New Paltz police officer terminated; said to have violated “last chance” agreement

Robert Sisco

Robert Sisco is no longer a New Paltz police officer. Town council members have determined that Sisco violated the terms of a “last chance” agreement, and are exercising their right under that agreement to terminate the officer. This may not be the end of the line, though, because Sisco is signaling a desire to appeal — which is also a right that’s described in the agreement.

Sisco first came under scrutiny after posting a rap video, filmed while on duty and in a police vehicle, that was widely condemned for content that targeted transgender people, as well as Hillary Clinton. There was an attempt to fire the officer at that time, but in the police contract town officials agreed to hand their right to terminate officers over to an independent arbitrator. The arbitrator in this case hashed out this “last chance” agreement for Sisco, which resulted in a public apology that was well received, community service and a period of suspension from active duty.

In January, Sisco made a series of Instagram posts that included discussions about a documentary the suspended officer was shooting, with the topic being police corruption. In other videos Sisco discusses the advantages of cannabis and admits to using it. At a council meeting, the question was raised about the number of guns Sisco — who had a side business selling rifles — possessed. Sisco has acknowledged that police have taken possession of that business inventory after being called for a domestic disturbance, and has characterized the response as part of a racially-motivated response.

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“A black man’s words are punished more harshly than a white man’s fists against a black man’s face,” Sisco said in a recent video posting. That’s a reference to the case against former New Paltz police officer Robert Knoth, who admitted to punching the handcuffed Paul Echols in the face while Echols was in the back of a patrol car. The police commission, after reviewing camera footage never released to the public, concluded that Knoth — who retired soon thereafter — had not used excessive force under the circumstances.

Sisco is of the understanding that the arbitrator has to agree before the termination goes into effect, but town supervisor Neil Bettez does not see it that way. “I can see how it could be interpreted each way since technically the arbiter has the final say on if he is fired, but the agreement says, ‘If Sisco engages in misconduct that is the same as or similar to the misconduct alleged in the notice of discipline dated July 9, 2020, the town may terminate Sisco’s employment. The town will be entitled to issue a notice of discipline without following the procedures specified in article 6.3 of the [police contract]. The termination will be appealable directly to a hearing,’ so we fired him and he can appeal.”

It does appear Sisco will do just that, saying when contacted that plans were in place to testify before the arbitrator. Ideally, Sisco would like to have that hearing someplace where it’s safe to have 500 people in attendance and signaled a willingness to pay for such a venue.

There are 4 comments

  1. Christine

    Officer Sisco did nothing wrong nor did he say anything wrong. To most of us it doesnt matter if he was on duty or not he shouldn’t be punished for speaking out and trying to get the world to make a difference and every come together and stop the violence and harsh words of others. If some people even took the time to listen they would understand. I live in New paltz and no officer should be punished for saying whats on his or her mind no matter what forum its in. Give him a break its words we all have rights Don take his away because he wore a uniform.

    1. Kevin

      I agree with you. I actually worked as a dispatcher for the NPPD for a few months and got to know Sisco. I always thought he was a great guy and meant right. I think people are being a little too up tight about this. He should not lose his job and career over this.

    2. Master C

      We live in a new age of thought oppression thats for sure. Almost feels like we live in China, not there yet but getting closer by the day.

  2. Paul Escudero

    Municipal government is disgraced and tangible proof of police union racketeering and excessive influence clearly visible. The police unions many schemes more than meet the definition of racketeering and corrupt organization in multiple ways. Our justice system is irrevocably broken and corrupt. This is but one small example. There needs to be a RICO action against the police unions. Millionaire police pensioners need to be charged criminally and forced to return their ill gotten 6 figure community burdening pensions. The police benevolent association card conspiracy must be prosecuted. Cops still alive whose family members benefited must be censured and punished. The nexus of gun lobby corruption, police unions and criminal orchestration of handgun crime in society and their role in wildly irresponsible and racist NRA youth brainwashing and culture programming campaigns must be prosecuted. Police conspiracy to prevent and suppress the collection and collation of accurate guncrime, accidental shooting, and ricochet statistics must be prosecuted as well as union racketeering efforts to force journalists and the media to assist their evil attempts to keep the public ignorant of the ubiquity of guncrime and particularly handgun crime as well as their intergenerational role in psyops on children to create it, and use it as a tool to assist in “whites” control. and its relationship to exorbitant police salaries and pensions. Police union conspiracy to enable cover up police steroid abuse must be prosecuted as well as their assistance of fraudulent insurance schemes to bilk taxpayers at exorbitant costs for the drugs which are widely documented to create violence and aggression in such a fashion that taxpayers are forced to pay for the civil settlements when beatings and wrongful deaths in custody result. We need real justice. We need courage and genuine patriotism for the right people in government to kill this malevolent police union octopus that has stranglehold on our society and that has played such a despicable role in engineering “crime” death, and lucrative work playing professional hero for themselves at the price of public safety, deep racial division, totalitarianism, generations of evilly and frivolously destroyed lives, and even the betrayal of our capitalist national character since the members of the police unions worked assiduously with double standards to prevent economic parity, prevent desegregation and equality and financial solvency for minority families.

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