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UPDATED: Mayor In "Constant Contact" With Bunnell, Meeting Set For Monday

Major Crimes investigation report issued on Lt. Leonard Bunnell.

UPDATE: Thursday, June 28 at 12:20 p.m.: Mayor McDaniel said the town is meeting with Bunnell Monday.

"We've been in constant contact. Yes, we had a meeting set. We'll see how that moves forward," McDaniel said. 

UPDATE at 2:26 p.m.: CSP spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said he doesn't know if any charges will be filed as a result of investigation findings; he has yet to review the report. Montville Patch filed a Freedom of Information Act request for the investigation report and as soon as we get that information, we'll update the story. 

ORIGINAL STORY:

A state police investigation of Monvtille Police Lt. Leonard G. Bunnell has concluded and a report was issued to Mayor Ronald McDaniel, but the town’s top cop has declined to comment pending discussions “with our legal counsel.”

“I’m very, very carefully (proceeding) here with personnel matters…they’re (personnel) entitled to that,” McDaniel said. He said he has been given the internal affairs investigation “report” by the Eastern Major Crime Unit and is “trying to reach”  lawyers for the town “now, but they are out of town.”

Major Crimes Commanding Officer Lt. John S. Eckersley declined to comment on the investigation conclusion calling it “inappropriate.” He deferred comment to McDaniel and the CSP public information officer, but said to “start with” McDaniel.  

Bunnell, who was not placed on leave during the probe, could not be reached for comment.

A call to Town Attorney Eileen Duggan was not immediately returned.

in connection with the alleged improper use of the state police background-information database. According to an early April letter from Lt. John S. Eckersley, major crimes commanding officer, Bunnell was accused of not following proper procedures  for requesting criminal background checks on 38 occasions, between October of 2011 and January of 2012.

Troop E commanding officer Lt. Samuel R. Izzarelli lodged the complaint against Bunnell after getting a report by a system auditor. The Connecticut On-Line Law Enforcement Communications Teleprocessing (COLLECT) System lets users find information that the state has about people, and find motor vehicle and criminal history data on the national and international level. The auditor said she was informed by Montville Police Officer Robin Salvatore that “she had reviewed the log and discovered misuse by Lt. Leonard Bunnell.” 

One of the allegations was that Bunnell documented a criminal history request by a town employee even though Bunnell was told he was not allowed to “give criminal history information for Town Hall and City Hall requests during his recent re-certification class in August.” 

Check Patch for updates. 

