Former New London cop pleads no contest in workers' comp case

A former New London police officer accused of workers’ compensation fraud pleaded no contest Thursday to two counts of fourth-degree larceny and agreed to pay $25,000 in restitution, court records show.

David McElroy, 55, of Colchester, received a suspended prison sentence with three years of conditional discharge during an appearance in New Haven Superior Court.

McElroy was charged on Oct. 22, 2014, with one count of workers’ compensation fraud, a felony, following investigation by the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office into reports he fraudulently collected more than $50,000 in workers’ compensation benefits.

His lawyer, Daniel A. Esposito, said after nearly a year of negotiations McElroy entered the pleas to the misdemeanor counts as part of an agreement to “spare his family the stress, delay, and uncertainty associated with a trial.”

“Mr. McElroy did not admit guilt nor concede that the facts as alleged by the State were true,” Esposito said in a prepared statement. “A decorated officer prior to his voluntary separation from the Department, the same poise and determination that has defined his life thus far will define his life forthwith. Those who know him well are proud and privileged to call him a husband, father, and friend.”

McElroy was out of work from October 2013 to March 2014 for an injury he reported suffering in September 2013 while employed by the city of New London as a police officer, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.

Surveillance conducted by the city’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier showed McElroy doing carpentry work at his residence on numerous occasions while he was supposedly unable to work, according to the affidavit.

He collected more than $50,000 in workers’ compensation between October 2013 and March 2014 , authorities allege.

McElroy, the former vice president of the police union, was fired from the New London Police Department in December 2013 at the recommendation of Chief Margaret Ackley after he was accused of leaking to the press an internal police document about a rape investigation and then lying about it.

McElroy had denied the allegations and the local police union was preparing a court battle to fight for his reinstatement when Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio agreed to rehire him in March 2014.

He resigned shortly before his arrest in the workers’ compensation case.

g.smith@theday.com

Twitter: @SmittyDay

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