Fired Clinton cop suing to get his job back
By STAN FISHER , Journal Register News Service 09/03/2004
CLINTON -- John Brymer, the police corporal fired in 2003 for conduct unbecoming an officer, has filed a federal lawsuit seeking reinstatement to the Clinton police force and monetary damages.

A 16-year veteran of the Police Department and deputy chief of the Clinton Volunteer Fire Department, Brymer was dismissed from both agencies after an investigation of his affair with a 16-year female junior firefighter.

The Police Commission, and an adjudicating board of the Fire Department, found that he had violated written and oral orders not to have contact with the girl, had lied to his superiors about the affair, and had attempted to coerce others to lie for him.

His lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in New Haven by attorney John R. Williams, claims that his dismissal was discriminatory, alleging that other members of the police force received less severe punishment after engaging in worse conduct.

The claim essentially is the same as that Brymer and Williams argued -- and lost -- before the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities in May.

The lawsuit was served on the town and Chief Joseph Faughnan as defendants Thursday, the same day the state Labor Board opened its hearing of a complaint Brymer filed over his dismissal.

Beyond claiming that his dismissal was discriminatory, Brymer alleges in the federal suit that the town and Faughnan "intentionally subjected the plaintiff to adverse employment action" and thereby deprived him of his constitutional right to equal protection under the law.

The federal court is asked to award him unspecified compensatory and punitive monetary damages, attorney fees, and reinstatement as a police corporal with full back pay and benefits.

Faughnan declined to comment on the pending litigation.

Meanwhile, the town has complied with a request, filed under state Freedom of Information statutes, by the Wethersfield Taxpayers Association for a copy of the Police Department’s internal affairs investigation of Brymer’s conduct relative to the affair.

Brymer has been working since early this summer as a part-time communications dispatcher in Wethersfield.

George Ruhe, vice president of the taxpayers’ group, said the organization is interested in all aspects of town operation, including its administration. After becoming aware of Brymer’s hiring and his background, Ruhe said, "We expressed concerns publicly at the town council meeting. We wanted to find out what the thinking was in our town as to why this gentleman was hired."

Ruhe said the group is reviewing the material prior to deciding on a course of action.

©The Middletown Press 2004

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