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Charges Notwithstanding, Montville Police Lieutenant Back at Work

Lt. Bunnell, subject of State Police Major Crimes investigation and harassment complaint, had chance to answer charges last week; his status is unclear.

Montville Police Lt. Leonard Bunnell is apparently back at his desk and has assumed his regular duties, according to police, after the conclusion of a state police investigation into alleged computer crimes committed by the ranking officer as well as the conclusion of a near-eight month investigation into complaints of workplace and sexual harassment made by a female police officer.

That probe, conducted by the town’s finance director and hired counsel, found that while the allegations “generally occurred” they did not rise to the level of harassment. The allegations include comments about the officers’ breasts and instances of intimidation.

 The 35-year Montville Police veteran had his  last Friday, his chance to explain himself as Mayor Ronald McDaniel moves forward with the disciplinary process. McDaniel said he would decide the ranking officer’s punishment, inform him and the police union and then, he said, the town should likely anticipate a union grievance.  

According to The complaint against Bunnell was that he knowingly and improperly accessed the state criminal background database 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.

It is unknown who may have instructed Bushway to make that request, if anyone did, or how many other such requests may have been made by town officials. 

Bunnell was also the subject of an October 2011 discrimination and harassment complaint by Montville Police Officer Karen Moorehead. 

 hostility and sexual harassment, the latter pertaining to a Bunnell remark about Moorehead’s breasts. The investigation concluded that Bunnell’s behaviors toward Moorehead while “entirely inappropriate …did not rise to the level to support a claim of sexual or workplace harassment.”

Montville Patch has made Freedom of Information request for the CSP investigation.

The likely charges, police sources said, would be Connecticut General statutes regarding unauthorized access to a computer system, which, if criminally prosecuted and adjudicated guilty, could result in hefty fines. 

 

