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Two Norwalk Police officers arrested after alleged on-duty encounter in hotel

From left, Norwalk Police Officers Michael DiMeglio, 38, and Sara Laudano, 31, as shown in mug shots taken Tuesday. (Norwalk Police Department)

Updated, 4:46 a.m.: Story complete.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk Police have arrested two members of their own department.

Officers Michael DiMeglio, 38, and Sara Laudano, 31, surrendered themselves Tuesday evening at Norwalk Police Headquarters and were served with arrest warrants stemming from an incident which occurred in October, a press release said. Both were charged with larceny second degree and reckless endangerment second degree. Laudano was also charged with risk of injury to a child. Both had bonds of $70,000 each.

Police say they were unable to locate Laudano at 12:47 a.m. Oct. 10 and subsequently found her and DiMeglio in a room at the Even Hotel at 426 Main Ave. “The officers were not in a condition to respond to calls for service,” the press release said.

The arrest warrant will not be available until it is filed with the court clerk’s office, Sgt. Sofia Gulino said.

Larceny in the second degree is a Class C felony and reckless endangerment second degree is a Class B misdemeanor, according to Justia. The risk of injury to a child charge is a Class C or Class B felony, according to Attorney Allan Friedman.

DiMeglio joined Norwalk Police in January 2012 and Laudano has been a Norwalk police officer since December 2015, according to a department roster.

Police say Laudano could not be raised on the police dispatch radio nor by her cell phone at 12:47 a.m. Oct. 10. They used the Automatic Vehicle Locating system (AVL) to track down her patrol car in the vicinity of Even Hotel, and an officer was dispatched to the location. Supervisors subsequently found her marked police car in the hotel’s parking lot, next to DiMeglio’s cruiser. They contacted hotel management and learned that the officers were in a room at the hotel, then proceeded to the room and found DiMeglio and Laudano, the press release states.

“The officers were not in a condition to respond to calls for service. Deputy Chief {James} Walsh responded and Chief {Thomas} Kulhawik was contacted. The officers were relieved of duty and placed on Administrative Leave,” the press release states.

Kulhawik immediately notified Mayor Harry Rilling, the release states. Walsh and Deputy Norwalk Police Chief Susan Zecca conducted the initial inquiry into the circumstances and the information uncovered led Kulhawik to contact State’s Attorney Paul Ferencek of the Judicial District of Stamford/Norwalk, the release states.

“After consulting with State’s Attorney Ferencek, a determination was made that the conduct exhibited was beyond departmental policy violations and a criminal investigation into the incident was warranted,” the release states. “As a result of this comprehensive investigation by Norwalk Police Detective Division Supervisors, arrest warrants were obtained for both officers.”

“While I am appalled at the behavior and conduct that was exhibited by these officers while in an on-duty capacity, I am proud of the professional manner in which the patrol supervisors of this department initiated this complaint and the subsequent criminal investigation conducted by the Detective Division supervisors,” Kulhawik is quoted as saying. “We have a high expectation of our officers. We demand this, as does our community who place a great deal of trust in them. Intentional conduct which violates that trust and goes against the mission and values of this department will not be tolerated. Now that the Criminal Investigation has been completed, an Internal Investigation will follow and the Disciplinary Process will commence. I am extremely disappointed in the apparent dereliction of their duty to both the citizens of Norwalk as well as to their fellow officers. We will have no further comment until after the disciplinary process is complete.”

Gulino said she could not explain the charge of child endangerment. “This is all the information provided to me,” she said.

Norwalk Police Lt. David O’Connor, police union president, said he has no written information.

“It is a regrettable turn of events. We certainly hope it turns out OK,” he said. “We will see what it is when we get the information.”

The union is involved in an internal investigation but once it’s criminal, cannot get information, O’Connor said. The union was told to file a Freedom of Information Act request to get the arrest affidavits, just like anyone else.

Rumors of the pending arrests reached NancyOnNorwalk last week, with a different female police officer alleged to have been in the hotel with DiMeglio as part of a long-term relationship. That identification was false, O’Connor confirmed.

DiMeglio was the seventh highest NPD earner in 2019, with a total $222,136.78 in compensation. Of that, $83,716.59 was from his regular salary and the rest earned through overtime and extra duty assignments.

Laudano earned $176,492.74 in 2019, documents show.

Norwalk Police have recently been conducting hourly roll calls via their dispatch radio. Kulhawik explained in an email, “We’re always reviewing our practices and it is something we used to do for officer safety purposes when call volume is low and radio traffic is light.  We decided to reinstate it.”

This story may be updated.

21 comments

ConcernedToo January 5, 2021 at 9:14 pm

Is it possible that these officers aren’t actually on the job for all of the 90+ hours a week that they are clocking in? I’m shocked!

And these aren’t veteran cops high on the seniority list either… Laudano was hired in December 2015. She made more than most principals last year as a 4th year cop – and DiMeglio, 3-4 years longer into his tenure, made more than all of them.

Yes, yes, sex scandal, very exciting… but I’m more amazed at the idea that we have tons of cops clearly booking 80-90 hours a week on the clock for years on end and no one seems to bat an eye and wonder how that’s possible.

John ONeill January 5, 2021 at 11:52 pm

I love the Norwalk Police Department. That said, these two poor souls will pay dearly for that 10 minutes or so of passion. I hope it was worth it. They disgraced themselves, their families, their department, their town. Freaking everybody. If this report is not true I apologize to both. If it is true they owe an apology to Norwalk Police and Norwalk citizens…
On another matter. I’m still waiting for Bob Duff to apologize for his lies in August. That is a far more disgraceful act by FAR than these two lovebirds allegedly committed.

