With commissioners and the embroiled in an of the board — which could soon find its way into court — the Board of Police Commissioners' regularly scheduled meeting for tonight has been cancelled.
It is unclear at this time why the meeting was postponed by Police Commissioner Chairman Joseph Civitello.
The chairman did not immediately return calls for comment placed by East Haven Patch late yesterday afternoon and this morning.
The meeting's agenda, which is included in the gallery that accompanies this article, included the discussion and possible approval of the retirement of Inspector Gaetano J. Nappi, as well as three other officers in the department.
The resignation of Officer Stanislaw Olensenko was also slated to be considered, along with the possibility of hiring a Records Room Clerk for the police department.
Battle for Control
Over the past few weeks, the board and the mayor's office have been engaged in a battle that involves attempts to remove the three remaining commission members appointed by former Mayor April Capone.
Late last week, Mayor Joseph Maturo to Commission Vice Chairman Carl Perez demanding he resign from the board. In the letter, Maturo cites for second-degree threatening by the East Haven Police Department as a "conflict of interest" that should prohibit him from serving on the board.
Perez was after he allegedly threatened a male student while serving in his job as a security official at East Haven High School.
And , Assistant Town Attorney Frank Kolb postponed to consider the removal of three Board of Police Commissioner members in order to give the "board time to self-correct" at its next meeting — which would have been tonight — prior to a new hearing date of May 1.
sent a letter April 4 to Civtello, Perez and commissioner Frank Piergrossi notifying them a hearing would be held to determine whether or not they should be removed from the board "for just cause."
All three men were members of the commission during the with former in the wake of the f into alleged civil rights abuses by East Haven Police officers.
Kolb, as the for former , was as the town's labor lawyer by Mayor Maturo after he returned to office last November.
East Haven Patch previously confirmed reports that the targeted commissioners intend to seek a court order barring the hearing from taking place if Kolb and the Mayor's Office move forward with their action.
'A Surprise and Disappointment'
In response to cancellation of tonight's meeting, Mayor Maturo released the following public statement late Monday afternoon:
"The cancellation by the Commission of its regularly scheduled meeting comes as a surprise and disappointment. The Board and Department have been considering important policy initiatives in recent weeks including critical new hiring’s and the cancellation of this meeting is going to delay review of these important decisions. The Chief of Police, Brent Larrabee, has indicated to me that it is absolutely critical that the Town remain proactive in addressing the policy and employment needs of our Department. At the present time, our Community and Department are facing challenges never faced in the history of our Town. As a result, I urge our Commissioners to reschedule this meeting as soon as possible so we can continue the work of protecting and improving our Community.”
The mayor's statement is also posted in the gallery.