Middletown hires attorneys to investigate police chief - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Middletown hires attorneys to investigate police chief

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MIDDLETOWN, CT (WFSB) -

The city of Middletown has hired two attorneys to investigate officers' complaints that Police Chief William McKenna attempted to get prescription pain medications from them.

The complaints were filed by three officers in Middletown. They said McKenna approached officers that he knew were carrying prescription painkillers and asked them to give him pills.

The complaints were made within the last two months. But, the alleged activity is said to have happened years ago before McKenna was police chief.

On Thursday, McKenna with Mayor Daniel Drew said the allegations are a complete lie.

"Just because an allegation is now put against me and puts me in an almost embarrassing situation, I want the citizens of Middletown to know, I want the mayor to know and the rest of the police officers to know, this isn't going to scare me," McKenna said.

The investigation is now being handled by the independent law firm of Cowdery, Ecker & Murphy, L.L.C., which is based out of Hartford. Two former federal prosecutors are taking over the investigation.

"Officers have an obligation to report something immediately when something comes up, that did not happen in this case," Drew said.

McKenna said he believes this may be retaliation.

One of the officers, Gino Pulveranti, is on paid leave right now for alleged worker's compensation violations. A second officer, David Galm, now retired, was pulled from the detective bureau by McKenna. The third, officer Francesca Quaranta, is not in any trouble.

The mayor hasn't put the chief on leave or made him take a drug test because he said he doesn't think it's necessary.

"He's doing a great job running the department, and I have every intention of keeping him there and running the department," Drew said.

The last Middletown Police Chief, Patrick McMahon, was ousted after claims he was drinking with his badge and gun in full view.

McKenna has not been interviewed yet. However, Eyewitness News has learned some of the officers, who filed the complaint, have spoken with investigators already.

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