Dennis R. Monahan, Sr. July 24, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Good for you Bob. There is a heck of lot more to this story than is being reported.
theinformant July 24, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Sorry Mr. Bedard, but I disagree with your comments. Mr. Monahan, I’m surprised at you for agreeing with Mr. Bedard. I remember you when you were the Top Cop in the Montville PD. You have had encounters with the LT. and surely know what he could be capable off. He might have done a lot of good things in the past, but that doesn’t account for what he is being accused of now. Remember one ah S==t takes away a thousand at a boys. Look what they’re doing to Joe Paternal. He made history. The investigation is over. He should take the proper punishment and not be protected by the Mayor. Mr. Bedard attacking other people to justify the LT.’s position is unnecessary. I had the opportunity to speak with the LT.. Up front he comes across as a nice guy, somewhat like the Mayor. Behind the scenes he could be a totally different person, just like the Mayor. Mr. Monahan, you should know that. Now I ask, what kind of working relationship is there going to be between the LT., Officer Moorehead, and the President of the Union? What’s going to happen to the moral? Also, I don't beleive you should investigate a Sexual Harassment complaint by the Finance Director and the Attorney whose firm is hired by the Town. There is no grey area for Sexual Harassment. It’s black or white, he did it or he didn’t. Just another reason to think the investigation was flawed.
Safety59 July 24, 2012 at 05:04 PM
The recall was last November when Team Andriott/Hillman/Wilson/Jacobson was soundly defeated. Now, Team Sour Grapes is left with throwing innuendo and accusations against the wall to see if anything will stick. The Mayor and common sense will prevail and malice will not.
Donna Jacobson July 24, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Safety59, anonymity allows a writer to think they are not accountable for their words.
theinformant July 24, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Safety59 You may be right about a recall last November. It took two years for that to happen. Now the Mayor has only been in Office for 8 months and there’s people calling for a recall. It didn’t take long for him to upset the people. You don’t understand politics to well do you. In Washington the Democrats always disagree with the Republicans and the Republicans always disagree with the Democrats. Both sides are always throwing barbs at each other. Same goes for State Politics. Wouldn’t you think that the same thing is going to happen in small town politics? Now it leads me to believe that if you have to defend the Mayor, you might not be too sure about your common sense will prevail and malice will not theory.
Jon July 24, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Interesting that safety59 comes back to a mill in town. Who could you be??
Bob Bedard July 24, 2012 at 07:17 PM
Donna very nice way to explain " Anoymity " , not quite the way I would have put it . Thank You :o)
Pete J July 24, 2012 at 07:48 PM
I think I will reserve my judgememnt after I read the reports. My judgement of Lieut Bunnell will be made on facts not on he said she said. Nobody was more corrupt than Russ Beetham and lasted 18 years.
REVMAN July 24, 2012 at 08:32 PM
He is not out the woods yet it is still up to officer Moorehead if SHE wants to pursue it not our town attorney and finance director.Why do you think she has an out of town attorney? It is illegal under state and federal laws.this investagation is not over until She says it is.All you have to do is GOOGLE it.
Lynda J. Jean July 24, 2012 at 11:37 PM
There are three sides to every story...He said, she said and the truth will eventually come out. Also I agree with Mr. Monahan Sr. there is more to this story and the truth will come out...I for one am happy that Lt. Bunnell is back to work...
lee July 25, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Mr. Bedard, if some one doesn't agree with Montville's finest they have to use an alias. If you use your name you definately face retaliation. I've lived in this town all my life & I've seen a lot of wrong doing by our Constables. No, I've never said anything, because I knew they would retaliate against me or my family. Some day it will all catch up to them. You can only mess up or lose so many reports before someone higher up starts to investigates.
Mr. B July 25, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Last night as I sat in on the public safety commissions meeting a dispatcher who has nothing to do with the cops spoke about the poor moral in the pd.that should be a wake up call to all that the mayor and his pal Lenny are not getting the job done and things need to change. Montville will loose a bunch more good cops because of the poor leadership and back door political deals.
Sarah Mae Wegins July 25, 2012 at 11:34 AM
Jon, BULLSEYE!!!!!!!!!!! Do you recall that safety59 was the same intelligent source who called the Republican ticket during the last election "BROWN SHIRTS". His choice to refer to the dedicated people who run for office as Nazis is reprehensible. By the way, doesn't he hold an important position in town?
Bob Bedard July 25, 2012 at 12:21 PM
Awful lot of allegations here flying around by individuals that don't have enough respect for their own knowledge , not to have to use a ALIAS . Please almighty Alias's enlighten the rest of us with your " FACTS " Please , Just the FACTS of your allegations that from behind your Alias's , you all sound so knowledgeable about .
me July 25, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Rocks and Glass houses.
Dennis R. Monahan, Sr. July 25, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Well said Bob !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Bob Bedard July 25, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Thank You , Sir
Jim Andriote Sr. July 25, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Pete J. says “I think I will reserve my judgememnt after I read the reports. My judgement of Lieut Bunnell will be made on facts not on he said she said.” Then you say “Nobody was more corrupt than Russ Beetham and lasted 18 years.” Where are your facts on Beetham? You said you make your judgments on facts. Where are the facts? It’s good you hide behind the name Pete J, because you really don’t want people to know who the ignorant person is writing a stupid comment about a man who served this town for eighteen years and was as honest as they came. Has anybody ever served that long in this town as First Selectman? Let’s not forget he also beat the Democrat and Republican Candidates in 1999 for Mayor. He had as many votes as they did combined. I don’t believe Ron McDaniel’s will make four years, if he does, I believe he definitely won’t see another four. If he continues down the path he is going, eventually he will be caught. I believe he still thinks he’s working in the Probate Judges Office.
