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Montville officials ready to meet with Lt. Bunnell

By Sasha Goldstein

Publication: The Day

Published June 28. 2012 4:00AM
Investigation into use of database by town's ranking officer completed

Montville - The town last week received the results of a state police investigation into whether Lt. Leonard Bunnell, the town's highest ranking officer, improperly used a state police database, and Mayor Ronald K. McDaniel said a meeting would be scheduled for next week to discuss the report with Bunnell.

The report is one of several outstanding investigations or complaints into the conduct of Bunnell, who has spent more than 30 years as a law enforcement officer.

McDaniel would not release or comment on the report, for which The Day has since filed a Freedom of Information request.

Asked about Bunnell's employment status, McDaniel said Bunnell has taken "compensatory time off" this week and will not return to work until Monday, at which point McDaniel and the town's labor attorney "will sit down with him."

McDaniel, who by charter is the town's police chief, offered no further comment Wednesday.

Last month McDaniel said he was told of the investigation in April after a biannual audit of the Connecticut On-Line Law Enforcement Communications Teleprocessing system. The system not only provides in-state criminal justice data but also gives authorized users access to two national systems - the National Crime Information Center and the International Justice and Public Safety Information Sharing Network.

McDaniel said that during the audit, several "anomalies" were found, and there are 38 instances that are under review. State police investigated whether proper protocol was used when accessing the system, he said.

Last year, police Officer Karen Moorehead filed a harassment complaint in which she accused Bunnell of treating her unfairly and making inappropriate comments about her appearance.

That complaint was filed Oct. 28 with the town and claims that Moorehead was singled out, threatened and harassed over a 10-month period. The town has yet to issue a report by a workplace harassment committee on an investigation into the complaint.

Access to that full complaint and documents pertaining to it have been denied to The Day, which has filed an appeal with the state Freedom of Information Commission.

Richard Lenda, a former town police sergeant, also continues to pursue a defamation lawsuit against Bunnell.

s.goldstein@theday.com

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