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Saturday, May 30, 2009

[CT] Norwich Police Lt. Blanchette allowed the respectability of "RETIREMENT"?

In the OUTRAGEOUS RESOLUTION of Norwich Police Lt. Michael R. Blanchette's heroin-connected scandal - AN OFFENSIVE-TO-ALL "RETIREMENT" WITH PENSION - only one of the two recent articles BOTHERS to mention Lt. Blanchette's prior domestic case in a short blurb - at the end:
...In 2004, Blanchette was arrested on domestic charges related to allegations he was harassing his estranged wife. The charges were later dismissed when he agreed to go to counseling.

Previous post:
[CT] DV charges erased, Lt. Blanchette moved on to other crimes
- Riddle: Keep a cop that breaks the law and what do you get?

It's crazy that this officer is getting the package he is, after his heroin-related escapades, ESPECIALLY (WATCH THIS) BECAUSE he has threatened that if he DOESN'T get the golden egg he is going to
on what he knows about the department! He THREATENS, and then GETS the respected exit of retirement? But this is a blog on officer-involved domestic violence, so HERE I'm even more disgusted. In 2004 it wasn't just a domestic "harassment" incident as the recent article says. He should have been fired years back. The more recent charges should have been against a civilian ex-cop Blanchette, not a current police lieutenant with sworn powers of arrest, paid by the city to pose as someone of public trust - representing the whole Norwich Police Department.

You KEEP a cop that commits crimes and you have a badged criminal. Keeping him says more about the chief and brass than the individual criminal cop. It looks bad on every Norwich police officer - but I say it's on the chief.

Please see the article excerpts that I have included from 2004 that follow (below) these recent news excerpts.

Lieutenant demoted, suspended 40 days

Norwich Bulletin
By Greg Smith
May 27, 2009
[Excerpts] Nearly two and a half years after embattled former Norwich Police Lt. Michael R. Blanchette last wore his uniform, the city has come to an agreement to ensure he never does again. Under an agreement reached with the city, Blanchette will be able to seek retirement benefits with the city’s Personnel and Pension Board, but he will be demoted from lieutenant to patrol officer and receive a 40-day suspension, Police Chief Louis J. Fusaro said Wednesday. The announcement comes at the end of an internal investigation into, among other things, Blanchette’s drug possession arrest last year, Fusaro said. The retirement would be retroactive to April 25 and the suspension would be served by Blanchette forfeiting $12,000 in accrued leave payments he would have been eligible for at the time of his retirement... In response to a Freedom of Information request made by The Norwich Bulletin in March, Fusaro on Wednesday released 64 pages of heavily redacted documents pertaining to the internal investigation into Blanchette’s arrest, and other matters. Some of the documents are indecipherable because of the redactions, but include allegations from suspected drug dealers that Blanchette bought, used and sold heroin and was stealing from drug dealers outside the city... In a May 29, 2008, letter Blanchette expressed his intention to retire with his full 20-year pension and warned that he would conduct a “protracted fight with the news media, and civil courts should you decide to try and deprive me of my retirements benefits”... Blanchette said he had maintained documented information about what he considered mishandled disciplinary problems and prepared his own news releases... In 2004, Blanchette was arrested on domestic charges related to allegations he was harassing his estranged wife. The charges were later dismissed when he agreed to go to counseling. [Full article here]

Lt. Blanchette had alleged links to drug dealers, users

The Day
By Claire Bessette
Published on 5/28/2009
[Excerpts] Despite citing several valid reasons to fire former city police Lt. Michael Blanchette following an investigation into his alleged association with drug users and dealers, Chief Louis Fusaro said Wednesday that the department instead reached a settlement that included a suspension, a demotion and immediate retirement... Michael Blanchette was charged with possession of a controlled substance, but later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct and paid a $100 fine. But the internal investigation also included two separate earlier incidents - one while Blanchette was on duty and one while off duty - in which Blanchette “exercised extremely poor judgment,” the chief wrote... In a March 5, 2009 letter to Blanchette titled “proposed termination from employment,” Fusaro said Blanchette's long tenure on injury leave dating back to January 2007 was cause to terminate his employment because he no longer could perform his duties. Fusaro also cited several disciplinary allegations and accused Blanchette of threatening to release information to the media that “would have the effect of casting disrepute on the department without regard for the truth or veracity of the information to be released.” In the letter, Fusaro described Blanchette's actions as showing insubordination, incompetence, “untruthfulness” and interference with an internal investigation. Fusaro Wednesday declined to comment on the settlement or the documents that were released... A week after the Blanchettes were arrested, local and New York police arrested two men in Norwich for possession of more than two pounds of heroin purchased at the same Bronx apartment. One of those suspects, identified as “D,” told police during interviews that “Michael Blanchette has used heroin for several years”... Mocek cited Blanchette for insubordination for his continued close association with his brother, “a known narcotics user and felon,” and for his continued association with other individuals of dubious reputation... [Full article here]

