Internal Affairs Investigation Finds No Wrongdoing
by Jodie Mozdzer Gil | Feb 19, 2010 11:34 am
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An internal affairs investigation at the Ansonia Police Department has found that claims leveled against a sergeant at a recent public meeting were “completely unfounded.”
In January, during a meeting of the Ansonia Board of Police Commissioners, tow truck company owner Frank Heusser, Jr. accused Sgt. Louis Owens of taking part in a scheme to steal truck parts from Healey Ford more than 10 years ago.
Chief Kevin Hale took the unorthodox step Friday of issuing a press release on the results of the internal investigation, which named Owens.
Because Owens had been accused at a public meeting, Hale felt he should publicly reveal the results of the investigation, which clear him of wrongdoing.
“We’ve had complaints before, but generally it’s somebody who was not happy with the way they were treated,” Hale said. “But it’s not usually done at a public meeting and through speaking with members of the media.”
At the Jan. 6 meeting, Heusser couldn’t pinpoint the exact year the theft happened, but said it was about 10 to 12 years ago.
Heusser implicated himself in the alleged crime, something he said supported his story. Heusser claimed that Owens paid a teenager to steal running boards off a truck while Owens was on duty and could intercept a call to police if someone saw the crime take place.
Heusser said his role in the alleged theft was to notify the teenager if someone called police, so there would be no record of Owens contacting the teen.
But when police interviewed the teen — now an adult — he denied the incident ever happened, Hale said.
Lt. Andrew Cota ran the internal affairs investigation and interviewed Heusser twice, Hale said.
Heusser provided no proof, other than the information he gave police about how the alleged scheme took place, Hale said.
Heusser Friday said he wasn’t surprised by the findings, because “it’s just another coverup.”
“That’s what I figured,” Heusser said. “If the state police did the investigation I’m sure it would be a different outcome.”
Heusser said he will go to the next police commission meeting to request the state police re-conduct the investigation.
Hale said he doesn’t intend to do that.
“The case is closed,” Hale said.
Heusser has long sparred with the police department.
It started in 2007.
Heusser and his father were arrested for breach of peace — a charge later dropped to an infraction, according to New Haven Register story.
After the arrest, Heusser’s tow company was removed from the police department’s rotating list of tow truck operators to call to haul away vehicles after car crashes.
Heusser said in the past year, he’s been given several parking tickets at his Wakelee Avenue shop.
Heusser said he launched a counter attack on the police department by bringing up the accusation.
During the meeting, the police commission said they would look into the claims.
“They (police) keep doing their stuff and coming after me now,” Heusser said after the meeting.