Citing violations of his civil and employment rights, a New Canaan Police sergeant plans to file a lawsuit against the town, department and chief, according to a March 2 letter from his lawyer.
Sgt. John Milligan has seen “relentless harassment, intentional infliction of emotional distress” and violations of his rights, according to a Notice of Intent To Sue from Bethel-based attorney Dennis McDonough.
“Specifically, Sgt. Milligan has been subjected to foundationless allegations of wrongdoing and wrongful and egregious remarks being made, behind his back, by the Chief of Police and others of higher rank,” according to the letter, sent to the Town Clerk and offices of the police chief and first selectman.
Responding to it, Town Attorney Floyd Dugas of Milford-based Berchem, Moses & Devlin, and Police Chief Leon Krolikowski, in a joint statement said “the allegations contained in Attorney McDonough’s letter are baseless and without merit.”
“This appears to be an attempt to interrupt the investigation of a serious personnel matter,” the joint statement said. “Specifically, in September 2014, our Department initiated an internal investigation related to allegations against Sgt. John Milligan. Subsequently, Capt. Vincent DeMaio was assigned the investigation.”
It continued: “Recently, Capt. DeMaio completed a comprehensive investigation. The findings of the investigation are serious. As such, the Police Commission has been asked to convene a Trial Board to determine what disciplinary measures, if any, are warranted. The purpose of the Trial Board process is to allow the Police Commission to consider all evidence and testimony related to the violations as alleged. These hearings will occur in the near future.”
McDonough declined to comment beyond his letter when reached by NewCanaanite.com. In it, he said the chief “has wrongfully interjected himself into an internal investigation which demonstrates his personal animus; including but not limited to, personally making a Freedom of Information request upon Sgt. Milligan’s former wife’s employer.”
“These are only a small recitation of the egregious acts on the part of the Town of New Canaan and its Police Department,” McDonough’s letter said. “The first of these acts began on September 4, 2014, and continues to the date of this notice.”
The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday held a meeting in executive session whose single agenda item was “Consideration of possible disciplinary action regarding Sgt. John Milligan,” according to a meeting notice.
In his letter, McDonough cites specifically Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which deals with employment, among other matters, as well as the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, Article 1 of the Connecticut Constitution, the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act and a state statute that addresses assumption of liability.