Owen Willis June 28, 2012 at 12:53 AM
Montville's town council hired a law firm not a single attorney. By what the mayor said, the entire firm must have gone on a corporate retreat. Yet another town employee left hanging by the mayor.
Pete J June 28, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Town Attorney Eileen Duggan is the town's LABOR attorney. The Mayor better be following her advice. As for Lt Bunnell It's called due process,and he will get his! it just won't be played out in the newspapers.
Sarah Mae Wegins June 28, 2012 at 01:42 AM
This situation reeks of favoritism. Tom McNally was fired because of a vendetta mounted by his Superior and the Chairman of the WPCA. The Mayor bought into this unfortunate situation and now a major law suit will be filed which will end up costing us taxpayers amounts unknown. Remember the Town Attorney handled that investigation at the request of the Mayor, several months of billings. McNally was put on administrative leave for over six months. Lets consider Bunnell's situation. He has misused the computer system to background check an individual for another town employee, an extreme violation of the statutes. Lt. Bunnell is also under investigation for sexual harassment of a fellow police officer. Another serious charge now being investigated the Town Attorney. More billable hours. Two very serious charges that could possibly be felonies and yet Bunnell continues to work. It appears that "the boss" is taking care of him. Mayor/Chief of Police Ronald McDaniel has chosen the path of what I believe is obvious, favoritism and again will be at our expense. What Montville needs is a person with integrity who is able to make good decisions for the community occupying the Mayor's office. Can we recall him?
Sarah B. June 28, 2012 at 02:43 AM
What an embarrassment to the town. If this doesn't help mcnally win a ton of money I don't know what will. Can we say double standard? The mayor needs to go. he has proven many times that he can not make an educated decision and what he does do is wrong. What happened to Ronny Mac got your back and he will do what's right. Another politician that lies to the people
J. Arrington June 28, 2012 at 11:39 AM
Pete J, wake up to current day media. Lt. Bunnell's actions are news-worthy because he is a public official who was investigated by the Major Crime Squad. There is also a perception of favoritism by the Mayor when comparing the Bunnell case and the McNally case. You are partially incorrect about Attorney Duggan. She acted as the former Mayor's Labor Attorney. Attorney Duggan may be Mayor McDaniel's Labor Attorney too, yet this same attorney has been positioned as the Town's Attorney by the Council. Just take a look at the minutes of the Town Council.
J. Arrington June 28, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Sarah B., the voters had a choice during the election. Ronald McDaniel was the winner. I'm not surprised by his lack of municipal government, nor his unfair treatment of employees. I took the time and went to the debates prior to the election, and it was obvious he was unprepared. However, that doesn't matter now except that the Town has not gotten better under his leadership, rather worse. Jaskiewicz at least had the knowledge and management skills to deal with employee issues properly.
J. Lincoln June 28, 2012 at 12:44 PM
It appears that Lt. Bunnell is loosing the respect of many in town and the employees of the Montville Police Dept. His ability to continue will forever be in question. Lt. you served the Town well over many years and it is now time to step down.
J. Lincoln June 28, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Ms Wegins your points are well stated. Mr. McDaniel, however, was elected by a large plurality and I think not justified. I would love to hear from some of the people who voted for him and would they do it again. In tough times were it is hard for many to come up with the money to pay their taxes how do they feel about throwing money (thousands of dollars) to lawyers to protect the Mayors interests?
Sam Rogers June 28, 2012 at 01:21 PM
"Double standard?" Surely by that you can only mean that Lt. Bunnell, too, should have gotten a six-month paid vacation at taxpayer expense like Mr. McNally did? How in the world does the fact that Lt. Bunnel wasn't so favored "help McNally win a ton of money"? Regardless of the merits of any of Mr. McNally's other claims, how did he suffer harm by being told to stay home with pay for six months on the public's dime? We should all be so lucky.
Sam Rogers June 28, 2012 at 01:41 PM
Sarah Mae Wiggans: What exactly constitues a "major law suit?" If that is a technical term, I'm not familiar with it. Likewise, what is an "extreme violation of the statutes?" Murder or rape are no doubt extreme statutory violations, but do you really believe that anything Lt. Bunnel has been accused of rises to that level? And what is the basis on which you say that volation of the background check statutes "might be a felony?" Felonies are crimes punishable by more than a year in jail. I seem to recall that the statutory penalty for abusing the police background check process is something like a $100 fine per violation, but why don't you look it up yourself and report back? The facts in these situations, whatever they are, will presumably come out in due course. Meanwhile, the unsubstantiated use of words like "major lawsuit", "extreme violation", "very serious" and "could possibly be felonies" contributes nothing meaningful to the discussion.
Sarah B. June 28, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Sam that has to be the stupidest comment I have ever read on patch. You really think being put out on paid leave is a vacation? When someone has put as much effort as mr. Mcnally has into the job he loved for almost 12 years to not know what the future holds. That has to really stink. It's clear by the fact it took 6 months the town had no case. If he had done something wrong they would have written him up or suspended him immediately. This town is a joke and I for one an tired of the fools running it.
Carol Geiler June 29, 2012 at 01:30 PM
I certainly doubt if Lt. Bunnell is guilty of the charges against him. I have found him to be respectful, fair and professional. That being said, it is unfair to compare his situation with Mr.McNally's. Obviously the Mayor, based on the information provided to him, felt it was NOT necessary to place the Lt. on administrative leave. I am not saying Mr. McNally is or is not deserving of his situation but the Mayor must act on the information provided to him. Mayor McDaniel has been given the authority to act in the best interest of the town. I believe that is exactly what he is doing. He is not being swayed by popular gossip. To me, that shows true leadership and professionalism. Lt. Bunnell has earned the respect he deserves. Please don't attack Lt. Bunnell's outstanding character and professionalism just because you don't like the Mayor or you do like Mr. McNally. I can guarantee you Lt. Bunnell would never treat any of you that way.
Mr. P June 29, 2012 at 03:26 PM
Carol, I agreed that the Lt. Has done a great job however I have to disagree about saying the same for our mayor. Whether the charges brought against both employees are true or not they should be treated equally. If you place one on leave pending the investigation you should do the same for the other. In this case the multiple charges against the Lt. Would demand paid leave as they both affect his ability to lead the department and his ability to do day to day police work.
J. Lincoln June 30, 2012 at 12:45 AM
Ms. Geiler and Mr. P. You both are in all likelihood correct. I do believe that Lt. Bunnell has probably been found to violate either statutory requirements and as stated earlier is loosing ground with both the PD and citizens of town. It has been a concern to me that the manner in which McDaniel handled both cases. He did go against the town charter when he involved the council showing ignorance of the charters requirements regarding MvNally. The members of the council should have told the Mayor he has the total say on both employees and not get involved at all. The State Police's Eastern District Major Crimes Unit investigated the charges levied against Bunnell and have given the report to the Mayor to act on. From all indications it does not favor Lt. Bunnell and we shall find out soon enough. If so it leaves the Mayor with a very tough decision. Monday should be an interesting day. Lets hope this two situations can be put to appropriate conclusions.
Sandy July 06, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Well said Carol :)
jjmjr October 06, 2012 at 12:12 PM
i think everyone that was the subject of the inapropriate backround checks should sue everyone involved, this will bring out the truth of who ordered it and why.

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