Approval of new police chief contract delayed until June 8

The Shelton Board of Aldermen has postponed a vote on the contract for Police Chief Shawn Sequeira, opting instead meet with the mayor to examine the deal between the city and the newly appointed chief.

Fourth Ward Alderman Noreen McGorty made the motion to table the vote on Sequeria’s contract on Thursday, May 25, saying the two days between a public hearing and the scheduled vote did not allow a full review of details.

“There wasn’t enough time between the public hearing and the vote because it was rather quick, Tuesday to Thursday, which is kind of unusual because we typically have more time than that,” said McGorty.

McGorty also questioned whether or not Sequeira met all of the qualifications to fill the position.

Mayor Mark Lauretti assured McGorty during the Thursday night meeting that Sequeira wouldn’t have been appointed to fill the position if he wasn’t qualified.

Regardless of the mayor’s statement, Board of Aldermen President John Anglace, Alderman Jim Capra, Alderman Jack Finn, and Alderman Stanley Kudej all voted in support of McGorty’s motion to postpone the vote on Sequeira’s contract. Aldermen Lynn Farrell, Eric McPherson and Anthony Simonetti voted against the motion.

McGorty said one sticking point was the five-year term between the city and Sequeira.

“The prior chief and the one prior to him both did not have five-year contracts. It was a three-year contract with two one-year renewals. One may argue that three plus two equals five, but this is five years with a five-year renewal,” said McGorty. “Those are, while the numbers may add up to the same, very different scenarios. Three years you have the option as the administration or the aldermen to not renew that contract. In this case, it ends up being five years. That’s a big difference for me at least.”

The approval of Sequeira’s contract would officially make him Shelton’s Chief of Police starting on July 1, 2017.

Sequeira had limited comments on his new contract and its approval being delayed until June 8. He said anyone looking to get more information on his contract should contact city hall.

“Not much has changed on the contract, actually the contract is almost identical to Joel Hurliman’s, except for a couple of parts” said Sequeira. “I’m just here to do my job.”

New chief, new contract

Lauretti said the pay rate is one of the areas that has changed in this new contract due to times changing, but didn’t disclose how much the new chief would be earning in his five-year deal with the city.

McGorty also wasn’t sure of the new chief’s exact pay rate when asked after the Thursday night meeting.

“I don’t have a problem with the pay, nor did I do research to see if that’s what the chiefs are making in our surrounding towns, but again I didn’t have enough time to do all of that,” said McGorty.

Former Shelton Police Chief Joel Hurliman was promoted to chief back in 2006 and held the position until his retirement in October 2015 when Sequeira was appointed as the Interim Police Chief for the city.

Sequeira said he’s enjoyed filling the role as acting chief and looks forward to continue protecting Shelton.
“In the approximate two and a half years that I’ve been here we’ve accomplished a lot, continued down the path of success and have ultimately become an accredited police department,” said Sequeira. “I am fully committed and dedicated toward reaching our goals.”