Cadovius to have his day in court
Updated 5:08 pm, Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Suspended New Milford police officer Brant Cadovius will have a chance today (Friday), June 17 to respond to an administrative investigation launched after his criminal arrest last July.
Officer Cadovius, 40, a 10-year department veteran, is charged with threatening and trying to extort money from a teenager he alleges stole his wallet, took more than $350 cash from it, and then discarded the remaining contents, including his badge and pistol permit.
In the presence of Danbury police, the now 18-year-old teen, Taylor Cucchiara of Southbury, reimbursed Officer Cadovius $100 more than the amount he said he found in the wallet.
He claims Officer Cadovius continued to threaten and harass him, demanding he repay $2,000 or he would have him arrested.
Danbury police did not arrest him.
Officer Cadovius pled not guilty to Mr. Cucchiara's charges and filed a civil lawsuit against him, claiming the teen committed a theft that has caused him financial and emotional distress.
To date, Officer Cadovius has been denied an application for the accelerated rehabilitation program and rejected a state plea offer. He is proceeding toward a jury trial, with his next court date Sept. 14.
An investigation into Officer Cadovius' conduct has been under way for several months.
New Milford police Chief Shawn Boyne confirmed last week he had given Officer Cadovius the official findings.
As a member of the police union, Officer Cadovius is entitled to what is officially called a Loudermill hearing as part of the town's due process requirement for employees who may be faced with disciplinary action, including termination.
Prior to the hearing, a public employee must be given specific written notice of charges against him and an explanation of the employer's evidence, "so the employee can provide a meaningful response and an opportunity to correct factual mistakes in the investigation and to address the type of discipline being considered.''
Chief Boyne explained he cannot publicly disclose the findings until Officer Cadovius and his lawyer, Thomas Allingham, present their case at the required closed-door hearing.
Those attending the hearing will include Chief Boyne, town counsel, Officer Cadovius and his legal representatives. A message left for Mr. Allingham at his office was not returned.
After the hearing, Chief Boyne said he and Mayor Pat Murphy will have up a week to review the information before making a final decision.
Officer Cadovius, who has worked 17 years in law enforcement, has been on paid suspension since his arrest, which occurred almost a year after he lost his wallet on a train ride at the Danbury Fair mall.
Officer Cadovius earns an annual salary of $63,549.