College police officer fired after sex assault investigation
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) — A Central Connecticut State University police officer was fired after being accused of sexually assaulting another officer, school officials revealed Thursday while announcing measures aimed at improving the embattled department.
The New Britain school disclosed the firing of Officer Curtis Lollar as it released a review of the police department by former state public safety commissioner Bernard Sullivan. He was appointed to oversee the agency after an independent investigation found a series of problems including a “fraternity-like environment” and hiring of officers with questionable backgrounds.
Sullivan confirmed the findings of an independent review in June that there was a culture of unprofessional and disrespectful behavior within the department and that discipline was lacking. The law firm’s findings criticized police officials for not investigating the sexual assault claims against Lollar, who was fired in September but not criminally charged.
A female campus officer accused Lollar of sexually assaulting her three times over the course of a little over a year beginning in about 2013 or 2014, according to Sullivan’s report. But the female officer told officials that she did not want to file a complaint because she had “moved on,” the report said.
A message left at a telephone listing for Lollar was not immediately returned Thursday.
School President Zulma R. Toro spoke to police department staff Thursday morning.
“I realize the reputation of the CCSU Police Department has been tarnished by our investigations,” she told them, according to a school statement. “The poor choices and actions of a few — which I assure you we are dealing with — do not represent the good work and dedication of the entire department.”
Toro said a series of improvement measures have been implemented or are in the process of being implemented, including training on sexual harassment prevention and how to work with sexual violence victims.
The school official who oversaw the police department, Chief Administrative Officer Richard Bachoo, was placed on leave pending an investigation after the law firm’s report was released in June.