New London cop on disability told he's finished

New London - A city cop who has been on disability leave for more than two years has been notified he will be out of a job by the end of the month.

Detective Christopher Miller, an officer in the department for more than 25 years, injured his elbow on the job and has been unable to work since July 2010, according to a letter the city sent Miller Aug. 1.

"... you are hereby notified that, effective August 29, 2012, you will be separated from employment with the New London Police Department,'' the letter stated.

Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio, who signed the letter, said Monday that Miller was not being terminated based on cause or performance. Miller could take a medical retirement or present evidence that he is capable of returning to work, Finizio said.

"Officer Miller is a fine police officer,'' he said. "I hope this matter resolves itself in a way that is beneficial to him and his family.''

Deputy Chief Peter Reichard said he could not comment on personnel issues but confirmed that "The city has served notice to Mr. Miller of its intent to separate his employment with the city."

Union to file grievance

The union, which posted a picture of Miller on its website and said he received a "termination letter," is filing a grievance on Miller's behalf

"If you're injured on the job and they terminate you without a settlement, your rights are being violated,'' said Todd Lynch, union president. "They have to come up with some kind of settlement. If they want to separate him from employment, they have to give him a package to get out."

Miller could not be reached for comment.

According to the letter, the city reviewed Miller's case file and after several independent medical examinations, determined that Miller would not be able to return to police work because of his elbow injury.

"Additionally, your own work history indicates the same, since you have not worked full duty and have rarely been capable of even light duty for more than two years,'' the letter stated.

The letter asks Miller to contact the personnel office for assistance in applying for a regular and disability pensions with the Municipal Employees Retirement System, and to apply for disability medical insurance.

"It is unfortunate that your injury has resulted in a permanent work-preventing disability,'' the letter concluded. "The City thanks you for your many years of dedicated service and wishes you the best in your future endeavors."

k.edgecomb@theday.com

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