Hartford State's Attorney Responds to Commission's Decision to Suspend Her

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Hartford State's Attorney Gail Hardy is being suspended over yearslong delays on investigations into four fatal shootings by police officers, a Connecticut justice panel decided Thursday.

It was only in December that Hartford State’s Attorney Gail Hardy announced she had determined all four shootings, in cases dating as far back as 2008, were justified, following reports by The Hartford Courant that the investigations had not been completed.

"I extend my sincerest apologies to the family members of the deceased. There are no words that can ease the pain that they feel in missing their loved ones. My failure to complete the reports in a timely fashion only compounded their pain and for that, I am deeply sorry," Hardy said.

"To the police officers involved, I apologize as well. They deserve to have their cases resolved in as timely a fashion as possible. I have accepted the discipline imposed by the Commission as I work to rebuild the trust that they and the people of the State of Connecticut have placed in me," she continued.

Hardy, Connecticut’s first African American state’s attorney, agreed Wednesday to the suspension of four days without pay, said State Supreme Court Justice Andrew McDonald, chairman of the state Criminal Justice Commission — the first known suspension of a state’s attorney.

“This is a difficult day for all of us because we know that State’s Attorney Hardy has been serving the state of Connecticut for a long period of time and has done so with great dedication on her part,” McDonald said. “That does not address, however, the serious dereliction in duty for her inexcusable delay in submitting these reports.”

The four reports in question involved the deaths of Ernesto Morales in Hartford on July 11, 2012; Edmanuel Reyes in Manchester on May 19, 2011; Taurean Wilson in East Hartford on Jan. 1, 2009; and Joseph Bak in Hartford on March 3, 2008.

"The Hartford community is very important to me. It is my community. To the extent that I have harmed them, I am deeply sorry," Hardy said.

Hardy’s eight-year term expires at the end of this month, and the commission will start deciding next week whether to reappoint her.

"I understand and accept the decision made by the Commission today and I hope to be able to continue to serve them and build upon the trust that we continue to forge between our communities and law enforcement in the Hartford Judicial District," Hardy continued.

Associated Press & NBC Connecticut
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