Former U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut Deirdre M. Daly will lead an investigation into how state police troopers apparently submitted thousands of falsified traffic ticket records, Gov. Ned Lamont announced Monday.
Lamont named Daly, who is now an attorney at Finn Dixon and Herling, in an afternoon press release after telling reporters last week that he planned to contract an outside firm to investigate a recent audit which suggested that hundreds of troopers misreported enforcement data to a state panel on racial profiling.
“I have great faith in the overwhelming majority of our troopers, and to protect public confidence in them we must get to the bottom of this and learn how it happened, why it happened, and how to prevent it from ever happening again,” he said. “I am glad that someone with Deirdre Daly’s experience and credibility has agreed to undertake this important work.”
The audit, released in June by the Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project, found at least 25,966 instances between 2014 and 2021 where state troopers reported issuing tickets without corresponding records in the Centralized Infractions Bureau. Those discrepancies may have distorted years of racial profiling analysis by the group.
According to Monday’s press release, Daly and her team plan to interview state troopers as well as others with information about the falsified tickets. Residents with pertinent information can contact Daly confidentially at 800-711-6348 or by filling out an online form.
Since June, Lamont has urged caution and refrained from characterizing the misreported tickets as an intentional act by state troopers. However, Monday’s press release referred to the records as “misconduct,” which Daly will seek to explain and prevent in the future.
The release also contained statements from Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner James Rovella and State Police Colonel Stavros Mellekas, who said he had issued an order instructing all troopers to cooperate with the investigation and come forward with information.
“The Connecticut State Police takes this matter very seriously and we have already instituted several reforms based on the recently released audit,” Mellekas said. “We look forward to continuing that work. We welcome this investigation and will cooperate fully.”
Investigators estimate that their inquiry will take at least three to six months. The results will be shared with the public when the review is completed, according to the press release.
The issue is also under review by Chief State’s Attorney Patrick Griffin’s office. Last week, Griffin declined to comment on the status of that investigation.
In the meantime, state lawmakers plan to begin their own review of the information in the audit. Members of the Judiciary and Public Safety and Security Committees have scheduled an informational hearing on Wednesday morning at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford where they plan to question State Police officials and members of the Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project.