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Government Delaware State Police Chaos
The female officer in question is captain and a former classmember of the Caesar Rodney High School Camden, Delaware named Barbara L. Conley. .
State Police Name Second in Command
New deputy superintendent is 18-year veteran of agency
By CRIS BARRISH / The News Journal
The Delaware State Police completed its change of command Friday by naming
Maj. Mark W. Seifert as deputy superintendent. Seifert, 42, of Hockessin,
will hold the rank of lieutenant colonel and be second in command to Col.
Thomas F. MacLeish, the new superintendent. After two years as lieutenant
colonel, MacLeish last month succeeded the beleaguered Col. L. Aaron
Chaffinch, who held the top position for 3 1/2 years.
Under Chaffinch, the agency's reputation was tarnished by lawsuits from
black, white and female officers, whose accusations ranged from racial and
gender bias to retaliation and favoritism in discipline and promotions.
state has lost or settled several cases, and four remain pending in U.S.
District Court in Wilmington. Chaffinch stepped down May 5, shortly after
he returned from five months on paid leave ordered while the agency
investigated allegations stemming from a female captain's discrimination
lawsuit. Officials found Chaffinch committed several unspecified
violations of agency policy, and he received punishment that has not been
Seifert said he was honored to be chosen second in command of Delaware's
largest police agency, which has 637 officers and 250 civilian employees.
"I'm overwhelmed,'' he said. "There are so many qualified people with
great leadership skills. I appreciate the opportunity and the trust the
colonel has in me.''
While acknowledging the force's recent troubles, Seifert pledged to help
the agency move forward.
"I'm a believer in trying to get the flywheel moving inch by inch, foot by
foot and letting the momentum take over,'' Seifert said. "We can open the
doors in terms of listening to our incumbent troopers and their
A native of Baltimore, Seifert is an 18-year state police veteran who has
held the rank of major since 2001. He heads the agency's information
technology division, and he has overseen New Castle County field
operations since August. He earned a citation for cracking a drug ring in
Seifert was promoted over three other majors: Joseph A. Papili, Randall
Hughes and Paul Eckrich.
"The selection was a difficult one,'' MacLeish said. "There are many
qualified troopers for this position, but unfortunately there is only one
deputy superintendent, and I am honored he agreed to serve in that
capacity. He's the right choice, a proven leader.''
Sgt. Vincent Fiscella, president of the Delaware State Troopers
Association, the agency's labor union, applauded his friend Seifert's
selection. "He's got a lot of talent and I expect that between the colonel
and lieutenant colonel, we're going to have an outstanding working
relationship,'' Fiscella said. David B. Mitchell, Delaware's secretary of
Safety and Homeland Security, said Seifert would bring fresh approaches to
departmentwide problems and help restore public confidence.
"He'll be reaching into his tool kit with Tom MacLeish and get the ship
moving in the direction we all want to see it in,'' Mitchell said. "The
people who pay our salaries want to be proud of the state police, and it's
up to us to give them something to be proud of.''
Contact senior reporter Cris Barrish at 324-2785 or