Acting Police Chief Chosen for East Haven: Sources

Sources said the mayor will name the former Stamford police chief.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    NBC Connecticut
    The East Haven Police Department is under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department.

    The mayor of East Haven has chosen an acting police chief to step after the previous chief retired.

    The former chief, Leonard Gallo, retired on Friday, amid a federal investigation into allegations of racial profiling by the East Haven police officers.

    East Haven Mayor Joe Maturo will name former Stamford police chief Brent Larabee as acting chief, according to sources within the East Haven Police Department.

    East Haven Police Chief Steps Down

    [HAR] East Haven Police Chief Steps Down
    East Haven Police Chief Leonard Gallo is retiring, effective on Friday. The announcement comes as the FBI is investigating alleged police discrimination against Latinos in East Haven and said there could be additional arrests in the case.East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo said Gallo told him on Friday that he would retire and submitted his notice on Monday morning.

    This change in leadership comes after federal officials charged four East Haven police officers who are accused of using excessive force, performing illegal searches and making false reports to place Latinos in custody, some of whom were allegedly beaten while they were still in custody.
    Gallo was also referred to as "co-conspirator one" in the federal indictment that charges four East Haven officers with harassing the town's Latino community.

    “One of things that is still hanging over his head is the specter of a criminal prosecution. Nobody really knows what's going to happen with that,” Gallo’s attorney said last week.

    The police commission had recommended that the mayor terminate Gallo rather than allow him to retire, but the mayor decided not to do that.

    "The statutory requirements to terminate a Chief of Police, along with the legal costs of the likely litigation in response to a decision to terminate, weigh heavily in favor of accepting the Chief's retirement as opposed to terminating his employment," Maturo said in a statement.

    When Gallo announced he would retire, the mayor chose interim Chief John Mannion to lead the department and said that the search for a new chief had already begun for a candidate who will be able to lead the department through a trying time and restore faith in the police department.

    Larrabee has served as chief of police in Framingham, Massachusetts and will remain in position until the national search for a new police chief is completed.

    City officials are expected to make an official announcement within the next week.