National News

Meriden police captain fired for 'policy violations'

Posted June 27

— A police captain in Meriden was fired on Monday for a number of department violations, according to the mayor's office.

According to documents, Capt. Patrick Gaynor was terminated after being investigated for more than 60 violations.

Gaynor was filed after a months-long investigation that initially stemmed from a complaint he made against Police Chief Jeffry Cossette.

Gaynor accused Cossette of retaliating and provided what he thought were a dozen examples.

They ranged from getting denied training to being removed from snow-tow assignments. The city spent more than $51,000 on that investigation and found those allegations to be baseless.

Independent Hearing Officer Charles Reynolds broke down all 12 of Gaynor's allegations and according to him, found them to be made without evidence.

In fact, some he says were made in an attempt to "discredit and embarrass the chief," leading him to recommend Gaynor be fired.

He wrote: "Captain Gaynor's willingness to make claims without evidence, which he could have obtained to support, mitigate or negate those claims along with his willingness to be untruthful left no allowance, in my view, for any recommendation short of termination."

Gaynor was fired and he's facing four other pending internal affairs investigations.

Gaynor's lawyer says he plans to fight to reinstate the former captain.

Daniel Esposito, whose office is representing Gaynor, released a statement on Monday saying: "Hearing Officer Reynolds' decision represents but one step in a process that we are confident will result in Captain Gaynor's vindication.? Of the sixty-three (63) counts originally levied against Captain Gaynor, three (3) were sustained at the conclusion of Reynolds' decision. Captain Gaynor's apparent exoneration on the remaining counts, including all 14 counts of conduct unbecoming an officer and all 10 counts of falsification of records, is encouraging to say the least. Our attention will now shift to a hearing before a panel of the Connecticut Board of Mediation and Arbitration. Pursuant to said hearing will be the power to subpoena witness testimony and documentary evidence, which we expect will lead to Captain Gaynor's reinstatement. Lastly, in Trusz v. UBS Realty Investors, LLC (319 Conn. 175), the Connecticut Supreme Court set forth broad protection for work-place speech. Our position remains steadfast- the statements for which Gaynor was disciplined fall squarely within the protections delineated therein."

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