Police officer pleads not guilty to charge of extortion
A New Milford police officer pleaded not guilty in state Superior Court on Monday to charges stemming from his alleged attempt to extort money from a teenager who took his wallet.
Brant Cadovius, 39, is accused of attempted fourth-degree larceny and second-degree harassment in connection with the incident, which began while he was off duty at the Danbury Fair mall last August.
Court documents indicate Officer Cadovius, a decorated nine-year veteran of the police department, told Danbury police the wallet contained $500 cash, credit cards and his police badge, and had been stolen while he was at the mall with his children.
Officer Cadovius said he later realized he'd removed the wallet from his pocket while on a train ride with his children and left it on the seat. When he returned to the mall, he said, the 18-year-old who'd been operating the ride was no longer there, according to the 11-page arrest warrant affidavit.
Danbury police said the New Milford police officer tracked down the operator, who admitted finding the wallet and removing the money. The teenager also told Officer Cadovius he'd discarded the wallet and the badge, police said.
Officer Cadovius again contacted Danbury police and identified the operator. This time, he told police there was $380 in the wallet, according to the affidavit.
Danbury police then met with the teenager, who claimed the wallet contained only $280. Police said he agreed to return $380 to the New Milford officer. The teen also assisted Danbury police in an unsuccessful search for the wallet and badge, according to the affidavit.
The day after the money had been returned, the teenager and his mother contacted Danbury police, and complained Officer Cadovius had called the 18-year-old and demanded $2,000 to "make the incident go away," according to the affidavit.
Instead, the mother met Officer Cadovius at the mall, and taped the meeting using her digital recorder, police said.
During the conversation, Officer Cadovius repeated his demand for $2,000 "restitution," and angrily rebuffed the mother's offer to reimburse him for replacement of his wallet and badge, according to the affidavit.
New Milford police placed Cadovius on paid administrative leave after his arrest. He's due in court on Aug. 31.