Complaint against Beacon Falls trooper ‘baseless’

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BEACON FALLS — A complaint recently lodged against the town’s temporary resident trooper has been found to be “baseless,” state police said.

State Police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said a civilian affirmative action officer within the state Department of Emergency and Public Protection has determined the allegation against temporary Resident Trooper John Serra to be baseless.

Vance said it was ruled that there is no hostile work environment, but only an operational issue. He released no further details.

It was unclear what the allegation was about or who filed it.

Serra referred any questions to Vance.

Beacon Falls has had a temporary resident trooper since around October while the Connecticut State Police Internal Affairs Unit looks into a personnel issue involving Resident Trooper Anthony Cipriano. Cipriano, 40, who has been with the state police since 1994, was temporarily assigned to work at Troop I barracks in Bethany during the investigation.

Vance said the internal affairs investigation is almost done.

State police still are not saying what that issue is about or who filed the allegation against Cipriano.

According to a letter obtained by the Republican-American, the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection’s Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action Office reviewed a matter that was brought to its attention on Oct. 3 by Lt. Clayton Brown, who was the commanding officer at Troop I in Bethany at the time.

The letter, dated Oct. 21, states that the office has determined that the inquiry does not present a valid claim of employment discrimination for the office to investigate, and referred the matter for review and handling to Lt. John Rich, commanding officer of the department’s internal affairs division.

According to the letter, the office conducted a thorough review of a written memorandum dated Sept. 27 that was submitted to Lt. Edgar Rodriguez of the Beacon Falls Police Department. No details of the memorandum or inquiry were given in the letter.

“At this time, this office has closed this matter and no action will be taken,” it states.

Serra was assigned to Beacon Falls after temporary resident trooper, Brian Connolly, was promoted to a Connecticut State Police major crime unit, Vance confirmed.

First Selectman Gerard Smith said he was aware of the allegation against Serra, and that it was filed about a week ago by one of the local police officers. He said he finds it interesting that the matter was determined so quickly.

Cipriano declined to comment Wednesday.