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New London court bail commissioner supervisor fired for alleged false time records

By Karen Florin

Publication: theday.com

Published June 07. 2012 6:00PM   Updated June 08. 2012 1:18AM

Michael P. "Mickey" Amanti, the supervisory bail commissioner of courts in New London, Norwich and three other districts, was terminated by the state Judicial Branch last month for allegedly reporting to work late and falsifying his time sheets for over a year.

Amanti, 53, had worked for the state for 28 years and earned more than $110,000 a year, according to public records.

Amanti's employers received a complaint about Amanti's attendance, conducted an investigation, and determined he was in violation of department policies on employee conduct and attendance, according to documents released Thursday by the Judicial Branch.

Amanti supervised intake, assessment and referral of criminal defendants in New London, Norwich, Danielson, Manchester and Rockville courts. Bail Commissioner Kyle Jones has been temporarily assigned to Amanti's duties.

The bail commissioners' responsibilities include interviewing people following arrests, researching their background and making recommendations to a judge about bail amounts and diversionary programs. They supervise some defendants who are released on bail while their cases are pending. On weekends, on-call bail commissioners travel to police departments to set bail for defendants who will not immediately be brought before a judge.

According to a May 21 termination letter, Amanti, whose work hours were 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., admitted during a hearing with state investigators that for more than a year he had been arriving between 9 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. on average and getting to work at 7:30 only once or twice a week. He admitted to falsifying his time records to indicate that he started at 7:30 a.m.

The termination letter from William H. Carbone, executive director of the Judicial Branch's Court Support Services Division, said that Amanti did not request or receive authorization to alter his work schedule.

"This blatant disregard for attendance policies and falsification of time records is unacceptable and is in direct conflict with the duties of a (bail commissioner) supervisor," the letter says. "The violations substantiated during this investigation are egregious and will not be tolerated. As a (bail commissioner) supervisor, you are expected to lead by example."

Amanti could not be reached for comment, but a lawyer who is working on his behalf said Amanti would be appealing his termination.

"There are mitigating factors in this case," said Attorney Marshall T. Segar. "The Busca Law Firm of New London represents the Judicial Professional Employees Union, of which Michael is a part, and we will be appealing his termination in accordance with the collective bargaining agreement."

According to multiple sources in the court system, Amanti had been undergoing personal problems for about two years. He had been arrested for third-degree assault and disorderly conduct in May 2010 following a domestic dispute. He worked outside the courtroom while his case was pending. He successfully completed the Family Violence Education Program and the charges were dismissed.

Amanti and his wife, Kathryn, were divorced in April 2011, according to court records.

k.florin@theday.com

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