Police chief’s first disciplinary hearing to conclude Jan. 8

IRVINGTON, NJ — The final ruling in police Chief Michael Chase’s ongoing disciplinary hearing on charges leveled against him by former police Director Joseph Santiago is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 8.

On Monday, Oct. 5, at the evidentiary hearing in Council Chambers, hearing officer Sheila Ellington laid out the guidelines for the final arguments from the attorneys for both sides in the Chase case. The chief is being represented by attorney Joseph R. Donahue of River Edge, while the township of Irvington and the Police Department are being represented by attorney Robert Utsey.

Ellington gave both sides 45 days from Monday, Oct. 5, to submit evidence and arguments to her,and she was originally scheduled to make her final ruling Friday, Nov. 20. She later changed that to Friday, Jan. 8.

Chase’s first disciplinary hearing case, which began two years ago, will conclude this week; however, he has two separate, individual hearings pending. As chief he is entitled to these hearings according to due process guidelines. In 2014, Santiago charged Chase with three violations of the state Attorney General’s Guidelines for the operation of police departments.

The last hearing, at which testimony was given under oath was Wednesday, Sept. 23. Once that was finished, Ellington moved to wrap up the first hearing process by establishing the date and time for the first evidentiary hearing on Monday, Oct. 5.

“I think the only thing left to do is go over the evidences,” Ellington said Sept. 23, before she closed the session.
Chase’s fate as far as his first disciplinary hearing case will be known Friday, Jan. 8.