New Haven Police Chief on paid leave of absence

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A meeting wrapped up Monday in New Haven City Hall between city officials and Mayor Toni Harp regarding allegations of Police Chief Dean Esserman’s reported behavior at a local restaurant.

News 8 spoke with the general manager of of Archie Moore’s in New Haven. He says Esserman allegedly berated a waitress about the service. The chief accused the 19-year-old waitress of ignoring him and demanded management fire her on the spot.

The incident allegedly happened the day before officers took a vote of no confidence against the Chief. The GM of Archie Moore’s says the chief was so loud the patrons move to the back of the restaurant.

In a statement released Monday, Mayor Harp said;

“Following my investigation of recent reports of conduct I consider unbecoming a public official, Chief of Police Dean Esserman and I have mutually agreed that he will take a 15 working-day, paid leave-of-absence, effective tomorrow. Beyond that, given the City’s policy and practice of honoring a presumption of confidentiality in personnel matters, there will be no further comment.”

Sgt Rich Miller with the New Haven Police Union Executive Board also released a statement saying;

“The Union is disappointed with the weak stance of Mayor Harp given Chief Esserman what amounts to a 15 day paid vacation. This is a slap in the face to the hard working officers of the New Haven Police who are the true faces of community policing. We are truly disappointed in the Mayor for once again enabling this bad behavior to continue in the future and it will given the chiefs history. This only serves to lower the morale of the police department to a even lower level then it was before the no confidence vote.”

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