FROM 2004:

Police officer arrested in domestic fracas
Three incidents culminate in multiple charges
Norwich Bulletin (CT)
Greg Smith
February 19, 2004
[Excerpts] City police have arrested a veteran ranking officer following an investigation into allegations of domestic abuse made by his estranged wife. Lt. Michael R. Blanchette, a supervisor in the department's training division, was arraigned Wednesday in Norwich Superior Court on multiple charges of first-degree criminal trespassing, second-degree harassment, disorderly conduct and one count of breach of peace... [Deputy Police Chief Warren] Mocek directed Blanchette not to go to this wife's home and to obtain a police escort when picking up his children. Feb. 15, Daneen Blanchette contacted police to report Michael Blanchette at her residence. He was arrested Tuesday... Blanchette's wife claimed in her statements to police that he verbally and emotionally abused her and on one occasion pushed her and spit in her face. She also charged he entered her home without her permission several times when she was not home. She also claimed that Blanchette "has become increasingly unpredictable in his behavior and she is afraid to go to sleep at night." It was not unusual, she said, for Blanchette to call her residence up to 100 times a day...

Officer faces domestic disturbance charges

The Day
By Eileen Mcnamara
February 19, 2004
...[Warren] Mocek, the deputy chief, told Michael Blanchette not to go to his wife's home "pending the outcome of this investigation." ... Two days later, Daneen Blanchette told police, her husband came to her home uninvited at 3:30 p.m. and knocked repeatedly on the door, yelling, "I'm not leaving"...

Arrested Norwich officer turns weapons in; duty status uncertain
Police lieutenant accused of harassing his estranged wife
The Day (New London, CT)
By Claire Bessette
February 20, 2004
Police Lt. Michael Blanchette turned in his duty firearms and some personal firearms Tuesday in the wake of his arrest on domestic disturbance charges. It remained unclear Thursday whether Blanchette will be allowed to return to active duty. Blanchette, who was promoted to lieutenant in September 2002, is using vacation time for the rest of this week... [Deputy Police Chief Warren] Mocek said THE DEPARTMENT HAS NO SET POLICY FOR HANDLING ARRESTS OF OFFICERS, AND NO AUTOMATIC REQUIREMENT THAT OFFICERS BE PLACED ON ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE. EACH CASE IS REVIEWED SEPARATELY BASED ON THE CHARGES AND THE OFFICER'S ACTIONS, HE SAID...

Officer to enter family violence program to get charges dropped

The Day
By Paul Choiniere
April 29, 2004
Norwich Police Lt. Michael R. Blanchette, arrested in February on allegations he harassed and intimidated his estranged wife, agreed Wednesday to enter the state's Family Violence Education Program, a move that should lead to his criminal charges being dropped. THE PROTECTIVE ORDER FILED AGAINST BLANCHETTE WAS ALSO MODIFIED TO ALLOW HIM TO CARRY A GUN WHILE ON DUTY... IF BLANCHETTE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETES THE PROGRAM, AIMED AT PREVENTING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, THE CHARGES WILL BE DROPPED...

Arrested cop gets gun back
Norwich Bulletin
Thursday, April 29, 2004

This blurb from 2008 shows how the domestic charges were resolved:

DEA joins investigation of Norwich cop
State's attorney's office also involved in probe of police lieutenant, brother as New York drug connection is alleged The Day, CT
By Claire Bessette
...In 2004 Blanchette was arrested on domestic disturbance charges after his estranged wife told police he had repeatedly harassed her, entered her home uninvited and shoved her. The charges were dismissed after Blanchette agreed to attend classes and counseling...

[police officer involved domestic violence law enforcement connecticut repeat offenders teflon]



    Looks like another big bottle of white out was used in this investigation. "White out baby!"Ah, hahahahhahahahaha, haaaaaaaaaa!...

    By allowing Lt. Blanchette to retire and draw a pension the "Department" is doing a grave disservice to those officers who have served Norwich with honor and integrity. Had Lt. Blanchette been in the Military and pulled the same stunts he would have been jailed, demoted, fined and finally discharged dishonorably. No pension, no benefits, nothing. The "Department" as a whole will suffer a huge loss of respect because of this settlement. Something it can ill afford...

