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Meriden Police Sgt. Leonard Caponigro to retire

November 16, 2011 1:51 pm |
Updated: 3:39 pm, Wed Nov 16, 2011.

Adam Wittenberg

MERIDEN - He's been in the Police Department since 1968, but come Jan. 2, Sgt. Leonard "Lenny" Caponigro will retire.

Caponigro, who has been the department's spokesman for decades and conducts Internal Affairs investigations, submitted his resignation letter Tuesday, just days after he announced in a brief email that Detective Lt. Mark Walerysiak "will be handling all requests from the media."

According to Walersyiak, Caponigro needed "some of the pressure alleviated from the loss of Glen Milslagle, so I was assigned the PIO (public information officer) portion of his job."

Milslagle was promoted to patrol lieutenant, Walerysiak said in an email, which left Caponigro with the work of two people. Milslagle had helped with media-related duties since 2008.

The change comes amidst retirements by Capt. Donald Parker, Lt. Marvin Richards, Detective Lt. Michael Merrigan and Sgt. Jennifer Shelton, which have paved the way for promotions within the department.

The department is also under federal investigation for allegations of nepotism and covering up brutality by Officer Evan Cossette, son of Chief Jeffry Cossette. The allegations were lodged in April by Officers Brian Sullivan and Donald Huston, who had been disciplined by the chief.

Caponigro investigated alleged incidents of brutality by Evan Cossette and is named in lawsuits filed by three men who claim they were brutalized, but Walerysiak and the chief said his change in duties was unrelated to the federal probe, which began in April. The city has hired attorney Thomas V. Daily of Hartford to conduct a separate investigation.




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