New Berlin fires police chief charged in assault case

NEW BERLIN – The New Berlin Town Board dismissed Police Chief Richard P. Kellar following a unanimous vote in executive session Monday night.

“His termination is effective today,” said New Berlin Councilman Roger Foote.

Kellar had been placed on paid suspended leave following his arrest by Chenango County Sheriff’s deputies on Oct. 31 in South New Berlin. Kellar was charged with third degree assault, a class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

“It’s disappointing, but we have to move on,” said Town of New Berlin Supervisor Ross P. Iannello.

The board’s decision comes just after Kellar appeared in Town of Norwich Court Dec. 4 to answer to charges that he allegedly assaulted a New Berlin man while he was off duty, breaking two of the victim’s arms in the process.

Kellar, 43, pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge.

The New Berlin Town Clerk’s Office said the motion to have Kellar terminated was made by council members Halys Davis and seconded by Foote.

“It was a unanimous decision made in executive session,” said Davis.

The termination follows a 30-day suspension previously moved by the board.

“We decided what we wanted to do because of the situation. We won’t talk about things that happened in the executive session and he (Kellar) hasn’t even had his day in court yet, but the board basically felt he shouldn’t be in that sort of situation given he’s a police officer,” said Iannello.

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