O’burg city manager to review police chief actions, after judge tosses gun evidence

Ogdensburg police seized loaded semi-automatic guns, a grenade launcher and concussion...
Ogdensburg police seized loaded semi-automatic guns, a grenade launcher and concussion explosive munitions.(WWNY)
Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 2:13 PM EDT
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OGDENSBURG, New York (WWNY) - The city manager will review a court case in which the judge tossed out evidence seized by Ogdensburg police last year, including a shotgun with a grenade launcher.

In particular, the judge called into question the sworn testimony of now-police chief Mark Kearns, who denied repeatedly entering the suspect’s vehicle, and said he never searched the trunk.

Video from a neighbor’s home showed Kearns going into the vehicle six times, including the trunk.

“As city manager it is my responsibility to insure department heads lead by example and uphold the highest level of professional conduct,” City Manager Stephen Jellie said in a statement Tuesday.

“Chief Kearns has always done that.  I will review all the facts in this matter, consult with legal counsel and the district attorney to determine if any deviation from professional standards occurred.”

In his decision, the judge pointedly made an issue of Kearns’ testimony. At the time, Kearns was a lieutenant in the police force.

“The Court makes note of the vast discrepancies between the testimony elicited at the hearing and the video footage,” he wrote.

“Of particular concern is the testimony regarding the search itself,” the judge wrote.

Kearns testified he only entered the back seat of the vehicle to remove a gun case and the shotgun.

According to the court’s decision, Kearns entered the vehicle through a back door, when he saw the gun case. Then he entered through the driver’s side door, then back into the rear - when the shotgun was removed - then the front driver’s side again, then the trunk, and finally, the back seat of the vehicle again.

“The Court acknowledges that over a year has elapsed since the incident...However, the testimonial description of a limited intrusion into the vehicle is completely contradicted by the video evidence.”

Kearns has not returned a call for comment.