The highest-ranking members of the Rutland City Police Department are the focus of a lawsuit alleging a longstanding culture of corruption, misconduct and cover-ups. The suit was filed by a former police officer and targets Police Chief Jim Baker and other officers as well as former state public safety commissioner Thomas Tremblay.
Former Rutland City Police officer Andrew Todd alleges that in the nearly nine years he worked for the Rutland City Police Department he witnessed a supervising officer sleeping on the job, having sex with a female citizen while on duty, lying about his time reports and failing to fulfill his duties as a supervisor.
Todd, who is African American, also alleges that this officer, Sergeant John Johnson, repeatedly made derogatory and racist comments and used racial profiling on the job.
Todd wrote up a formal complaint in 2010 but he alleges that because of friendships among his supervising officers the complaint was never investigated or acted upon. And Todd alleges that it only led to retaliation against him.
According to the lawsuit, Todd brought his concerns about Johnson up the chain of command to Lietenent Kevin Geno, Captain Scott Tucker, Chief Jim Baker, the mayor and even Larry Jensen, the Chairman of the Rutland Police Commission, and Todd alleges that no one conducted a proper investigation.
Todd alleges that the hostile, retaliatory atmosphere pushed him to seek employment elsewhere and he now works for the state police.
Sergeant John Johnson and Officer Frank Post, who are cited in Todd’s complaint, were the subject of an internal investigation conducted last year. The reasons for the investigation were never made clear publicly, but Johnson retired last April with full benefits and Post resigned.
In the last four years, five Rutland City Police officers have been investigated for misconduct.
Chief James Baker and Mayor Chris Louras had no comment over the weekend. Rutland City Attorney Andrew Costello has stated that the city will review the allegations and respond to them in court.