East Haven slapped with civil rights lawsuit following alleged extortion plot

EAST HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It’s happening again. The town of East Haven, fresh on the heels of a federal investigation into widespread police misconduct, has been slapped with a seven count federal lawsuit by Pakistani immigrant Sajjad Chaudhary.

Only News 8 obtained a copy of the lawsuit alleging theft, negligence, negligent supervision and intentional infliction of emotional distress by former East Haven zoning administrator Frank Biancur Jr.

“The whole family got upset about this,” said Chaudhary in an exclusive interview with News 8’s Mario Boone.

Biancur was convicted in federal court in 2015 of mail fraud after Chaudhary tipped the FBI to repeated demands for cash payments in exchange for Biancur ignoring false zoning violations.

“He was extorting people who he perceived to be vulnerable.  It lasted for three years and it was overtly done,” said Chaudhary’s attorney, William Palmieri.

Now, taxpayers could be on the hook for damages if the lawsuit is successful.

When asked by Boone why go after Biancur and the town Palmieri responded, “The conduct that occurred by Mr. Biancur in this case happened because of his authority of power in the town of East Haven. He used the office and he used other personnel in the office.”

News 8 called and visited town hall, but we were unable to reach Mayor Joe Maturo.  The town’s attorney, Hugh Keefe, tells us East Haven will fight the suit.

“There needs to be sensitivity, there needs to be responsibility and there needs to be accountability, and East Haven absolutely refuses to do this,” Palmieri explained.

The case has been assigned to Judge Warren Eginton at federal court in Bridgeport.