Town wins appeal in LoSchiavo dismissal

The state Appellate Court has reversed a Superior Court decision and sided with the Town of Stratford in the case of former Stratford Police Officer Justin LoSchiavo. The ruling means LoSchiavo was terminated justifiably, and with cause by the town in 2010, furthermore the town does not have to rehire LoSchiavo.

Justin LoSchiavo was originally placed on leave after he struck a car stopped at a light and two parked cars while driving a cruiser on duty June 6, 2009. The crash was blamed on a seizure, sparking debate over whether he should have been hired in the first place.

He was placed on light duty subsequent to that incident, and the town launched an investigation that ended with his termination in March 2010. The termination was based on the finding that LoSchiavo had made “deliberately false” statements in his application to return to active duty.

The Town argued that the decision by the lower court violated a public policy against dishonesty by police officers. The court ruled, in part: “…The town claims that the court improperly denied its application to vacate because the arbitration award violates a clearly discernible public policy against intentional dishonesty by police officers in connection with their employment. We agree and, accordingly, reverse the judgment of the trial court.”

Mayor John A. Harkins said he was pleased with the decision, and he is looking forward to continuing to help move Stratford forward in a positive way.

“As my administration has maintained all along, the dubious initial hiring process that was followed by the previous administration aside, LoSchiavo’s admission that he lied to and misled town doctors rendered him unfit to serve as police officer in our town. The safety of Stratford citizens will always come first and foremost with me as Mayor. This decision by the appellate court is beneficial to all of Stratford.”

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