ATTICA, N.Y. (WIVB) – For now, John Palillo is “Chief Palillo” in Attica, but really, in name only. When asked if he will go back to work in Attica, he replied, “I don’t believe so, no.”
He’s been on leave since May 1 and it’s reached the point where residents are demanding answers from the village board.
“Obviously, they do not like him,” said Attica resident Darralee McCulloch, who went to the last board meeting. “I could not get any answers. Every question I asked, we had to go to the town lawyer.”
News 4 got the same treatment in Attica. Even the village attorney refused to comment. Palillo, on the other hand, gave some answers.
“I came from the outside. I was not a Village of Attica resident. Twenty-five years in the federal government. And I had my ways of doing things, and I came into a situation where they had their way of doing things. And we were never really able to work that out,” Palillo said.
The police chief says he and the village board have reached a disagreement about how the police department should be run. He had disagreements with his staff, including how and when part-time officers should be used.
Palillo said the department usually has four full-time officers plus the chief. But now, they have just one full-time officer, who is also filling the role of the chief.
“Myself, I would prefer to have full-time officers. But that’s not my decision to make anymore,” Palillo said.
Palillo says it’s a matter of time before his attorney and the village attorney work out the details of his departure. He’s finished fighting with the board over philosophies.
Residents who talked to News 4 are frustrated by the board and the lack of transparency in this whole saga.
“He’s his own man. I don’t think he needs anyone telling him how to perform his job. I think he was excellent at it,” said Attica resident John Morgante.
“You may not like the chief, but you should be able to work with him,” McCulloch said.
Palillo’s annual salary with the village is $62,500. He’s been on leave for nearly four months, which means nearly $21,000 in paid time off.
It is still being determined how much he’ll receive from the village for his departure.