Friday, June 09, 2006

The Connecticut State Police Omerta Crumbling?

Arthur L. Spada, former Connecticut State Police Commissioner

Witness Reveals `Secret' Meeting Says Session Involved Public Safety Chief, Father Of Slain Man

June 9, 2006 By TRACY GORDON FOX And ALAINE GRIFFIN, Courant Staff Writers

MERIDEN -- A former state police commissioner went behind the backs of detectives feverishly tracking leads in the 2003 mob-style killing of a Middletown businessman, holding a "secret meeting" with the victim's father and attorney, according to testimony in the larceny trial of former state police Maj. Greg Senick.

Timothy Barry, a former commander and colonel of the state police, made the accusations against his former boss, Public Safety Commissioner Arthur Spada, during testimony Wednesday in Senick's trial in Superior Court in Meriden. The trial has become a fish bowl of the dysfunctional state police hierarchy during Spada's tenure, which ended in 2004.

Through his pointed cross-examinations, Senick's attorney, James Wade, has tried to show that Senick's arrest was fueled by politics from outside and within the department. Under Wade's questioning, Barry, a prosecution witness, disclosed the meeting Spada and Senick held in 2003 concerning one of Middletown's most notorious unsolved homicides, the slaying of Joseph Mazzotta.

It was "a secret meeting that was completely undisclosed and undocumented and after that, Mr. Wade, I told your client if he ever did anything like that again I would run him right out of the state police," Barry said.

"And I told him, don't ever do that again. If that ever occurs where the commissioner is going to do something unethical as that, you have to tell me about that," said Barry, who now works in fraud management for a Hartford insurance company.

Senick, who is accused of charging thousands of dollars in bills to the state while living in state-owned property, had been Spada's chief of staff.

Reached at home Thursday, Spada, a former Superior Court judge, acknowledged meeting with Salvatore Mazzotta, the father of Joseph Mazzotta, who had been shot in the face and neck at point-blank range in Middletown. But he vehemently denied there was anything secretive or unethical about it and said that Barry was bitter and out to get him because he drummed Barry out of the department, after he learned Barry was trying to get his job.

"It's an outrage. It's the mad ranting of a disturbed and paranoid mind," Spada said of Barry, whom he had appointed colonel.

"It was the worst appointment I ever made, and I regret it."

Spada said he frequently met with citizens who wrote to him about cases or problems.

"Mr. Mazzotta is a citizen. He lost a son in a very gruesome killing," he said.

"I conducted hundreds of these sessions when I had a complaint."

Spada said the meeting was held in the library of his office and that state police attorney Dawn Hellier was there.

"It was on the calendar," he said.

Spada said Mazzotta had asked the state police to take over the investigation of his son's death from Middletown police. He said the major crime unit had already completed its investigation and had turned over any evidence to Middletown detectives.

But according to Barry and other sources, the state police Statewide Narcotics Task Force and Organized Crime Task Force were still involved when that meeting took place.

Friends found Mazzotta's body in the offices of the family's equipment-rental business on Boston Road in Middletown on April 14, 2003. Police never determined a motive for the killing.

Mazzotta, 40, was a member of one of Middletown's wealthiest families, prominent in local construction and real estate.

Investigators have examined the family's investments in the Schaghticoke Indian tribe in Kent and Joseph Mazzotta's involvement in Cocktails on the Green, the Cromwell bar in which Mazzotta had a silent interest. The bar was in financial trouble, and police sources said low-level transactions of narcotics and stolen goods took place there. Before his son was killed, Salvatore Mazzotta had hired bodyguards to keep order at the bar. He also paid tens of thousands of dollars to settle the bar's debts so it could be sold.

About a month before the slaying, a severed pig's head was left at the bar's front stoop.

In December 2003, Middletown investigators went to Springfield, Mass., looking for possible connections between Mazzotta's slaying and the Nov. 23, 2003, killing of Adolfo "Big Al" Bruno, a reputed mobster for the New York-based Genovese crime family.

Bruno attended Mazzotta's wake and funeral and is known to have associated with Salvatore Mazzotta, sources close to the investigation have said. Last December, Frankie Roche, a Massachusetts man with reputed mob ties, was charged with murder in Bruno's death.

Salvatore Mazzotta had been meeting regularly with Middletown police for updates, police sources said, but the meetings are now less frequent. Sources have said Mazzotta's involvement has been awkward at times, partially because in 1990, Salvatore Mazzotta was charged and later acquitted in a cocaine-trafficking case.

On Thursday, Mazzotta recalled meeting with state police after his son was killed, but he could not remember meeting with Spada. He said a stroke he had four months ago has affected his memory.

Mazzotta said his greatest frustration has been police officers' insistence that he knows more about this than he is saying.

"Instead of looking for who killed my son, they were looking at me," Mazzotta said about Middletown detectives.

"They go to Springfield, they follow me. I'd be a damn fool if I know who did it and don't tell."

Mazzotta, who had asked for state police help days after the slaying, said he lacked confidence Middletown police could find his son's killer and was disheartened when state police pulled out of the case just months after the slaying. He said no one has contacted him about the investigation in 2½ years.

"They left me hanging. I don't know nothing," Mazzotta said.

"I don't have faith in nobody no more. I lost a son."

Middletown Deputy Police Chief Lynn Baldoni declined to comment on the investigation Thursday.

Spada's name had come up at a March 4, 2004, meeting between state police investigators, Drug Enforcement Administration officials and officers from the Statewide Narcotics Task Force.

At that meeting, state police Capt. Peter Terenzi, then head of the narcotics task force, voiced concern about Spada's involvement in the Mazzotta case

In a report, Terenzi said that Spada had friends and associates in the area who "were also some of the people we were looking at as possible or potential targets."

Terenzi was later transferred and disciplined after allegations surfaced that he disparaged Spada's familiarity with Italians.

In his testimony, Barry said Senick was "obligated" to disclose the 2003 meeting with Mazzotta, which occurred "while an investigation is going out and dozens of officers are trying to solve the case."

"You know, Mr. Wade, as a criminal defense attorney the consequences of actions like that," Barry said, referring to how the meeting may have affected the case.

* * * *

Is Arthur L. Spada the kingpin of a crime syndicate, The Connecticut State Police?

A letter sent to Connecticut State Police Commissioner Leonard C. Boyle

My email into CPS Loads of links.

The Grand Maul, Official, Police, Judge Post to Eat Sh*t and go F themselves Letter:

The Steven G. Erickson Mugshot

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Blogger The Stark Raving Viking said...

the links no longer go to the intended posts. The others do still work.

Sunday, October 12, 2008 10:14:00 PM  

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