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    Local News
    Tuesday, April 16, 2024

    New London settles suit with veteran cop who claims chief sexually harassed him

    New London ― Police Lt. Jeffrey Kalolo will retire after a 38-year career here with the department after agreeing to a $50,000 payment as part of a settlement to drop his lawsuit against the city.

    Kalolo, 59, who claimed he was sexually harassed and retaliated against by police Chief Brian Wright, had filed the lawsuit in 2022 after he was demoted to sergeant for a year as part of his punishment for multiple violations of department policy. Kalolo is named in a pending discrimination lawsuit by New London police Detective Melissa Schafranski-Broadbent, who claims harassment by Kalolo and a hostile work environment.

    Wright, when he was a captain, performed the internal investigation that led to Kalolo’s discipline, finding that Kalolo had violated department policy on harassment and intimidation, among other violations.

    Kalolo claimed in his lawsuit that Wright was “in the position of investigating potential misconduct against a subordinate who he had sexually harassed for months.”

    Kalolo’s complaint with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities against Wright was filed while he was awaiting discipline and Wright had already been named chief. The discipline ultimately came from the mayor’s office.

    The complaint led to Wright being placed on administrative leave for six weeks while an outside investigation took place. The investigation, conducted by attorney Michael Rose, managing partner with the law firm Rose Kallor LLP, concluded Kalolo’s claims were either unsubstantiated, unfounded, or in the case of the sexual harassment complaint, did not rise to the level of harassment as defined by law.

    In his lawsuit, Kalolo said there was a period of time in 2019 when Wright “engaged in a campaign of sexual harassment against (Kalolo) which took the form of persistent sexualized remarks and overtures while the two were alone in the shift commander’s office.”

    The city denies the claims and does not admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

    In addition to the $50,000 payment, the settlement calls for the city to pay Kalolo for his unused accrued vacation and holiday pay. The city will also maintain medical, dental and prescription insurance coverage for Kalolo and his spouse for five years. The city has also agreed to restore Kalolo to the rank of lieutenant effective on his last day of work, which by agreement is 10 days after the settlement is signed.

    The City Council approved the confidential settlement after a closed-door discussion at its meeting on Feb. 20.

    Kalolo, as part of the settlement, agrees to withdraw any claims against the city, along with any grievances filed on behalf of him by the police union. He also agreed not to disclose or talk about the settlement. Kalolo could not be reached to comment.

    Kalolo’s attorney, Bryan Fiengo of the New London-based firm Suisman Shapiro, declined comment on the settlement but said Kalolo should be acknowledged for his decades of public service for the city.

    The lawsuit filed against the city by Schafranski-Broadbent, which names Kalolo and former Sgt. Charles Flynn, is pending in New London Superior Court.

    The city’s settlement with Kalolo comes on the heels of a settlement earlier this month with former city risk manager Paul Gills. Gills was paid $50,000 as part of the settlement to end a lawsuit in which Gills claimed he was bullied into resigning.

    g.smith@theday.com

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