WALLINGFORD — Two longtime electric division employees with past discipline records served suspensions last month after allegedly violating the town’s alcohol and controlled substances policy.
Human Resources Director James Hutt said last week that both employees were randomly selected for alcohol and drug testing.
According to letters written by Electric Division General Manager Tony Buccheri, lineman Eric Lefebvre tested positive for alcohol on Dec. 14 and dispatcher Dan Gessner tested positive for drugs on Dec. 19.
Lefebvre was suspended for two days without pay and Gessner was suspended for 10 days without pay. Lefebvre could not be reached for comment. Gessner declined to comment.
They had to be evaluated and treated by a substance abuse provider, as well as undergo a return-to-duty alcohol and drug test, before they returned to work.
Both employees have tested positive for drugs or alcohol in the past, according to records in their personnel files obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Gessner was suspended for 10 days in May 2003 after he tested positive for drugs, according to town records.
Lefebvre has a lengthier discipline record.
According to town records, Lefebvre served a two-week unpaid suspension in January 2018 after he and two others rode ATVs recreationally on wastewater treatment plant property in November 2017. He accessed the site on John Street using his town-issued keys, and records indicate the incident wasn’t the first time he had done so.
He was suspended for 10 days in November 2013 after a positive drug test in October 2013, which was his first offense, according to records.
He received a written warning in January 2013 after a coworker was injured on the job when an aerial bucket Lefebvre was operating made contact with him in September 2012. It was the second time within a week that an aerial bucket Lefebvre was operating made contact with the coworker, and records state the two had “a history of animosity” on which Lefebvre had been counseled.
He received a written warning in August 2010 after he was injured on the job and did not follow the safety rules on reporting the injury, waiting nearly a week to inform his supervisor and reporting incorrect information on the injury form.
He received a one-day unpaid suspension in November 2008 after he failed to respond to overnight dispatch calls when he was the assigned on-call lineman.
IBEW Local 457, the union that represents Gessner and Lefebvre, did not return calls for comment.
The Record-Journal routinely requests records of discipline involving municipal employees under the Freedom of Information Act.
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