Greece Police officer sues town, police department, and town leaders over handling of former chief’s crash
GREECE, N.Y. – The veteran Greece Police officer, who asked the district attorney to investigate his then-police chief after the chief crashed a town-issued SUV, has filed a lawsuit against the town, police department, supervisor, and deputy supervisor.
Casey Voelkl says he became a “scapegoat” in the wake of former Chief Drew Forsythe’s crash under the influence in October 2021. Forsythe pleaded guilty to driving while ability impaired and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.
The charges followed an investigation by the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, the effects of which led to the department to suspect Voelkl, who was a deputy chief; Lt. Andrew Potter, and Officer Evan Kalpin.
Voelkl has maintained that he did not respond to the scene when Forsythe called for help. Forsythe told responding officers he had swerved to miss a deer. But, he says in court paperwork that he became suspicious that Forsythe’s version of events went against the evidence he had seen.
Read Casey Voelkl’s lawsuit:
That’s when Voelkl says he requested Monroe County District Attorney Sandra Doorley investigate.
Voelkl claims in his lawsuit that Deputy Supervisor Michelle Marini directed him to tell Doorley to issue a press release that the Town of Greece had requested the investigation.
Voelkl says Supervisor Bill Reilich retaliated against him for getting the D.A. involved. Reilich was running for reelection at the time, and his opponent criticized him over his handling of the crash.
“Deputy Chief Voelkl’s actions forced Supervisor Reilich’s office to address his police chief’s crash and answer for his office’s inaction while campaigning for re-election,” the lawsuit says.
It goes on:
“Supervisor Reilich’s office deflected the political maelstrom by attacking the Greece Police and specifically, the Deputy Chief who had the gall to request an independent investigation – the exact action Supervisor Reilich had been criticized for not requesting.”
It further goes on to say:
“At various times and places, including but not limited to at a press conference on
or about November 8, 2021, Supervisor Reilich falsely stated that the District Attorney
investigation was at “our” request, instead of at the request of Deputy Chief Voelkl. Supervisor
Reilich falsely told channel 10 news that he had “contacted the DA and put Forsythe on leave.’”
Voelkl was “treated like a criminal,” the lawsuit maintains.
“After nearly twenty years of flawless service to Greece, in front of his co-workers,
Deputy Chief Voelkl was stripped of his cell phone, police credentials, police uniforms, access
cards, computers, badge and gun before being escorted from the premises like a criminal in plain
clothes,” it continues.
Voelkl’s lawsuit claims his demotion damaged his wages, potential for promotion, and hurt his reputation. He is asking his suspension and demotion be made void and that a judgment restores him to the rank, compensation, and benefits he had before.
Reilich said he can not comment on litigation.