STONINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) – There is a sweeping controversy in Pawcatuck after public works employees were seen placing syringes at Donahue Park causing a public outcry about drug usage in the town.

Surveillance footage shows a Stonington Public Works employee holding a water bottle full of syringes in the gazebo. Video shows multiple employees taking pictures of the syringes inside the gazebo at Donahue Park.

Syringes were found downtown and in the mulch in the park by the gazebo, according to town employees.

The photographs made their way to a member of the Board of Education Christopher Donahue, whose father is the namesake of Donahue Park.

Donahue loudly criticized the police department and town officials on Facebook for not doing enough to address the drug use problem in the Pawcatuck section of Stonington and in the park.

Townspeople became upset when they saw the photographs displaying the alleged drug use and even more so when it was revealed the syringes were not originally found in the gazebo.

People are upset the public works employees are not facing disciplinary action and why they are not in trouble for placing the syringes in the gazebo.

News 8 went to the First Selectman of Stonington to find out why.

“It wasn’t like they bought them and put them there. They found the needles in the downtown area. They put them in the gazebo to take pictures. Send to a friend who the park was named after his family on the anniversary of his father’s death. It was an emotional day. They made a poor judgement decision,” said Danielle Chesebrough, Stonington First Selectman.

The incident has prompted the town of Stonington to look at updating their employee handbook, which has not been done since 2014.

The controversy has also brought to light the real problem of addiction and mental health issues.

“Malicious intent to mislead the public or the police would have been handled very differently,” said Chesebrough.

Town leaders shared the public works employees did not violate any employee policies.