DryAsABone January 6, 2021 at 8:07 am

They spin incidents like this as though they are uncommon.
People cluck about overtime but nothing changes.
The “land of steady habits” continues to cave in on itself.

John Levin January 6, 2021 at 8:53 am

This raises questions in my mind about the culture of the NPD. What would allow two veteran members to even consider this type of behavior? Is this an isolated incident? What other incidents occurred that did not receive this level of disclosure?

Also: the NPD union contract expired last June. Was it renewed? If not, what is the status of negotiation? The police union likely is responsible for defending the actions of these two officers. How does that play out?

Priscilla Feral January 6, 2021 at 9:20 am

For letter writer John O’Neill to deflect from the shameful conduct of two police officers by unearthing disparagement of Senator Bob Duff can’t go without further comment. Cut it out, John. Senator Bob Duff didn’t lie about the revolting conduct of particular police officers, and it’s high time Republican’s dealt with what’s true versus their political farce that’s defeated their party. Certain police reform is overdue, and our community is ready.

Sono Resident January 6, 2021 at 11:31 am

The fact that DiMeglio earns over $130k in overtime in his position as Norwalk Police officer and that he was the “seventh highest earner” in 2019 is the real story. How are these officers able to do their jobs competently with all the overtime piling up? How can there be no conflict of interest between those paying the absurd police overtime and the police officers who are supposed to serve our community?

Baby shark January 6, 2021 at 12:34 pm

I’m sure they’re going to blame Bob duff again. Really this is a surprise. This is a supervisor problem this is a chief of the police problem. All you see is cop cars parked in cemeteries parking lots deserted buildings with nothing to do except eat up taxpayer money. Defund the police paid security guards paid cytisine helpers..

Matthew Surapine January 6, 2021 at 1:15 pm

Administrative leave? How about a prompt firing and we the taxpayers do a clawback of their wages and pension? I love the NPD but if this occurred in the private sector, the love birds would terminated. Stop sucking at the teat of the taxpayer.. we already have a “mayor” who has made a career of that.

David January 6, 2021 at 1:27 pm

I suppose most of the OT is for performing armed guard duty at road work sites, which I have never understood. Does the city make money on those deployments?

The Parking Authority has the position “Constable” to cover the person enforcing parking regulations. That concept should be expanded by the city to provide personnel where traffic needs to be monitored around construction zones. We don’t need to pad police officers’ pensions with such inappropriate assignments.

John ONeill January 6, 2021 at 2:51 pm

@Priscilla — I guess you need to reread my first paragraph. The objective reader would certainly disagree your assertion my comments were “deflective” in any way. But then again in current “woke” culture what is objective ? Should my comments about the two officers have been stronger? Holy Cow !! After you reread my comments re-watch police video of Duff encounter. Thank God for videos. Again any objective viewer would never support Duff’s accusations.
So let’s throw politics aside, be less emotional and more realistic about facts.

David Osler January 6, 2021 at 7:03 pm

When a public figure gets arrested in this case too the details of the rest and the actions that took place are not disclosed and you’re asked to file a freedom of information act officially however if a member of the general public gets arrested the cover of the hour has a highly inflated story touching on many of the facts to Grandize the event. The policy for public sector is to obscure that information

George January 6, 2021 at 10:42 pm

David,yes, the city does make money on the “extra duty” overtime. The companies that hire the officers pay a certain overtime rate PLUS an administrative fee which is a percentage of the overtime rate. The extra duty overtime is not paid by the taxpayers.

The Parking Authority hires an outside contractor that handles the city’s metered parking lots. They are not involved with traffic related duties. I believe they are paid a percentage of the parking violations on top of a flat administrative fee.

The main reason Police Officers are hired for construction sites is due to the city’s liability exposure.

Red headed movie star January 7, 2021 at 8:43 am

As I understand it, the construction companies contract with the City to pay the off duty officers…and that those earnings do not add to their pension hours/dollars. A few years ago the Hour published the list of construction companies that owed the City money for those services.
My concern, is how many hours are officers on duty in a week? and how many hours are they doing construction duty? and does that impact their ability to perform their duties as police officers?

Bryan Meek January 7, 2021 at 10:53 am

@George. I support the NPD, but you need to drop this silly argument. The companies who pay the OT plus the administrative fees are billing someone else. Guess who. Hint: do you pay for electricity, water, and cable? Seriously there should be some moonlighting rules in the contract. I don’t know how effective someone can be in their day job it they are regularly logging 50+ hours of OT every week. Maybe they were just napping on the job?

Steve January 7, 2021 at 8:32 pm

Bryan Meek we are in agreement:). Sounds also like there’s some culture issues going on at NPD. Seemed to be a pretty nonchalant attitude towards drinking beer from a paper cup at the precinct.

Ron Morris January 8, 2021 at 2:15 pm

For some reason my last post never got published,
It clearly does not violate any policy.
The city does not make a dime on police overtime.
Every penny of tha is ultimately paid for by the taxpayer. Also let us not forget that the city has a 2nd fleet of police car just for dirt jobs so the cops can make 65 plus an hour to sit in the car and do ZERO.
So we are paying to maintain the car , gas and insurance.
Alos like I have said in the past flagmen are half the price, no car, no gas and they actually get out of the running car and direct traffic.

John ONeill January 8, 2021 at 4:02 pm

@Ron — I’m thinking 2021 might be a Special Year. It’s early but I agree with you on your flagmen point. I hope you have a great new year and look forward to some good back/forth…
Who says Americans can’t disagree and get along???

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