City fights decision to rehire fired New London police officer

New London — As promised, the city is fighting an order by the state Board of Mediation and Arbitration to rehire fired Police Officer Thomas Northup.

The city has filed an application asking the court to throw out the decision, which said the city did not have just cause to terminate Northup for use of excessive and unreasonable force when he shot and wounded the unarmed driver of a stolen ice truck on Aug. 24, 2011.

The Board of Mediation and Arbitration said the city had not presented credible evidence to establish that Northup’s action “was not objectively reasonable or that it was excessive.” The city’s decision to fire Northup on March 22, 2012, came after the New London County State’s Attorney’s Office concluded Northup’s actions did not violate the law.

In the appeal of the decision, filed on Nov. 21, the city claims “The arbitrators were guilty of misconduct by refusing to hear evidence pertinent and material to the controversy or by other actions by which the rights of the City of New London have been prejudiced.”

The city also claims the arbitrators exceeded their powers, or “imperfectly executed them” and the decision “is contrary to public policy.”

No explanation or specific examples of the city’s claims are outlined in the documents filed in New London Superior Court. Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio, who fired Northup, declined comment citing the pending litigation.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 23 in New London Superior Court.

g.smith@theday.com

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