STAMFORD — A judge continued cases against Two Norwalk officers, charged after police say they were found drinking while on duty, for three months Wednesday as at least one seeks a court rehabilitation program that could lead to the dismissal of their charges.
Officers Michael DiMeglio and Sara Laudano were charged Jan. 5 with second-degree larceny and second-degree reckless endangerment. They are both free on $75,000 bail and have yet to enter pleas to the charges.
DiMeglio, represented by Attorney Jessica Kordas, applied for the accelerated rehabilitation program that allows a defendant to avoid a guilty plea and serve probation. If they serve probation without any criminal violations, the charges are dismissed.
Laudano’s attorney, Ray Hassett, filed a motion for discovery in the case. Hassett said he will await the discovery before Laudano applies for the accelerated rebahilitation program.
Norwalk Police Union President David O’Connor attended Wednesday’s arraignment in what he said was a show of support for the two officers. He declined any further comment.
DiMeglio and Laudano are next scheduled to appear in court on May 25.
Police said the two were arrested following an investigation into an October 2020 incident in which both could not be located while on duty.
Dispatch tried to reach Laudano by radio and phone, but she did not answer, according to officials. A supervisor then pinged her police car and found it outside the Even Hotel in the city.
When an officer was sent to check on it, Laudano and DiMeglo were found “not in a condition to respond to calls for service,” according to Norwalk police.
Arrest warrants show a 12-hour period in which DiMeglio and Laudano are accused of drinking in their police cruisers and not responding to service calls before they were found in the hotel room.
Laudano was accused of driving with a baby and a civilian in the cruiser after she consumed alcohol, and also using THC vape pen, according to the warrants.
An investigation was launched as department officials placed the two officers on administrative leave.
During the investigation, police determined the conduct went beyond department violations and criminal charges were filed.
“I am extremely disappointed in the apparent dereliction of their duty to both the citizens of Norwalk as well as to their fellow officers,” Chief Thomas Kulhawik said when the officers were arrested. “We will have no further comment until after the disciplinary process is complete.”
Kulhawik vowed a thorough internal investigation ahead of disciplinary hearings.