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Ithaca Common Council set to appoint Barber as new police chief

Ithaca Common Council set to appoint Barber as new police chief

Ithaca’s Common Council is set to approve Acting Police Chief John Barber as the city’s new police chief.

Tonight’s meeting comes as one high-ranking member of the police department recently asked city lawmakers to postpone that appointment.

Ithaca Police Lieutenant Marlon Byrd wrote a letter last week to city officials asking them to postpone final approval of Barber until his name is cleared of wrongdoing.

Byrd has been accused by his fellow officers of tipping off drug dealers and corrupting investigations. The accusations led to an independent investigation by the District Attorney, the FBI, and the state attorney general, the results of which have not been released.

Alderperson Seph Murtagh, who was a member of the chief of police search committee, says the fact that Lieutenant Byrd was the number two pick for the job speaks to his reputation in the community.

“That fact expresses the faith that people have in him as a candidate for chief of police,” Murtagh said. “Even though the mayor ultimately went with a different candidate, I still think it speaks to the reputation that Marlon has in this community.”

Mayor Svante Myrick says the allegations against Byrd played no part in the chief selection process.

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