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New London's police chief is on paid leave as the city conducts an investigation of a complaint

Courtesy of Pexels

New London, Connecticut’s chief of police was placed on administrative leave with pay this week while a personnel issue is being investigated.

Mayor Mike Passero said a complaint had been received by the city about its new police chief, Brian Wright, but gave no further details. He said he could not comment while an investigation was underway.

The city said an investigation by an external investigator would be conducted and that Neville Brooks, a retired deputy chief from Hartford, would be taking control of New London police in the interim, as superintendent of police.

A freedom of information request made by WSHU revealed the complaint was made against Wright when he was a captain. He made history in June as New London's first Black police chief.

In a separate blow to the department this week, a lawsuit was filed against the city police department by Police Detective Melissa Schafranski-Broadbent. She alleges she experienced sexual harassment and a hostile work environment. It was filed on Wednesday, Oct. 7, just a day after Wright’s suspension.

As captain, Wright was the investigating officer into Broadbent’s complaint, but he is not named in that lawsuit.

A lawyer for Broadbent said Wright completed the investigation earlier this year, but that it was never acted on by the former Chief of Police Peter Reichard.

Reichard stepped down from his position after secret audio tapes of him disparaging the mayor and the city came to light.

An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.