The investigation into whether the allegations by Montville Police Officer Karen Moorhead against Police Lt. Leonard G. Bunnell amounted to workplace harassment and/or sexual harassment is done – more than 8 months after the probe into the allegations was launched.
And while Moorehead has declined to comment on the investigation other than to confirm she’s aware it’s complete, Montville Patch has learned the investigation report concluded the myriad allegations “generally happened.”
She filed the complaint against overt harassment and disparate treatment.” In a memo and other documents obtained by Patch, Moorhead spells out incident after incident of “harassment, intimidation and sexual harassment.”
Those charges include but are not limited to a Bunnell comment about Moorehead’s breasts, his statement she should “sign (a document) like a good girl,” and instances of “intimidation,” including one when he blocked her from leaving an room and repeated contact when he was cautioned not to have contact with her pending the resolution of the complaint.
And while the investigation found Bunnell’s behaviors toward the School Resource Officer “entirely inappropriate,” it concluded nonetheless that his actions “did not rise to the level to support a claim of sexual or workplace harassment.”
But Mayor Ronald McDaniel said regardless of the findings, the matter “will be all resolved shortly.” When asked to elaborate McDaniel declined citing the “need to keep personnel things confidential.”
Moorehead’s Hartford-based attorney Andrew Houlding said he would have to defer comment until he sees the entire report.
“We don’t have a copy. We don’t know who was interviewed, was not interviewed and so we will wait to comment until we have (the report) in our hands,” said Houlding said.
Montville Finance Director Theresa Hart was “helping out,” she said, acting in the capacity of a human resource and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission officer to run the investigation. She was assisted by attorney Hinda K. Kimmell of the New London-based law firm of Suisman and Shapiro.
According to the firm’s web site, Kimmell frequently defends employers in discrimination actions, though she also wears the hat of investigator of alleged discrimination or employee misconduct, including sexual harassment, as she did in the Moorhead case.
A call for comment was not returned.
Moorehead has to pay Town $250 to get copy of report
The investigation into the alleged harassment is over. The report is done. But Moorhead does not have a copy. It will not be turned over until she pays the town $249.50.
According to Houlding, that’s the fee for the copy of the investigation report, at $.25 per page, her attorney said, it is apparently some 1,000 pages long.
“The town’s position, apparently, is for us to avail ourselves of a copy…at a charge of almost $250,” he said.
Moorehead has seen portions of the report but has declined to comment to Patch instead deferring to her lawyers.
Bunnell subject of other investigations
Meanwhile, Montville Patch was contacted by a CSP staff attorney in reference to our request for a copy of the other Bunnell investigation report, completed two weeks ago by the state police Major Crimes division. Bunnell was being investigated 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.
Bunnell has not returned previous calls for comment.