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Saturday, October 20, 2007

[CT] Sgt. Gittings wife Laurie, bruised, "but no one was seriously injured"

Commissioners to meet with cop
New Haven Register
Jean Falbo-Sosnovich, Register Correspondent
SEYMOUR — Police Chief Michael Metzler asked the Board of Police Commissioners Thursday to set up a hearing with embattled police Sgt. Richard Gittings, who recently returned to work, even though a criminal charge against him is pending. Metzler handed each of the commissioners a letter during the meeting, regarding the matter, but refused to give a copy to the media, nor discuss its contents... Metzler noted that Lt. Paul Satkowski completed his internal investigation into Gittings’ arrest Wednesday, but the details of that report were also not disclosed... The commission is expected to schedule a hearing within 30 days. Gittings, 45, was placed on paid leave Aug. 15 after his department charged him and his wife, Laurie Anne Gittings, 45, with breach of peace following a domestic dispute at their Glen Circle home. The couple was ordered to undergo alcohol evaluation, and barred from possessing firearms until the disposition of their criminal cases. However, on Oct. 2, a Superior Court judge in Milford revised that order, allowing Gittings to carry a gun at work. Seymour police had submitted a letter to the court, stating that Gittings could not work without his weapon. Gittings is required to leave his gun at the department’s armory before leaving work. Police union President Joe DeFelice had said Gittings is the first town cop he believes was ever allowed to return back to work with a criminal charge pending. The union contract allows the police chief discretion to place employees on paid administrative leave, pending a hearing with the police commission. The contract further states that when a hearing is held, the arrested cop shall be put on paid leave until a final decision is made in court... Management, however, made the decision to allow Gittings to return to duty, once the court said he could carry a gun at work...

Some perspective from an older article:

Seymour cop, wife arrested in dispute
Elizabeth Benton
New Haven Register
Aug 17, 2007
...[Capt. Paul] Beres said Laurie Anne Gittings had bruises on her left arm and a cut on her right hand, but no one was seriously injured... Outside the courtroom Thursday, Gittings said he hoped to return to work soon. "It's not pleasant being a cop and standing in line with these guys," he said... He was arrested in January 2000 on a charge of disorderly conduct... Gittings maintained his innocence, and prosecutors eventually dropped the case... Gittings did face departmental punishment for the allegations, and was suspended for five days for bringing disrepute upon the department. He appealed that suspension, and won payment for four of the five days he was suspended. Gittings was also suspended for two days without pay for using a racial epithet to describe a former Ansonia police officer... More recently, Gittings forfeited four vacation days in October for refusing to obey Chief Michael Metzler's order to report to work the night Derby police launched an investigation into a stalking complaint involving Seymour officers...

Beres said previous problems
would not affect
how the department
handles this case.

"I'm judging this
particular incident
on its merit.

It was a domestic incident
between a husband and wife,


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