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Greenhill appointed Gouverneur police chief

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GOUVERNEUR — The village Board of Trustees named Laurina M. Greenhill chief of the village police department at a special meeting Monday.

Mrs. Greenhill, who was the department’s sergeant before her appointment as chief, replaces provisional chief Gordon F. Ayen Jr., who will return to the sergeant’s position.

Mr. Ayen was named provisional chief June 19, 2012, replacing David C. Whitton, who retired. To hold onto the position, he had to pass a Civil Service examination, which he failed twice.

Mrs. Greenhill passed the exam when it was given in March 2013, but did not pass it when it was given again this March. At the time she passed the test, she had just been named sergeant and wanted to have some supervisory experience under her belt before trying to become chief, Mrs. Greenhill said.

Her appointment as chief was made in accordance with Civil Service law, Mayor Ronald P. MacDougall said.

“I want to thank our attorney and St. Lawrence County Civil Service for working through the regulations,” he said.

Mrs. Greenhill will receive an annual salary of $71,360.58 while Mr. Ayen will return to the sergeant’s base pay of $57,328.95.

Mr. Ayen is eligible to retire in October, but Mrs. Greenhill said she hopes he stays.

She said she decided to accept the job to help the department, which has a small number of officers and has been going through the suspension of Officer Steven M. Young. Mr. Young was brought up on Civil Service charges related to his alleged misuse of village gas. A decision from Hearing Officer Marlinda L. LaValley is expected soon.

“I think we’re looking for some stability in the position,” Mrs. Greenhill said.

Trustee Shelly Simons-Washburn was the sole vote against the appointment of Mrs. Greenhill.

“I would have been more comfortable if the deal with Steve Young was resolved because she and Gordy were so involved,” Ms. Simons-Washburn said.

“There’s so much focus on the police department involving these employees. I felt a change from outside would have been better.”

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