BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A City of Buffalo police officer who was fired almost six years ago wants her police pension.
The Common Council held a special session Tuesday afternoon to review the incident that lead to Cariol Horne’s termination back in 2008.
Horne was fired after she accused a fellow officer of choking a suspect, leading to a physical confrontation. That other former officer is now under indictment.
City lawmakers have decided to take an active role in Buffalo Police affairs in the wake of a number of recent indictments and lawsuits against police and former police, including Horne’s dismissal.
Council President Rev. Darius Pridgen said lawmakers are taking a narrow focus in the Horne case.
“There are no allegations against any officer. The reason we came, this was just to make sure that everything was done that could be done, and that could be done, even now.”
With most of its deliberations held behind closed doors in executive session, the Council met officially for the purpose of reviewing an incident on November 1, 2006. A Council resolution says simply, “Two City of Buffalo Police officers were involved in an incident, which, over time, resulted in the termination of employment of one of the officers.”
But that was the date Horne scuffled with Greg Kwiatkowski, whom she accused of choking a suspect, Neal Mack.
Horne was subsequently fired, in a very public way, and the dismissal was upheld by an arbitrator. However she insists taking on Kwiatkowski was the right thing to do.
“That day he was choking Neal Mack, I grabbed his arm from around Neal Mack’s neck, and today Neal Mack still lives because I did that. Now if that’s a crime, then I am guilty.”
Kwiatkowski has since retired, but in May a federal grand jury indicted Kwiatkowski, accusing the former lieutenant of taking part in the abuse of two teenage suspects, in 2009.
As a result of her firing, Horne has been deprived of a police pension, and now the Council is looking into the possibility of getting it back, according to Annette Parker, a retired Buffalo police officer, and friend to Horne.
“What the Council is trying to do, they are trying to prove or disprove whether or not Cariol was justified in her actions when she attempted to prevent Greg Kwiatkowski from choking a defendant/victim.”
Commenting on the irony of Kwiatkowski now enjoying a pension while she is struggling financially without a pension, Horne said, “Greg Kwiatkowski is also indicted and I am not.”
Council President Pridgen plans to hold more hearings into the Horne firing. As part of the review, Council members are also looking into a controversy over the amount of time Horne had on the force, which could determine if she is eligible for a pension.