SARATOGA SPRINGS -- The 39-year-old Glenville woman involved in a personal relationship with the Saratoga Springs police chief has retained a lawyer to represent her in a potential civil rights case against the city, the Saratoga Springs Police Department and Police Chief Christopher Cole.
The woman, Laurie Masi, contacted a law firm after Cole publicly identified her as the woman with whom he had exchanged explicit text messages.
Attorney Paul DeLorenzo, of Schenectady, alleged Cole's decision to name Masi was an abuse of his authority and a calculated attempt to cause shame, humiliation and embarrassment to his client.
DeLorenzo said late Friday that he planned to ask for a meeting with city Mayor Scott Johnson and city Public Safety Commissioner Richard Wirth next week, prior to potentially filing a civil action.
"She wants justice," said DeLorenzo, who declined to go into details as to whether that form of justice may include an apology, disciplinary action against the chief or some form of monetary compensation.
"It's about making him accountable. I would like to see what Mr. Cole offers this young woman. He put her name in the press release and that really hurt her," said DeLorenzo, adding that the woman has two children.
Cole, who has served with city police since 1990, was sworn in as chief in December 2009.
He said he became involved in a relationship with Masi in July 2010 and admitted Thursday to exchanging sexually explicit photos with her.
Cole said the photo exchange included one occasion when he texted a photo from his personal cellphone from behind closed doors while in his office at City Hall.
Masi and Cole met through an online dating service and Masi first initiated the exchange of photographs.
DeLorenzo alleges that at some point Masi asked Cole to stop sending her sexually explicit messages and images and that he did not. She contacted the city police department on May 31.
When contacting city police, Masi was told by Lt. Gregory Veitch to contact the office of the public safety commissioner regarding allegations involving the police chief, Wirth said on Friday.
"Here we are on June 10 and she never came forward with any complaints," Wirth said.
A determination on any potential disciplinary action taken against Cole will be made next week, Wirth said.
Masi is not married and Cole said he was legally separated from his wife 3 1/2 years ago.