Wallingford Electric Division lineman suspended again under alcohol policy

Wallingford Electric Division lineman suspended again under alcohol policy

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WALLINGFORD — A longtime electric division employee was suspended for the second time in four months after violating the town’s alcohol and controlled substances policy.

Lineman Eric Lefebvre tested positive for alcohol on April 24, according to a letter of employee discipline written by Electric Division General Manager Tony Buccheri.

Lefebvre was taken home that day and suspended without pay for two weeks.

The suspension concluded May 8. Lefebvre had to be evaluated and treated by a substance abuse provider, as well as undergo a return-to-duty alcohol and drug test, before he returned to work.

Lefebvre could not be reached for comment. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 457, the union that represents Lefebvre, declined to comment.

It was Lefebvre’s second offense in recent months for a blood alcohol level of .04 or higher, according to records in his personnel file obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

Human Resources Director James Hutt said Tuesday that last month’s test was a follow-up after Lefebvre tested positive for alcohol on Dec. 14, 2018, a test that he had been selected for randomly.

A third offense would result in employment termination, Hutt said. 

Lefebvre has tested positive for substances in the past and has been suspended for other on the job conduct violations, according to town records.

He was suspended for 10 days in November 2013 after a positive drug test in October 2013, which was his first offense, according to town records.

Hutt said that substance abuse policy violations older than five years can’t be used toward the number offenses that would lead to termination.

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 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” over 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 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.

The Record-Journal routinely requests records of discipline involving municipal employees under the Freedom of Information Act. 

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