A former Geneva Police Officer was arrested and charged with second-degree strangulation in connection with a domestic incident that occurred on October 10, 2020 while the officer was still employed by the GPD.
Ryan Ambrose, whose name was quietly removed from the police roster on the City website in November, was taken into custody by the Canandaigua Police Department and indicted on December 22, 2020. Police say the victim sustained injuries in the incident.
Ambrose is the second GPD officer to be arrested for choking a victim in the last year and a half. GPD Officer Jack Montesanto was arrested and charged on July 31, 2020 with criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation for choking a woman who was in custody in the booking area at the police station.
Ambrose Quietly Removed From Roster, FOIL Request Delayed 90 Days
On October 28, 2020, Geneva City Council voted to eliminate two Geneva Police probationary position salaries for 2021. Officer Ryan Ambrose and Officer Frank Davoli III were the two officers whose positions were eliminated. City taxpayers had already paid for Police Academy training for both individuals.
Then, sometime between November 13 and November 16, Ambrose’s name was removed from the police department roster on the city website.
During the December 2, 2020 City Council meeting, Ward 4 Councilor Ken Camera asked for council to be provided with the “results of an ongoing police internal investigation” at the next monthly City Council meeting. (Those results were not provided during the January 6, 2021 Council meeting.)
On December 17, 2020, Geneva Believer filed a FOIL request for “…all personnel records used to evaluate performance toward continued employment or promotion relating to former probationary Geneva Police officer Ryan Ambrose.”
On December 21, 2020, a letter from GPD Chief Mike Passalacqua in response to the FOIL request stated that those records would not be released until March 17, 2021, three months after the request was submitted.
Considering that Ambrose was on the GPD roster for less than one year, the amount of personnel records related to the officer would presumably be minimal compared to other officers with longer tenures. Yet the city is delaying the release of those documents for at least 90 days.
Chief and City Manager SILENT – And Unanswered Questions
- How does the GPD screen new candidates for employment, and how did Ambrose get through that screening process?
- What did the Chief and the City Manager know about the October 10th incident and when did they know it?
- Why did Ambrose remain on the GPD roster for more than a month after the domestic incident?
- Why didn’t the Chief or City Manager immediately issue a press release addressing the issue when Ambrose was arrested and charged more than two weeks ago?
- Why is the city delaying the release of Ambrose’s personnel records?
In light of yet another GPD officer’s arrest, is it time for Mike Passalacqua to step down as Chief of Police?