife, Duncan threatened to send the photos to others, if Sean Clifford or his wife went to the authorities, according to documents. Clifford admitted to the affair in court paperwork. 

In a statement to the media, Sean Clifford apologized to his family.

"This is a difficult time for my family, and I am doing all I can to protect them," the statement reads. "I sincerely apologize to my family for the embarrassment that this has brought to them."

Allegations contained in court documents do not include any reference to on-duty conduct. Speaking generally, however, Eidens said off-duty conduct, if it rises to a certain level, could result in discipline. 

Eidens said Monday he has yet to review documents filed Duncan's case, but he said he intends to do so this week to determine if any referral for an internal investigation should be made. He will also confer wth the state police, if needed.

The public safety commissioner now plays a central role in city police discipline cases, thanks to an October court ruling

Eidens said that, while he has participated in the discipline of officers since taking office shortly after the court ruling, no case has risen to the level of termination or an appeal hearing.

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