Memo Offers Glimpse into Police Harassment Complaint

Montville Police Officer Karen Moorehead filed the complaint against Lt. Leonard Bunnell in October.

Montville Patch has obtained a memo that provides details about the lodged against Montville Police Lt. Leonard Bunnell by Officer Karen Moorehead.

The Oct. 28, 2011 memo is from Moorehead to the Town of Montville.

"This is the follow up written complaint regarding the threatening and harassment that I have been subject to over the past 10 or so months," Moorehead writes in the memo. "Over this time period I have been singled out, treated unfairly and Lt. Bunnell has made comments about my breasts."

The memo alleges a "pattern and practice of continuous and overt harassment and disparate treatment" by Bunnell.

Moorhead writes in the memo that she made a verbal complaint on Oct. 19, and asked that Bunnell "stay away from me."

In the complaint, Moorehead says that then-Mayor Joe Jaskiewicz and Resident State Trooper Sgt. Troy Gelinas ordered Bunnell to stay away from her.

"The next morning," Moorhead writes in the memo, "Bunnell decided to question if I had outstanding reports."

Bunnell, she charges, was again told "to have no contact with me but upon me leaving the Police Department on Oct. 21 he yelled in an (intimidating) manner, 'Goodnight Karen.'"

She says in the memo that "both of these incidents were witnessed by multiple people."

Asked this week about the memo, Moorehead said, "I'm hopeful that the town will complete their investigation in a timely manner and the truth will come out."

She refused further comment, and directed questions to her attorney.

Moorehead, who is the School Resource Officer at Montville High School, has refused to speak about the original complaint, which has yet to be released in spite of Freedom of Information requests by Montville Patch and The Day.

Mayor Ron McDaniel, commenting on the memo, said that allegations of workplace harassment that launched the initial investigation involved "some things beyond the scope of what our internal people could handle." That is why the town engaged the law firm of Suisman Shapiro to investigate, he said.

Asked about the seven months that it's taken to investigate the charges, McDaniel said that new information had arisen in early May that he wanted addressed, and he asked the attorney to add that new information into the investigation and report.

In addition, he said, the police union has recently been without representation, and he could not begin to talk with Bunnell or Moorehead without a union attorney present.

As mayor, McDaniel is the head of the police department.

Gelinas had no comment; Bunnell could not be reached.

montvillejive May 17, 2012 at 10:58 AM
How much is this complaint and others costing the Town? No one seems to want to talk about that issue. 1. The WPCA employee has been on administrative leave for over four months at about $6000.00 a month plus benefits. Then add on the legal squad of attorneys costing around $200.00 an hour. 2. According to the article, Moorehead's complaint has been in process of investigation since Oct. 2011. How many billable hours for the legal squad? 3. Councilors Buebendorf and Murphy filed an ethics complaint and then complained of the costs. Has either of them complained about the costs associated with these employee investigations? Whether or not the allegations against Bunnell or McNally are true, there is a thing in our nation called due process. I'm assuming that all parties have retained legal advice during the investigations, so more money is spent. Shame on the Mayor for putting the all parties involved through this mental anguish and costs.
Broke Town May 17, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Wow when you think the town can't get any worst it does. How does our mayor show his face in public. He has demonstrated he can't handle the job and outsources it to a very expensive law firm that only cares about billable hours. He has treated employees differently thus opening the town up to more litigation. One employee under investigation is out on paid leave but then the LT. Of the police is not even when the law requires him to be removed as a supervisor when there is a sexual harassment complaint and let's not forget the newest misuse of computer complaint . We as residents do impeach the mayor and elect a new council before the town is broke
Dave Bottigliere May 17, 2012 at 05:02 PM
Why is anyone surprised. The only people who feel the magnitude and understand the urgency of the present economic condition don't seem to in Montville politics. We continue to spend money we just don't have...until taxes are raised and raised, but that well may someday run dry. On the other hand, the Town does have some liability exposure so legal advice may be prudent given the capabilities of the Town officials. Continuing to let costs get out of hand is still irresponsible, but until the final accounting is done final, judgment should be somewhat reserved on this issue.
kimberly kirk May 17, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Broke Town May 17, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Kim, how do you know these complaints are lies?
J. Lincoln May 20, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Kimberly, You made a strong statement can you back it up? If you can please do since it would get him off the hook. I would think the people in town would appreciate knowing.
J. Lincoln May 20, 2012 at 02:09 PM
Not on your life, they are in charge now!
J. Lincoln May 20, 2012 at 02:24 PM
There are two serious complaints against Lt. Bunnell, the Mayor says its different and the Lieutenant doe not deserve to be put on administrative leave. Yes it's different, Bunnell's charges are serious and the WPCA employee simply disagreed with how a proposed project is intended to be implemented, which in his opinion could cost the rate payer millions. This could spill over to the Town's taxpayers as well. Good job Mayor McDaniel.


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