UPDATE at 8:30 a.m. on Friday
Jr — the town's former deputy director of town affairs under former Mayor April Capone — has said the alleged theft of money last March from the 's evidence locker may have been part of an organized effort to smear the reputation of the Capone Administration, according to a New Have Register report this morning.
In April 2010, then Mayor Capone put former on paid administrative leave following the critical preliminary report on the department's operations from the federal Department of Justice.
The Justice Department came in to i of racial profiling and abuse of Latino residents and others.
Then, in June 2011, the Board of Police Commissioners voted to — up to and including termination.
Although , after a court injunction was filed by Gallo's attorney at that time , Capone eventually as an impartial hearing officer to rule whether or not the former chief should be removed from his post.
Mayor Joseph Maturo as the town's police chief following his election win over Capone late last fall.
In December, however, the DOJ released their "," which found the department of many Latino residents.
That was followed by individual East Haven Police officers for alleged civil rights violations.
In the wake of these events, and criticism for his role in overseeing the department during the time period some of the alleged incidents occured, in Febuary.
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has been vocal about the federal investigation into the police department both , as well last fall's election to .
ORIGINAL STORY (Thursday at 5 p.m.)
Recently retired Officer Michael D'Amato has been charged with second-degree larceny in relation to the alleged theft of money from the department's evidence locker, according to the Connecticut State Police.
East Haven Police that a "sizeable amount" of money stored in the department's temporary holding area was missing during a routine "administrative process," according to a written statement at that time from Deputy Chief John Mannion.
Once the money was discovered to be missing, Mannion said the department contacted the Connecticut State Police to investigate.
At that time, D'Amato — who is also an East Haven resident — was a detective assigned to the Youth Division.
State Police Investigation
According to Lt. Paul Vance, public information officer for the state police, on March 21, 2011 detectives from State Police Eastern District Major Crime Detectives initiated a criminal investigation into missing evidence/monies from East Haven Police Department's evidence room.
"Detectives proceeded to conduct a lengthy investigation working cooperatively with the Office of the Chief State Attorney in Rocky Hill," Vance stated in a press release this afternoon.
He said that as a result of the investigation, D’Amato was identified as a suspect.
Following this investigation, the state police detectives obtained an arrest warrant for D’Amato, which was issued by the Superior Court of New Haven.
On Thursday, May 10, D’Amato turned himself into detectives at Troop E Montville, Vance said.
D’Amato was processed and released on a non-surety bond. And is scheduled to appear at the New Haven Superior Court on May 17.
Vance added that the investigation is ongoing.
Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr. released the following statement regarding the allegations against D’Amato:
The East Haven Police Department and our administration continue to deal with the challenges that arise day to day. Although these challenges arose prior to my administration, they present another opportunity for reflection and improvement within our Department and within the Town. The Mayor’s office will continue to work with the Police Department for the residents of the Town of East Haven to ensure the highest quality service of our Police Department.