Police Chief: Tetreau did not learn investigation details
FAIRFIELD — The Police Chief says he did not tell the First Selectman any details of the criminal investigation into the Public Works pile.
Reached Friday, Chief Christopher Lyddy said reports in the Patch somewhat misrepresented what he told the Police Commission Wednesday. Lyddy said that while did inform First Selectman Mike Tetreau of the existence of a probe in December 2018, he did not share that Superintendent of Public Works Scott Bartlett was its subject.
The criminal investigation into the fill pile run by Julian Enterprises was launched in July 2017 after reports of mismanagement.
Lyddy said he approached Tetreau in December 2018 with the intention of discussing the investigation, but Tetreau declined to hear details for fear of interfering with the case.
Lyddy said he appreciated this cautionary choice and gave no details to Tetreau.
“He indicated that he was aware of the investigation, but we did not discuss details at that point after he indicated that he did not want to interfere in the case,” Lyddy said.
This is consistent with Tetreau’s previous statements that he was not updated on the investigation prior to the Fairfield Citizen’s reports of the arrest warrant on July 29.
Reached Friday, Tetreau agreed with Lyddy’s statements, saying he chose to refrain from learning the details of the investigation due to concerns that his involvement could compromise its perceived independence.
“My approach all along has been that I wanted to keep it independent so Julian couldn’t come back and say there was any political agenda to the investigation,” he said.
Tetreau said he was informed by former Police Chief Gary MacNamara that police would be interviewing employees about potential involvement, but not which employees or what would be asked.
Lyddy also confirmed statements from Human Resources Director Emmet Hibson to the Board of Selectmen that the report draft he received in December 2018 included details only of Bartlett’s alleged involvement, and that Public Works Director Joseph Michelangelo was not yet a subject of the investigation at the time.
Hibson had also told the Board of Selectmen that the draft he read did not contain concerns about town contamination from the fill pile. Lyddy said the report did discuss the transportation of materials, but this information was not substantiated at the time.
“Although the report did contain information that there was the potential that the materials left the yard prior the 2016, it was inconclusive as to many of the locations and whether or not there were contaminants involved,” Lyddy said.
Reached for comment Friday, Hibson said the report he read did discuss the site’s materials, but in a very limited manner. He said he did not recall reading anything about materials being distributed elsewhere or potential need for remediation.
Bartlett and Michelangelo are scheduled to appear in court Wednesday, along with Julian Enterprises co-owner Jason Julian. The three have been charged with illegal dumping, bribery and forgery.