Officials: 3-month probe led to arrest of 2 on-duty Norwalk officers found in hotel together
Police say the two Norwalk police officers who now face criminal charges after being found in a hotel while on duty were part of a three-month investigation into misconduct.
"It's a total breach of the public trust," says Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling.
Norwalk police officers Michael Dimeglio and Sara Laudano turned themselves in to the department Tuesday night.
Their arrest warrants say on the afternoon of Oct. 9, the two were seen on camera drinking alcohol at Donovan's just before their shifts began.
Once on the clock, they each allegedly had another drink in the parking lot of the police department. Laudano is also accused of taking a hit of THC from a vape pen.
Police say the two have a baby together, who was with them at the time. Just before Laudano responded to her first call, she allegedly put the child in her patrol car, drove to get beer, then dropped the child off with her wife.
Court documents show after that call, Laudano spent four hours in the parking lot of High Road School drinking. She allegedly didn't respond to two calls that came in.
"They were totally not able to respond to any calls for service. God forbid a police officer needed some help and these two were the closest officers but were not available," Rilling says.
Michael Dimeglio; Norwalk Police Department
Dimeglio is accused of joining her there.
Police say just after 11 p.m. the two checked into Even Hotel. About an hour later, dispatchers put out a call for Laudano by radio and cellphone, but she couldn't be reached.
Police say a supervisor pinged her car and located it at the hotel. When officers went to check it out, they found Dimeglio and Laudano in a room together.
Sara Laudano; Norwalk Police Department
Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, who led the police department for 17 years, says he supported bringing criminal charges.
Both officers are charged with larceny and reckless endangerment. Laudano faces an additional charge of risk of injury to a child.
Both officers posted bond and will appear in court Feb. 16. They are currently suspended without pay while an internal investigation continues.
"Our police officers are good, professional, dedicated men and women who serve our community very well. This is totally an exception to who they are," Rilling says.