Fired Shelton police officer returns to duty

Photo of Brian Gioiele

SHELTON — One of the police officers terminated two years ago is back on the job.

Officer John Napoleone — fired in 2020 along with then-Officer Michael McClain and then-Lt. Dave Moore for dereliction of duty, — returned to the Shelton Police Department Monday.  

Napoleone and McClain were fired for allegedly failing to properly investigate a domestic violence complaint against another police officer. Moore was fired for allegedly covering up their action. All three filed grievances over the terminations, the results of which are pending.  

“The city did enter into a settlement agreement with John Napoleone,” Chief Shawn Sequeira told Hearst Connecticut Media Monday.  

Sequeira said he could not offer further comment.  

“An agreement was reached by the city, the union and John Napoleone,” said union President John Giordano, adding that “the entire union membership welcomes him back.”  

Mayor Mark Lauretti said Napoleone contacted him about striking a deal.

“I looked at his past history … he had no prior offenses, and that was a factor for me, and he was conciliatory,” Lauretti said. “It’s our goal to get people past these types of situations. We have a lot invested in our officers.”

Lauretti said Napoleone, a veteran of some 17 years with the Shelton force, will maintain his seniority and receive some compensation for that time he was off the force. He would not comment further on the agreement. 

“It’s a give and take,” Lauretti said. “I’m happy to continue to move forward.”

Attempts to get comments from Napoleone were unsuccessful.  

Napoleone, Moore and McClain were also among six terminated officers that last year filed a lawsuit against Lauretti and Sequeira, alleging the public officials violated their constitutional rights of free speech and assembly, defamed them, and intentionally inflicted emotional distress.  

Lauretti said one of the other terminated officers approached him yesterday about reaching a similar agreement on Monday. He would not comment further on that situation.

Sequeira, at the time of the firings, said Napoleone and McClain were fired for not properly investigating a complaint at the apartment of since-fired Bridgeport police officer Steven Figueroa and another Bridgeport police officer in June 2019.  

Moore was fired, according to Sequeira, for attempting to “cover up” Napoleone and McClain’s “mishandling” of the incident.