A union representing Connecticut State Police troopers announced a vote of no confidence in the agency’s leadership Thursday for “fostering an environment of mistrust” amid ongoing investigations into tens of thousands of misreported traffic records.
The union’s president, Todd Fedigan, called for the resignation of both Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner James Rovella and State Police Col. Stavros Mellekas in a letter to Rovella announcing the no confidence vote.
“Shamefully, you are both examples of political appointees who failed to protect their Troopers and made decisions based on self-preservation,” Fedigan wrote. “As a result, you both have lost all credibility and should resign from your positions of leadership before things get worse.”
The vote marks the second time since 2020 the union has voted no confidence in Rovella. Thursday’s letter points to comments he made during a July 26 legislative hearing on the results of a recent audit which found at least 25,966 instances where state troopers misreported racial profiling data on traffic citations.
“[R]ather than going public to vigorously defend the good names of your Troopers, you decided to make public comments that our Troopers have committed criminal conduct and implied that our senior Troopers have discriminatory ‘habits’ when interacting with the public,” Fedigan wrote.
State and federal officials have revealed several investigations of the falsified ticket records since June when the Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project released an audit of eight years of traffic reporting which found a “high likelihood” that more than 25,966 records had been falsified and skewed efforts to track racial profiling.
A spokesperson for the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection said the agency would not be commenting on the union vote.
Lamont’s chief spokesman, Adam Joseph, defended Rovella and Mellekas in a statement Friday.
“Commissioner Rovella and Colonel Mellekas have served the state well throughout the Lamont administration and served the public diligently throughout their careers,” Joseph said. “As the Commissioner said during the recent informational hearing, we are committed to getting to the bottom of what happened, holding accountable anyone who intentionally falsified public information, and exonerating those who acted without any ill intent.”
Asked last month about a similar no confidence vote by a separate union representing State Police supervisors, the governor questioned the reasoning of the vote.
“Why, because [Rovella] wants to get to the bottom of the so-called ticket inaccuracies or scandal?” Lamont said. “I salute him for trying to get to the bottom of this and I support him.”