He’s a defender of the law.
But now, Saratoga Springs Police Chief Christopher Cole may be looking to defend himself after a woman with whom he’d exchanged sexual messages with, hired an attorney.
Laurie Masi names not only the chief, but the Police Department and the city as defendants in this civil case.
Right now, all sides seem satisfied to only send statements: nobody’s speaking on camera in this case that could shape up to be a legal and public relations nightmare for the Spa City.
In a statement, Paul DeLorenzo says Saratoga Springs Police Chief Chris Cole continued to send Laurie Masi sexually explicit messages after she claims she told him to stop. The two apparently met on an online dating site.
On Thursday, Chief Cole sent us a statement admitting he was sexting Masi.
He wrote: “The relationship I had with Ms. Masi was between two consenting adults and sometimes involved conversation and texting of a sexual nature and on a few occasions involved each of us texting sexually explicit photos to each other.” He also admitted to sending one of those photos from behind closed doors while at his city hall office, and called that an error in judgment.
So too, says DeLorenzo, was Cole’s decision to name Masi in a statement to the media.
DeLorenzo called that decision a clear abuse of his authority and position as Chief of Police in Saratoga Springs.
Meanwhile, the laws about sexting are still being defined.
Part of that is because the language of law can’t keep up with changing technology.
Tom Carr, a Tully Rinckey attorney says “When both parties are willing participants, no laws are broken. However if she told him to stop, that could be an issue – it could fall under the definition of aggravated harassment. ”
And given that cell phones were used, it won’t have to boil down to a case of her word against his.
“The proof of conduct would be easy to obtain through phone records and search warrants,” Carr said.
Chief Cole had no more comments Friday.
Public Safety Commissioner Richard Wirth says when it comes to possible disciplinary action against Cole, everything is on the table.
That could include suspension or even firing him.
He may make that decision next week.