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New London firefighters union president charged with shoplifting from UConn bookstore

By Izaskun E. Larrañeta

Publication: theday.com

Published July 22. 2013 12:45PM   Updated July 23. 2013 12:02AM

New London — The president of the city’s Firefighters Union Local 1522 was arrested in June for shoplifting at the University of Connecticut bookstore.

Lt. Rocco Basilica, who was promoted in February to that rank, along with his wife Jaqueline, were each charged by UConn police with sixth-degree larceny, stemming from an incident that occurred June 25 at the UConn Co-op bookstore in Storrs. The Basilicas’ son is set to attend UConn in the fall.

According to a UConn arrest log, Basilica, along with his wife, were detained by Loss Prevention personnel after he allegedly left the store without paying for a total of $81.93 worth in items.

The report said that Basilica left with a key chain valued at $6.99, a pair of socks priced at $4.99, a plastic cup worth $10.99, two key chains valued at $4.99 and two T-shirts, one worth $23.99 and the other $24.99.

Police also allege that Jaqueline Basilica left the store without paying for a blue UConn T-shirt valued at $24.99.

Rocco Basilica, who joined the New London Fire Department in the summer of 1996, said he could not comment on the matter.

A statement from Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio’s office said the city was exploring disciplinary action to be taken against Basilica. The city said under normal procedures, he would have been suspended without pay, but since he is out on workers’ compensation, the city is exploring what options it has available.

“I will wait until the legal review of this matter is concluded before deciding upon the appropriate course of action,” the statement said. “I await the Law Director’s opinion and I also await the recommendation of the Fire Chief and the Chief Administrative Officer of the City. Until this review is completed, and until those recommendations are received, I will have no further comment.”

Fire Chief Henry Kydd declined to comment Monday and deferred all questions to the city’s administration.

According to a clerk at Rockville Superior Court, the Basilicas appeared in court on July 9 and applied for a special type of probation called Accelerated Rehabilitation. The program is for non-violent, first-time offenders and results in charges being dismissed after a probation period.

Rocco Basilica also was issued two infractions after he was ticketed on May 31 by state police for failure to move over when approaching a police cruiser and for failure to wear a seat belt on Interstate 95 in Westbrook.

Basilica is the second firefighter to be disciplined in recent months.

Alfred Mayo, who had waged a public fight for his firefighting job two years ago, was arrested on June 14 after allegedly assaulting a man after a dispute at the Montville Polish Club. Mayo has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the court case.

i.larraneta@theday.com

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