Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Continuing Saga of the Rogues in the Connecticut State Police











Connecticut, A Police State






Probe Of Trooper Underway

By TRACY GORDON FOX | Courant Staff Writer
September 12, 2007

The state attorney general's whistleblower unit is investigating allegations that a state police pilot threatened to kill other troopers and to crash the Trooper One helicopter into airplanes at the department's aviation unit in Hartford, state officials said Tuesday.

The pilot, Trooper Matthew McCullough, a decorated pilot who has flown missions in Afghanistan with the U.S. Army Reserve, continued to fly the helicopter despite the alleged threats, which were reportedly made at least 2½ years ago.

The complaint surfaced within the past few days when Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's office was notified in the wake of a new allegation that McCullough recently made a more vague threat, state officials and sources close to the investigation said. State police would not comment on whether McCullough is currently flying.

The complaint to Blumenthal's office alleges that McCullough made the more specific threats to other members of the aviation unit about what would happen if he was ever removed from the unit.

One incident was documented to state police commanders in 2005, but was never the subject of a full internal affairs investigation, sources within the agency said.

"We have received a whistleblower complaint concerning a threat of physical violence at the Department of Public Safety's aviation unit at Brainard Field [in Hartford]," Blumenthal said Tuesday. "The threat relates to conduct that happened about two years ago, and then may have been repeated a different time more recently."

"Certainly the nature of the complaint and the threat to public safety heightens its urgency and immediacy, and we are taking the appropriate investigative steps," Blumenthal said.

Public Safety Commissioner John A. Danaher III said the department has addressed public safety concerns, but declined to give specifics about whether McCullough was still flying. Blumenthal said the state police have responded appropriately to the complaints.

"We have opened an internal affairs investigation. We have begun interviews," Danaher said. "We have separated the individuals involved, and they are under enhanced supervision."

Danaher said a complaint of a more recent threat "was a vague, non-specific threat. It was not documented or reported to a supervisor. We are trying to run it down."

Blumenthal said the fact that the initial threat 2½ years ago was not the subject of an internal affairs inquiry is also being investigated by his office. He said the current investigation into the state police internal affairs unit will deal with the department's "failure to investigate problems that should have thoroughly been addressed."

"Part of our investigation is whether that threat was properly investigated at the time because it may have never been referred to internal affairs then," Blumenthal said.

Danaher said there were comments made 2½ years ago, "and they were addressed at that time by my predecessor." Danaher took over as public safety commissioner earlier this year.

Danaher said he reviewed how the complaint was dealt with 2½ years ago, and "I know it wasn't glossed over in any way." But he said that under his administration, "this would be and is the subject of an internal affairs investigation."

McCullough could not be reached for comment Tuesday. Union President Steven Rief declined to comment, saying he was not aware of the investigation or the whistleblower's complaint.

McCullough has been with the aviation program since the $2 million Bell 407 helicopter, named Trooper One, was put into service in August of 2001. He and several other pilots have been called thousands of times by troopers and local police officers on the ground to help catch escaped criminals and speeding cars, and search for missing children or adults.

The 41-foot helicopter has a heat-sensing camera to help it search for people, and it can shine an intense spotlight on crowds, such as at the UConn spring weekend event.

Contact Tracy Gordon Fox at tfox@courant.com.

Copyright © 2007, The Hartford Courant

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Fucking and Sucking out of not being prosecuted?



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Are U.S. Courts still racist, but now just a little more slick about it?

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