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State police investigate Montville officer's use of computer database

By Izaskun E. Larrañeta

Publication: theday.com

Published May 02. 2012 10:00AM   Updated May 02. 2012 11:43PM

Montville — State police are investigating whether Lt. Leonard Bunnell, the town's highest-ranking officer, improperly used a state police computer database.

Mayor Ronald McDaniel said Wednesday he was told of the investigation last month after a biannual audit of the Connecticut On-Line Law Enforcement Communications Teleprocessing system. The system not only provides in-state criminal justice data but also gives authorized users access to two national systems — the National Crime Information Center and the International Justice and Public Safety Information Sharing Network.

McDaniel said that during the audit, several "anomalies" were found, and there are 38 instances that are under review. State police are looking at whether proper protocol was used when accessing the system, he said.

"They found some anomalies that raised red flags," McDaniel said. "It could be a training or coding issue."

McDaniel said Bunnell is still working. He said that when he asked state police whether the issue required immediate discipline, they said not to take any action until the investigation is complete.

State police would not comment because of the pending investigation.

McDaniel also said that a workplace complaint filed sometime in September or October by School Resource Officer Karen Moorehead against Bunnell is still under investigation.

The town, he said, has a workplace harassment committee, which initially took up the complaint, but later retained the services of the law office of Suisman Shapiro to investigate it. Suisman Shapiro subsequently was hired as the town's attorney.

The Day filed a Freedom of Information request April 19 seeking the harassment complaint. McDaniel responded to the request by saying the town is reviewing whether the documentation is exempt from disclosure under state or federal law. He has yet to release the complaint.

"Lt. Bunnell has my utmost confidence," McDaniel said. "He has been an exemplary police officer and has done a lot for this town. If there are issues, he will be disciplined. If not, we will pick up and move forward."

Bunnell deferred any comment to McDaniel.

i.larraneta@theday.com



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