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Lieutenant still on leave six months after arrest

MERIDEN - A police lieutenant who was arrested in June remains on leave six months later.

Lt. Lawrence Guidobono, 50, was placed on administrative duty after his arrest for disorderly conduct during a domestic disturbance at his East Haddam home. However, Personnel Director Caroline Beitman said he has been on sick leave since June 13, just four days after the arrest.

He is now on "questionable time," which is accrued when an employee has applied for worker's compensation, but the claim has not yet been approved by the city, Beitman said.

Guidobono is a former commander of the department's SWAT team, but was serving as second watch commander at the time of his arrest.

A criminal case and the department's internal investigation into the incident have not yet been resolved.

Hearings in Middletown Superior Court have been continued several times, with another scheduled for Jan. 20. Guidobono could not be reached for comment Tuesday. His attorney, Michael Day, said he expects the case to conclude in the near future and be "resolved favorably." Day did not offer any reasoning on the repeated delays.

"In terms of the actual facts, we can't get into that," he said.

The June arrest was Guidobono's second in 10 months. In August 2010, he was temporarily placed on administrative leave after being charged with two counts of second-degree threatening and three counts of disorderly conduct related to incidents at his home.

An internal investigation was launched into the first arrest, though he ultimately received no discipline. State's attorneys declined to prosecute the case.

In June, Police Chief Jeffry Cossette said the department's review found a lack of evidence against Guidobono, and conflicting stories of the incidents that led to the charges. Guidobono did not have a history of discipline in more than 20 years with the department.

In a 22-page letter delivered to the city in April, Officers Brian Sullivan and Donald Huston cited the decision not to discipline Guidobono after his original arrest as an example of alleged disparate treatment within the department.

Sullivan claims that an internal investigation into the arrest was delayed, in comparison with one launched into his own arrest on a drunken driving charge. He also claims that other officers who have been arrested were allowed to work administrative duty until their cases were resolved, but that Cossette sought to suspend him without pay.

Cossette has denied the allegations and dismissed them as retaliation by Huston and Sullivan.






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