By Mara Certic
Just over a month after filing a sexual discrimination suit against Southampton Town, Susan Ralph became the town’s first-ever female police lieutenant when she was promoted from sergeant by the town board during a swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday, March 24.
Three new officers were also sworn in, and two officers and one other sergeant were promoted.
“Today is a happy day. We are promoting and also recognizing some of our new police officers,” said Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst.
Southampton Town Police Chief Robert Pearce spoke about each of the new officers and those members of the force awaiting promotion and added that there are now two new officers in the police department. “After several years of cutbacks we are certainly moving in the right direction,” he said.
Chief Pearce commended Sgt. Ralph, whose promotion goes into effect next month, for her years of service, noting her impressive work when she was part of the street crime unit and her participation in the community outreach program.
Just last month Sgt. Ralph filed a federal suit in U.S. District Court in Central Islip, charging that her efforts to advance her career have been stymied since she joined the department in the mid-1990s. The suit claims that she had been passed over for promotions time and time again during and even prior to her 13 years working fulltime on the force.
On Wednesday, March 25, Sgt. Ralph would not comment on the suit, which stated that she had been alienated and ostracized over the years despite Supervisor Throne-Holst’s promises that she would be promoted. Her attorney, Peter Farmighetti, did not return a request for comment by this edition’s deadline.
David Banks, Jonathan Parsons and Christopher Manzello were all sworn in as new officers, and Frederick Boese and Joseph D’Arce were both promoted from officers to sergeants. Todd Spencer, who has been with the department for 15 years, was also promoted to lieutenant.
Councilwoman Bridget Fleming congratulated all of the members of the department, but particularly, she said, Sgt. Ralph, for becoming the first-ever female lieutenant in the town of Southampton.
“We’re very fortunate that one of the candidates that rose to the top this year is a woman. And that we’re appointing our very first female lieutenant in the Southampton Town Police Department today and we wish you all the best and congratulations to everybody,” Ms. Fleming said.
Following the show from Southampton’s finest, the board presented the Bridgehampton School’s boys varsity basketball team with a proclamation, congratulating and thanking it for its hard work, which culminated in a state championship last Saturday in Glen’s Falls.
Each member of the town board read aloud part of the proclamation, which discussed the achievements of this year’s Killer Bees, and those from decades past.
“And here you are one generation later,” Ms. Throne-Holst said. “We congratulate you, we thank you and we’re all very, very proud of you.”
In other action, the board adjourned three public hearings on new traffic control measures proposed for the area around Cromer’s Market in Noyac.
Tom Neely, the town’s director of public transportation and traffic safety, explained that the measures include the installation of a stop sign on Cedar Lane at its intersection with Noyac Road; prohibiting left-hand turns from Bay Avenue; and prohibiting parking on a 150-foot stretch of Bay Avenue. The town agreed to adjourn the public hearing until Tuesday, April 28, in order to give the Noyac Civic Council an opportunity to discuss and weigh in on the project at its Tuesday, April 15, meeting.
The board also adjourned a public hearing about a planned development district (PDD) in Water Mill, which would create 48 affordable housing units on a site just east of the Water Mill Shoppes retail center on Montauk Highway. The applicant requested more time and the hearing was rescheduled for the board’s regular meeting on Tuesday, May 12.