Wallingford police officer served suspension after domestic violence arrest

reporter photo

WALLINGFORD — Police Officer Anthony Baur served a six-month administrative suspension beginning late last year after he was arrested in another jurisdiction.

According to a July 16 letter of discipline from Police Chief John Ventura, Baur was arrested on two domestic violence-related charges.

Baur, a patrol officer who has been with the Wallingford Police Department for nearly 18 years, began his suspension Dec. 21, 2020. He returned to work June 21. 

He was out for 118 work days — 30 days with pay and 88 days without pay, according to internal police records. He earns approximately $80,000 annually.

The Record-Journal accessed police and human resources records regarding Baur through Freedom of Information Act requests.

Baur was arrested Dec. 20, 2020, in North Branford. A protective order was issued against him on Dec. 21, 2020. The charges were eventually dropped, but the protective order remained in place. 

Ventura said last month that since the protective order prohibited Baur from possessing a firearm, Baur was placed on administrative suspension with pay at the time of his arrest. 

The town and the Wallingford Police Union — Council 4 AFSCME Local 1570 — entered into an agreement which placed Baur on administrative suspension without pay for the period that the protective order was active.

Attempts to reach Baur by phone and email were unsuccessful.

Larry Dorman, spokesperson for Council 4 AFSCME, declined to comment on Baur’s suspension.

North Branford Police declined to release information on the case involving Baur because the charges were dropped and the case was dismissed.

The identity of the complainant in the domestic incident is unconfirmed and redacted in the police department’s internal affairs investigation regarding Baur’s arrest.

Internal investigation

The Record-Journal requested access to the police department’s internal affairs investigation regarding Baur’s arrest last month.

Town Corporation Counsel Janis M. Small prepared a redacted version of the report, following state laws that bar certain records from disclosure and taking into consideration an objection from Baur, who asserted that the release would constitute an invasion of privacy.

The disclosed portions of the report include the factual basis for the disciplinary action taken against Baur and portions of accounts of the incidents leading to his arrest from both Baur and the complainant in the domestic violence-related incident.

The report was prepared by Capt. Michael Colavolpe, who then was a lieutenant.

Colavolpe interviewed Baur as well as Officers Jason Raffone, James Knowlton, Kristen Fitzgerald and William Bugbee — the contents of which were not disclosed.

Colavolpe spoke to the complainant in the domestic violence-related incident on Jan. 5.

In the unredacted portions of the interview, the complainant made allegations of physical contact that caused skin redness and soreness, threatening behavior and menacing language during interactions with Baur that took place at his home on Dec. 17 and 20, 2020.

The complainant stated that during the Dec. 20 incident, Baur “had a different look in his eyes” and made physical contact that she interpreted as a threat, saying it was “not the first time he’s put his hands on me.”

Colavolpe interviewed Baur regarding the incidents on Jan. 26, with police union president Sgt. Joseph Cafasso present and acting as Baur’s union representative.

Baur didn’t deny what the complainant said had happened, but that he had been “messing around,” there was no anger on his part and it was the nature of the relationship.

He also said that the complainant never said he was hurting her or asked him to stop during the Dec. 20 incident.

Further details from Baur’s account were redacted.

Details of suspension

Baur participated in a conference Feb. 11 with Cafasso, then Police Chief William Wright and other town officials.

They discussed the internal charges that Baur had violated three departmental policies stemming from his arrest, covering ethics, observation of criminal law and unbecoming conduct.

During the conference, the two sides reached an agreement that the department would hold off on internal discipline until Baur had completed any court-ordered requirements.

Baur’s unpaid suspension period began Feb. 15. The internal affairs investigation into Anthony Baur’s conduct began upon his return to regular duty in June.

Ventura took control of the investigation July 1 after Wright’s retirement.

On July 14, Anthony Baur attended a pre-disciplinary conference with union vice president Officer Shawn Fairbrother to discuss the internal affairs investigation.

Ventura decided that Baur violated the three departmental policies and issued a suspension of 15 days, deemed to have been served during the period of administrative suspension without pay.

LTakores@record-journal.com203-317-2212Twitter: @LCTakores

With local school, politics and coronavirus news being more important now than ever, please help our newsroom deliver the coverage you deserve. Please support Local news.

More From This Section