Jim Andriote Sr. July 25, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Bob, Terry Johnson makes a good point. Not everyone is going to sign their real name because there really is a good chance of retaliation in this town. Bob, does it really matter who wrote a comment disagreeing with your opinion? I disagree with all your comments you wrote here. So Bob, why should you care who writes a comment, are you looking to retaliate against them. In this country, everyone has a right to voice their opinion, by using their real name or not. Whether you agree or not, it’s just their opinion. When I comment on an issue, it’s my opinion, I not saying I’m knowledgeable about it, I’m just giving my opinion, there is a difference between the two.
Bob Bedard July 25, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Jim let me say , great to see you can post using your name , now about your opinion , " there really is a good chance of retaliation in this town." Which says to me you believe or you know that someone with authority in Montville can Retaliate against someone for their opinion , without fear of Justice ? Really Jim , Just my curiosity , but who do you think could pull that off , in your opinion that is ? Skip the facts Jim, just your opinion ?
Jim Andriote Sr. July 25, 2012 at 11:03 PM
Bob, I have been involved in politics for about 33 years. I was a Democrat during the time the Republicans were in control of the Mayor’s office and the Council. My children when they started driving were getting pulled over for anything you could think of. After the Democrats took control including me becoming a Councilor, things stopped. When I Primaryed Dougherty for Mayor while the Democrats were in Office in 1995 fellow Democrats started rumors about me stealing lunches while I was volunteering to serve lunches at the Senior Center. None of it was true, but they said it anyway. After I left the Democrats and became Independence for Montville, my children started getting pulled over again. Two of my three children moved out of Montville. I have one child living in Montville. He is still being pulled over, just recently 5 months ago and he’s almost 30. He’s not being stopped for speeding. These are just a couple of reasons why I feel it’s not impossible for there to be retaliation in this town. I could tell you lots of stories about instances of retaliations. I don’t blame the Police, they have bosses and they’re only doing what they are being told to do. I believe that’s what the LT was doing, what he was told do involving the COLLECT system. I’m sure most of the Officers don’t want to be involved in Politics. If you don’t want to believe that retaliation does occur, then we don’t have much more to say
lion king July 26, 2012 at 09:08 PM
you people dont get do you,he a cop that dont play by the rules ,and has dirty politicions behind him ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,my opinion and matbe many others
lion king July 26, 2012 at 09:20 PM
bob bedard, if i were to comment on a womens breast /maybe your daughter if you have one / and than tell you im remorseful ,you telling me thats ok ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,o and im not looking for any personal gain either ,
Michael Hillsberg July 27, 2012 at 12:36 AM
I agree with many of the comments posted and the one thing is there is awful lot of the story not being told. Lenny is a good street cop and has tried to do the right thing for this Town. He is a decicated public servant and in the next hurricane, he will be working if asked. He should be treated fairly. Mike Hillsberg
Rondevoo July 27, 2012 at 03:13 AM
Mr Lion King. Chill Out. It seems lie you just commented on his daughters bazooms!
Donna Jacobson July 27, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Mike, I agree with what you said, but I have to question why the whole story isn't being told. All town employees should be treated fairly and it seems to me that is not what is happening. Hopefully in the near future we all will have the opportunity to find out what truly occurred.
theinformant July 27, 2012 at 01:54 PM
It doesn’t make sense. People are saying you don’t know the whole story, that sounds as lame as the statement saying “The investigation concluded that Bunnell’s behaviors toward Moorehead while “entirely inappropriate …did not rise to the level to support a claim of sexual or workplace harassment.” That is stupid. I’ll say it again, there is no gray area. He did it or he didn’t. The investigation says he did it, then it says, “it did not rise to the level to support a claim of sexual or workplace harassment.” Does that statement really make sense? Am I the only one who thinks that this was just another way to bury the charges? Now if Officer Moorehead takes it to the next level, how much do you think it’s going to cost the Town to defend itself again because someone couldn’t resolve the matter and save the Town from another Lawsuit? Whatever the whole story is, you can bet its going to cost the Taxpayers more money in the end, because the Mayor couldn’t do the job that was expected of him.
Dennis R. Monahan, Sr. July 27, 2012 at 03:15 PM
You are right Michael, Lieutenant Bunnell is a dedicated public servant and has been for 30 plus years.
Sam Rogers July 27, 2012 at 09:02 PM
theinformant: It's your own comments that don't make any sense, as usual. Sexual harassment is defined by objective statutory or regulatory standards and definitions, not by your own arbitrary criteria. Thus, the statement to which you refer is self-explanatory: Lt. Bunnell was found to have said or done something, and whatever it was, it did not meet the applicable legal definition of sexual harrassment. What's so hard to grasp about that? Donna Jacobsen: Since you concede that "the whole story is not being told," how are you even able to form an opinion that all town employees are not being treated fairly? As to "why" the whole story is not being told, be serious. You recently ran for mayor. As a candidate for the position, surely you have some inkling as to the rights of unionized employees, and why it is (to say the very least) unwise for an employer to comment publicly on matters that are, or may be, under litigation? Those who have already concluded that the situations with Mr. McNally and/or Lt. Bunnell are going to cost taxpayers lots of money should be the first ones to understand the silence of the present Mayor on these subjects until they are resolved.
Donna Jacobson July 28, 2012 at 12:18 PM
Hi Sam Rogers, missed having your patronizing remarks about something I posted. Yes, I do have an inking about the rights of unionized and contractual employees. Therefore, I view Lieutenant Bunnell's and Tom McNally's cases on a per incident. basis. And seriously, the report from the State Police should be available to everyone. That document is public, and as you know, falls under FOIA rules of disclosure.

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