NORWALK, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — Scandal has hit the police department in Connecticut’s sixth largest city.
Two Norwalk officers are facing charges after an alleged night of drinking and ignoring service calls, while on duty, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
“This is totally a breach of the public trust and not indicative of what the Norwalk Police Department is all about,” Mayor Harry Rilling said.
Rilling spent 41 years as a cop in Norwalk, including 17 as chief.
He said the charges against officers Sara Laudano, 31, and Michael Dimeglio, 38, shocked their fellow cops.
“Quite frankly, they’re all angry. Angry this could happen, as am I,” Rilling said.
Police said Laudano has a wife, and a child, fathered by Dimeglio.
#norwalk cops busted – warrant says Sara Laudano and Michael Dimeglio have a child together. Accused of drinking before shift, checking into hotel and missing service calls. “Risk of injury to child” stems from Laudano allegedly transporting baby in patrol car after drinking. pic.twitter.com/tikmk2KK2r
— Tony Aiello (@AielloTV) January 6, 2021
The two cops allegedly drank beer and a shot at a restaurant just before starting their shifts on Oct. 9 and consumed more alcohol in a parking lot at the police department, where Laudano allegedly took a hit from a vape pen with a THC cartridge.
She’s accused of endangering a baby by then driving the child improperly secured in her patrol vehicle to her wife’s workplace.
And then she allegedly drank more with Dimeglio and a friend in a parking lot hidden behind a Norwalk school.
The arrest warrant says Laudano spent four hours in the parking lot, ignoring two calls for service — a noise complaint and a report of property damage.
Police said the two cops later checked into a hotel while still on the clock for an overtime shift.
As missed calls piled up, a supervisor tracked them there and busted them together in Room 302.
“God forbid a police officer needed some help and these two were the closest officers, but were not available,” Rilling said.
The charges include larceny for accepting pay but not working.
“While I am appalled at the behavior and conduct that was exhibited by these officers while in an on-duty capacity, I am proud of the professional manner in which the patrol supervisors of this department initiated this complaint and the subsequent criminal investigation conducted by the Detective Division supervisors,” Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik said in the department’s statement.
The cops are suspended and likely to be fired, while an internal review looks at whether any police protocols need to change.
CBS2’s Tony Aiello contributed to this report
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