The state and the town of New Milford are at odds over the status of an investigation into a now retired Police Department member. The Republican American reports that state police continued their investigation into Lt Larry Ash for months after he was reinstated by New Milford officials last year.
Mayor Pete Bass said Ash was cleared of the violations, but a state police internal affairs report, obtained through a Freedom of Information request, shows that Ash violated town policies regarding employee conduct, accepting gifts and ethics.
Retiring while under investigation for malfeasance bars future employment with law enforcement agencies. The Lake Lillinonah Marine Patrol hired Ash a month ago, based on Bass’s claim of exoneration.
He allegedly accepted a a free grill in exchange for dropping an investigation, and tipped off individuals that a federal drug case could result in warrants. A woman claimed someone forged her name on a credit from Powerhouse Appliance, and eventually Ash said that the case was being worked out by her attorneys and lawyers for the company, and the woman was withdrawing the complaint. Ash then allegedly disclosed information about a narcotics investigation to the individuals under investigation, according to notes made by a Drug Enforcement Agency agent, and reported in the news article.
The FBI was notified of the potential DEA interference, and their criminal investigation was unable to substantiate the accusations.
Boyne filed a lawsuit claiming that days after telling Bass that the investigation was moving to an outside agency, he was told his contract would not be renewed because the Mayor reportedly wanted a police chief who lives in New Milford.
The new Chief, Spencer Cerruto, said no further investigation was required since Ash was back on the job. The published report says that State Police Capt. David Delvecchia, the head of the internal affairs unit, then spoke with Cerruto, who then agreed that the administrative investigation would continue.