The Utica Police Department has released details surrounding the arrest of the city employee, after Mayor Michael Galime acknowledged the arrest Tuesday morning on WIBX's Keeler Show.

According to Lt. Mike Curley of UPD, 36-year-old Walter Phillips of Utica was arrested by police on charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree, fifth degree, seventh degree, and criminal use of drug paraphernalia in the second degree. Phillips was arrested and booked on February 2nd, according to Curley. According to city records, Phillips worked as a Codes Officer at the time of the arrest.

On Tuesday morning, Mayor Galime acknowledged that a codes employee had been arrested while on-duty and operating a city-owned vehicle, and that the employee had been dismissed quickly.

"I’ll just say it was during work hours while the person was driving a city-vehicle and in uniform of codes and my administration acted swiftly and the person no longer works for codes anymore," Galime said.


The initial question regarding the incident came from a listener of the Keeler Show who messaged in on the WIBX 950 app.

Question from listener- "I was told an employee of codes was caught conducting illegal activities and arrested for it within the last few months. Supposedly the employee was also relative of the department head."

Mayor Galime initially was hesitant to give information about the incident saying, "I’m trying to think what I can actually say (legally) about that." Later in the morning, the Mayor's office said they were unable to release details of the arrest because of employee privacy laws. However, later in the day police were able to release the information regarding the incident to WIBX.

The position of WIBX News is that while details regarding the individual's work history and records may be protected under employee privacy laws, an arrest of the individual whether on-duty or off-duty would be considered public information granted under New York State's Freedom of Information Law.

The Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”), Article 6 (Sections 84-90) of the NYS Public Officers Law, provides the public right to access to records maintained by government agencies with certain exceptions.

Watch Mayor Galime respond to the arrest below:

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