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Former Newtown Police Officers Charged With Stealing Union Funds

Former police Sgt. Domenic Costello and K-9 Police Officer Andrew Stinson are accused of stealing more than $90,000 each in union funds, officials say

Former Newtown police Sgt. Domenic Costello and K-9 Officer Andrew Stinson were arrested in connection with stealing more than $90,000 each from the police union, officials said today.

Costello, 33, of Stratford, was charged with two counts of first-degree larceny and first-degree accessory to larceny while Stinson, 34, of Watertown, was charged with three counts of first-degree larceny and second-degree larceny. Both also were charged with first-degree conspiracy to commit larceny and third-degree larceny.

The pair, who in October were placed on paid administrative leave and earlier this year resigned from their Newtown police jobs, turned themselves in on an arrest warrant Wednesday at the Danbury police department, officials said. Danbury has been handling the investigation.

An investigation into the two began Oct. 15 after Newtown police union members noticed irregularities in their bank accounts. Stinson was the union president and Costello was the treasurer.

Union officials said the two co-signed checks that allowed them to withdraw money from the police union account without anyone else knowing.

Up until the Wednesday news release, officials had been tight-lipped about how much money was taken. Officials said the two used more than $90,000 each in police union funds for their personal use during a period of three or more years.

Stinson was a nine-year police department veteran and Costello was a seven-year department veteran. Costello was promoted to a sergeant in 2009 and Stinson, who was the department's K-9 officer, had been a candidate for a sergeant position prior to the scandal.

According to town data, Stinson earned a gross salary of $83,842 while Costello earned $86,587 during fiscal year 2009-10.

The two were released on promises to appear in state Superior Court in Danbury on March 25.

Editor's note: The expected court appearance for the two former police officers has been added to this article.

Correction: The exact charges were incorrect in an earlier version of this article.

cathy dahlmeyer March 16, 2011 at 05:45 PM
What a way to ruin your life. So sad.
JJHL March 16, 2011 at 05:53 PM
What a couple of greedy dirtbags. So when are they paying it back and what's their punishment?
Deborra Zukowski March 16, 2011 at 07:10 PM
While the news articles do paint a rather dire picture for these two men, we need to remember that they have yet to be convicted. We should never let the media be the judge and jury. (Hoa, this is not a criticism about the article above, but rather it is about maintaining the principle of "innocent until PROVEN guilty." The role of the media is important, but the role of the judicial system is even more so.)
HomeBrewIt March 17, 2011 at 12:28 AM
Costello wanted to be mayor in Stratford no?? What a joke. Rot in jail buddy, stealing from your union brothers....you make me sick. Now you can room with the people you put away in years past.
Sandy Hook March 18, 2011 at 11:01 AM
From the CT Post: "The affidavits state that Sgt. Domenic Costello, at the time the Newtown Police Union treasurer, and Officer Andrew Stinson, then the president, said they "borrowed" the money to stave off foreclosures on their respective homes and pay personal bills. Those statements came during a meeting with the union's vice president and a Newtown detective on Oct. 14, three days after another officer expressed concern about their stewardship of the accounts, according to the affidavits." http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Court-papers-indicate-ex-Newtown-cops-borrowed-1179725.php
jim stetson March 18, 2011 at 12:11 PM
Every week in Connecticut we see headlines of cops gone bad. -and they want respect?
Nicole March 18, 2011 at 01:36 PM
The police profession does deserve our respect, however like in any profession there are a few people that make us all look bad. You can’t judge a group of thousands on the actions of a few.
JED March 19, 2011 at 12:21 AM
Tell that to a widow of a 9-11 officer, Jim. It was a bad and costly mistake by both officers. Who has not made a mistake? And yes, some are more costly than others. From now on , it becomes how these former officers pick themselves up. I, for one hope they do.
Catherine March 19, 2011 at 10:38 PM
Judy, It was not a 'mistake'. It was stealing. It was calculated (transfering funds from one account to another), it was intentional... and they lied about not taking funds from the investment account. Their behavior is unexcusable and unacceptable.... they got caught and now they claim 'disorders and forclosures". They are not accepting accountability... shame on them.
JED March 20, 2011 at 02:35 PM
Mistakes are a part of learning - not a character judgment. .
JJHL March 20, 2011 at 03:29 PM
I agree with Catherine completely. Once again this was not merely a "mistake", it was calculated stealing and greed. No sympathy, here. They brought this on themselves and I hope they get a lot more than just a "slap on the wrist".

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