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East Haven Commissioners To Mayor: Fire The Chief

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East Haven's Police Commission at their January 31, 2012 meeting.  Carl Perez is at left. Photo by WTIC's Matt Dwyer.

East Haven’s Police Commission at their January 31, 2012 meeting. Carl Perez is at left. Photo by WTIC’s Matt Dwyer.

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EAST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ Police commissioners in East Haven, Conn., have voted to urge the mayor to fire the police chief instead of letting him retire amid allegations that officers abused Latinos.

By a 5-0 vote, the commissioners recommended Tuesday night that Leonard Gallo be fired. They said he failed to provide leadership, which was evident in last week’s arrest of four town officers.

The officers are accused of waging a campaign against Latinos that included beatings and false arrests. They’ve pleaded not guilty.

Gallo’s lawyer says his client is an unnamed co-conspirator in the federal indictment, accused of blocking the police commission’s efforts to investigate misconduct. The lawyer called the vote political.

Gallo announced his retirement Monday. But the commission board chairman says Gallo shouldn’t be allowed to retire because then he can collect a severance lump sum of $130,000 to $150,000.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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