Shelton Police Union Reelects Fired Officers To Top Board Spots

SHELTON — The city’s police union has elected its new executive board — all of whom are officers terminated from the department last year.

Dave Moore was elected president, John Napoleone vice president and Caroline Moretti treasurer on Tuesday during the union meeting.

Union representative Mike Lewis said the vote was an “indication of continued support by the membership” for those officers who the union deems to have been “unjustly terminated.”

Napoleone had been president and Moore vice president last year when both were terminated, along with then-Officer Michael McClain, for dereliction of duty in July.

Moretti was terminated for allegedly lying and for conduct unbecoming a police officer in connection with photos posted on the police union’s Facebook page, which appeared to show officers changing their clothes outside, Police Chief Shawn Sequeira said.

“This is yet another example of what brought about the police accountability bill,” Mayor Mark Lauretti said, adding that reelecting officers who had been let go for cause gives “the good cops bad names.

“The reason that six cops were terminated is rooted in facts and unacceptable behavior,” Lauretti added, saying that the behavior that led to the terminations “undermines the confidence of the public and a standard that promotes good policing.”

Each of the officers — as well as the others terminated in connection with the internal investigation into the photos of officers allegedly changing clothes that were posted on Facebook — has filed grievances with the state labor board.

Lewis said the union bylaws allow for these terminated officers — who are grieving their cases — to remain on the executive board “to prevent the chief and mayor from firing people to eliminate a strong union board.

“You can be a member in good standing even if they fire you provided you are actively pursuing a grievance,” Lewis added, saying the union bylaws were changed to allow such a move 20 years ago “when I was targeted by a chief who suspended me for speaking to the press.”

Sequeira could not be reached for comment.

From www.sheltonherald.com