Berlin police lieutenant suspended after payroll investigation; deputy chief says interviews were inconsistent

Berlin police lieutenant suspended after payroll investigation; deputy chief says interviews were inconsistent


BERLIN — The Berlin Police Commission voted Wednesday night to sustain a three-day suspension given to Lt. James Gosselin by Chief Paul Fitzgerald after an investigation into payroll concerns by Deputy Chief John Klett.

An open door hearing was held to determine whether to sustain the suspension after it was found that Gosselin reportedly approved two hours of medical overtime in May for an officer. Gosselin denied the medical overtime approval and said he believed he was approving overtime for something else.

“There’s a lack of consistency in what he told me,” Klett said.

The department does not give overtime for medical appointments.

Sergeant Todd Lentini, of the support services division, had spoken with Gosselin in May about Officer Mike Manning’s appointment for a required physical.

Letini testified Wednesday night and said Gosselin had told him a shift swap couldn’t be made because that would result in overtime. Lentini said he and Manning believed Gosselin had authorized two hours of overtime pay instead.

“I believe that was the only conversation we had,” Lentini said.

Klett said he found the overtime pay while looking over payroll in June and questioned Gosselin, Lentini and Manning.

Manning was given the overtime pay after he intended to file a grievance.

Gosselin said he did not remember Manning being present during the discussion with Lentini.

“It puzzles me he doesn’t remember Mike Manning being there,” said Paul Eshoo, police commissioner member.

No paper documents were presented during the May discussion as the department now uses a digital process for requests and scheduling.

Klett said Gosselin’s statements during several interviews were inconsistent with what was said by Lentini and Manning.

“Todd and I had a miscommunication,” Gosselin said. “This investigation through the chiefs is spinning it into a lie.”

After a closed door executive session motioned by Commission Chairman Bob Peters, the commission voted 4-1 to sustain Gosselin’s suspension effective Sept. 26.

Gosselin was previously suspended by the commission in November due to a rules violation, though the suspension was eventually withdrawn.

An investigation is ongoing into a complaint made by Gosselin against Klett. 203-317-2448 Twitter: @KusReporter

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