Colonel Stavros Mellekas conducted an internal affair "investigation" into three troopers surrounding an encounter between activist Michael Picard, of East Hartford, and three officers - Trooper John Barone, Master Sgt. Patrick Torneo and Sgt. John Jacobi. The encounter took place at a sobriety checkpoint in West Hartford on Sept. 11, 2015. A youtube video of the event on Picard's youtube channel clearly shows where the officers conspired to fabricate charges against him.
Initially, the state police refused to release the report on its internal investigation of the encounter. The AP and Journal Inquirer subsequently appealed to the Freedom of Information Commission, arguing that citizens have the right to know whether public employees are disciplined for wrongdoing.
Stavros Mellekas, the internal affairs investigator, astonishingly concluded there was “no evidence” to support an activist’s claim (despite the video) that any of the three troopers conspired to concoct charges against him. He found nothing wrong with what the troopers did and placed the blame on Picard himself.
I can't help but wonder who investigates the entity that is investigating themselves? Why isn't a board of your peers investigating your wrongdoing a conflict of interest?
Mellekas has been promoted 5 times in the last two years, and only after he exonerated the troopers. His most recent promotion to second in command of the Connecticut State Police shows me that perpetuating corruption gets you promoted.
Where is the "justice" in that?
When asked about the string of promotions Picard had this to say, “Internal affairs is where you go to prove your loyalty and get promoted.”