The Albany Times Union - March 6, 2009
ALBANY, NEW YORK — A city police officer was fired Thursday, and while officials declined to discuss the reasons for the termination, the Times Union reported last year of allegations of marijuana use involving the 12-year veteran of the force. Thomas Towsley "was officially terminated from the department effective today, based on an arbitrator's decision," spokesman Detective James Miller said in a press release. Details of the arbitrator's ruling and an internal investigation will not be released, Miller said. Towsley was suspended Feb. 6, 2008, in connection with allegations of pot use, the Times Union reported two days later, quoting departmental sources familiar with the matter. Towsley's Albany attorney, David Ehrlich, said, "The decision is very unfortunate, but Mr. Towsley is considering all of his options." Ehrlich refused to say if one of those options would be to file a lawsuit to overturn the decision. The release said Towsley was suspended by Chief James Tuffey following an investigation by the Office of Professional Standards, the internal affairs unit. "Every officer of the Albany Police Department is expected to act in a professional manner at all times and with integrity, and the overall majority of officers do so," Tuffey said in the statement. Albany Police Officers Union President Christian Mesley said the union was involved "early on ... After that, Officer Towsley opted to be represented by outside counsel, which is his right. We wished him well at the time and we wish him well in the future."