    Being a former supervisor of Michael for a few years i can testify to the truth when he speaks of family. His love for his mother, brother and his grandmother was very strong. I believe him when he says that he promised his mother that he would look after his brother. Unfortunately his brother chose a road that probably stressed Michael to the point of not only interfering with his judgement at work but the twisting of his gut to keep himself together. There is no excuse for his poor judgement but i for one know he will not turn his back on his family. He has paid the price for his dedication to his family and has lost a job which he probably loved to do. As a former employer Michael never did anything half way...

    I don't understand why we are all being punished for mistakes that these people are making..why should someone in these circumstances be allowed to collect a pension?Just like other people in elected positions in the state, i.e. ex Gov. Rowland..why should they be able to collect pensions? Also, out of work for 2 yrs. with knee replacement, why not a desk job then? This guy is making out like a bandit...

    There is a common thread here and that is that the citizens are not happy with this investigation or the settlement. The city council and/or city manager need to open their eyes and do something about the police administration. The city spent thousands of dollars for a study on the NPD and never followed up on any of the recommendations. Will someone, somewhere, please DO something about the continuing problems at the PD...it has become an embarassment...

    Chief Louis Fusaro of Norwich Police Dept, What gives you the RIGHT to take the law into your own hands ? When laws are broken, It's your job to send it to the court, Not to cover it up. I Pay your Salary...

    Where is public safety committee? http://www.norwichct.org/content/43/280/644/2118/default.aspx No wonder the city is in trouble. Mayor and his stooges...

    Norwich police dept. You should just hang your head in shame. Look at all the people you have arrested for drug possession that have paid the price of breaking the law. Now look at the Norwich cops who arrested them. Turns out the real price of possession is retirement. I also wonder about the Unions involved in making these deals. Are they are friends or FOE's...

    Are you kidding me. This guy gets to retire with a pension. If I got caught transporting someone to buy heroin with intent to sell I'd be charged with a lot more then a disorderly conduct charge. When is justice under the law ever going to be equal for all. It is time for criminals who where a badge to be charged and convicted just as any other citizen would...

    One Chief to Another; Chief Louis Fusaro, I have just one question for you. Since when is a Chief of Police, also the Judge and Jury ??? It sounds to me, I believe you over stepped your bounds as Chief, That You should also be investigated, and not by the a "II" But by the States Atty. "AG" Makes all Chief's look bad. And don't like it...

  2. More --

    Why hasn't the State Attorney General conducted an investigation into the Norwich Police Department? This isn't an isolated incident. The Norwich Police Department has some deep seated systemic problems that can only be corrected through an outside force. If Blumenthal is too weak to handle it, let's get the FBI and some Feds...

    It is unfortunate that one bad apple spoils the good done by the majority of those in law enforcement. It appears that this bad apple was allowed to stay employed way too long. He should have been fired, or at least demoted much sooner. As far as taxpayers paying for his pension, I believe he has paid into the pension for 20+ years, along with other city employees. The pension is not tax payer funded...

    The Chief of Police states he has cause for termination, but chooses to allow Blanchette to retire. Blanchette tells the city if it tries to stop his retirement, he will release damaging info about the PD to the media. What conclusions should we draw from the fact that Blanchette is given his way and is allowed to retire despite the Chief's comments regarding termination? Does anyone else see a cover up here???...

    I just want to make sure that I have it right. He's had numerous incidents when he should have lost his job - but now when my taxes go up, I can rest easy because his pension is secure?? That sounds fair to me especially since a lot of people out there are worried about their financial future and he doesn't have to...

    If the city's Personnel and Pension Board chooses to retire and reward this "officer" with a paycheck, then the monies should come out of THEIR pockets and not the taxpayers. Why should he get off at all? Drugs, etc? Anyone HE arrested while he was employed on the Norwich PD should be exonerated, given some money too, and extended an apology by himself and the chief. Think about it before acting on this issue...

    I wish I had a job where I could do whatever I want! Imagine being able to live the fast life with no represcussions, then when it finally does catch up with you...Retire! Lucky guy...

    So let me get this straight, this dirt bag of a so called cop gets to sit home and collect paychecks while my hard earned taxes pay for it? what is wrong with this picture? He should of been fired year's ago!!!!...


    Everything they let him get away with doing to his wife he has now done to the whole county, city, and police department.

    The only redemption would be finding ENLIGHTENMENT and joining in with trying to warn other departments how indicative domestic violence is of character, what liability it sets all up for, and how treating it like a misbehavior instead of a crime serves

    NO ONE.



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