When Green knew
Posted: Monday, July 30, 2012 12:29 pm
New Britain officials reacted strongly last week to the release of an internal affairs investigation alleging that Police Capt. Anthony Paventi had sex with a number of women at a Berlin Turnpike hotel while on duty. The report identified 15 occasions, twice while he was being paid overtime.
Worse still, Paventi was in charge of professional standards for the department.
Acting Police Chief James Wardell condemned the now-retired cop's actions.
"I apologize to all the citizens we serve for this behavior, and I'm committed to see it doesn't happen again," he said.
It reminds me of the case of retired Meriden Police Lt. Robert Green. According to police records, Green admitted having sex with employees of a Berlin Turnpike strip club that was operating as a brothel. He insisted that he didn't pay them and that it was off duty, but video obtained during a police investigation of the club showed Green inside drinking a beverage with two women while on duty and in uniform, according to police records first reported on by the Record-Journal last summer.
Green retired just two days before the Jan. 20, 2009 raid in which the video was recovered.
Two officers who alleged widespread misconduct and favoritism within the department claimed Green retired because he was warned about the 2041 investigation.
Department officials initially said Green couldn't have been warned because they only learned of his presence at the club from the video obtained after he retired.
But a Record-Journal review of the case file turned up a printout from a website that mentioned Green by name. Under a section of the site for customer reviews there were multiple references to alleged police complicity in the club's survival, including a May 2008 post that mentioned "a shift supervisor" referred to as "Green" visiting the club in his cruiser weekly and engaging in sex with prostitutes. It also claimed activity in the club was being recorded by employees. The file indicates police reviewed this information before the raid.
Meriden Police Chief Jeffry Cossette told the Record-Journal last June that he was aware of the anonymous comments, but that they weren't credible enough to launch an IA investigation. Nor could anyone have asked Green about the comments without jeopardizing the 2041 investigation, Cossette said. If Green had been involved with owners of the club, for example, he could have tipped them off.
But as it turns out, Green was told about the investigation before he retired, according to a report by city-hired attorney Thomas V. Daily this past May. While ultimately clearing the department of any misconduct, Daily also revealed that Det. John Williams told Green about the 2041 investigation.
"Detective Williams explained that while there was the reference to Lieutenant Green in those blogs, members of the Crimes Suppression Unit did not believe that it related to his involvement in criminal conduct," the report states. "In fact, members of the (CSU), being aware that members of the Department may be in the location of the 2041 Club for not improper purposes, requested of Lieutenant Green and others who worked that area to stay away . . ."
So what conclusion does Daily reach?
"Cleary, the Crimes Suppression Unit would not have given that information to Lieutenant Green or anyone else if (CSU) believed that they were engaged in improper conduct," he writes.
Of course not.