Birk to retire as part of voluntary separation deal, if Middletown Council OKs it

Agreement would pay chief who has been on leave for 2 months through the end of the year.

Embattled Middletown Police Chief David Birk said he expects a voluntary separation agreement with the city will be considered at Tuesday’s council meeting. Birk said he signed the agreement last week.

On Dec. 20, Birk was placed on paid administrative leave “until further notice” by City Manager Paul Lolli.

When Birk was placed on paid administrative leave, he left the city building after turning over his gun and badge.

The city has been silent for 10 weeks about any reason for Birk’s removal, with Lolli stating the investigation was being conducted internally and “we do not comment on personnel issues.”

“It is being handled internally through the administrative route,” Lolli previously told the Journal-News. “He was placed on administrative leave, and the matter is still being looked into. Period.”

In a letter to council members on Thursday, Lolli said approval of a voluntary separation agreement will “accept the resignation of David Birk for the purpose of retirement.”

According to the email obtained by the Journal-News, the agreement would be effective Feb. 20, 2024, and pay Birk his regular salary and benefits through Dec. 31, 2024.

Stephen Imm, Birk’s attorney, told the Journal-News in January, “I don’t believe that the chief has done anything to merit any disciplinary action.”

Imm said he was unaware of any criminal allegations against Birk.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

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