EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) -- An East Haven police officer who plead guilty to using excessive force will be allowed to retire and collect a pension.
It started with a video of East Haven police allegedly harassing a hispanic shop owner.
Four officers were arrested for civil rights violation and one of them, Sgt. John Miller, made a deal with the feds and plead guilty to punching a suspect.
But just before his plea, he resigned, all set to collect his pension, unused vacation, and sick time.
"The guy worked all his life. I would expect he'd get his pension. I don't know about sick time and everything, but he should get his pension," Mike Goodwin, of East Haven, said.
"I don't think he should get any money at all. He's done something that was wrong and he knew it was wrong," said Cathy Gertsch of East Haven.
But whether it's right or wrong, the reality is, it depends on what's legal.
East Haven Mayor Joe Maturo told News 8 that if the town fired Miller, it could have withheld the money for vacation and sick time, but since Miller retired before he could get fired, lawyers have to figure out if that's still an option. The Mayor said the pension can only be revoked if the state decides to go to court.
The Attorney General's office released a statement on that pension issue. There was a state law put into place after Governor Rowland went to prison that keeps people from getting pensions from the state and municipality if they're convicted of something corruption-related, but the Attorney General's office doesn't know if an officer pleading guilty to excessive force is covered under that.
"If he didn't plead guilty, or if he wasn't found guilty, then yeah, but if he's guilty he's guilty and he shouldn't get anything," Jude Sinchak, of East Haven, said.
"Unfortunately, we as taxpayers have to pay it, even though he's pleading guilty to a crime. They have to change the way the contracts are negotiated," Bill Kane, of East Haven, said.
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