Mayor Daryl Finizio announced Friday night that two captains will retire from the , while a police officer has been fired from the department. Another officer is on paid administrative leave pending investigation of a corruption accusation.
Finizio made the announcement at the same time that he released documents on over claims of unethical behavior by former City Councilor Michael Buscetto III. Finizio announced earlier this week that retirements were under negotiation during a press conference where he discussed , whose contract was allowed to expire.
Captains William Dittman and Michael Lacey will retire from the department. Finizio said Lacey’s retirement was at his request, and that Dittman will retire on Sunday. He said both men had taken extensive sick time over recent years and chose to take advantage of restructuring in the department.
“They are both excellent public servants who have served the city very well for very many years,” said Finizio.
Officer Joshua Bergeson has been terminated following a disciplinary hearing. Finizio said Bergeson had frequently been absent from work and was involved in an incident at the Southeastern Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence center in December. According to , three police officers were accused of beating and pepper-spraying an intoxicated man at the facility. Finizio said the report on the investigation of the incident is complete but cannot be released because a lawsuit has been filed in connection to it.
Finizio said Bergeson’s disciplinary history was also taken into consideration in the decision. Bergeson received a suspension in 2009 after an incident at the Shrine nightclub at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Several other police officers said Bergeson was at the club while off-duty and slapped a woman while he was intoxicated.
Officer Roger Newton has been placed on paid leave during a corruption investigation. Finizio said Newton is accused of planting evidence on a person, who acquired a video of the incident and provided it to The Day. Newton has forfeited his service weapon and police canine while the State’s Attorney’s Office and U.S. Attorney’s Office conduct the investigation.
Finizio said he hopes to appoint a deputy chief soon and fast-track a promotion to fill one of the vacancies caused by the captains’ retirements.
“The New London Police Department is a good department full of good officers and this administration will stand behind the police who want to come to work, do a good job, and help our city, and bring honor to their department,” said Finizio. “And through this transition in management and through these ongoing investigations we will make sure that we have the best department possible and that we become a model for efficiency and integrity and that we will make the city proud.”