After relevations about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter's planning methods made their way into a New York Daily News column, Connecticut Rep. DebraLee Hovey (R-112) released a statement Wednesday singling out Connecticut State Police and Col. Danny Stebbins, who reportedly presented the information at a meeting of police chiefs and colonels in New Orleans.
"In the strongest terms I reject the explanation from the State Police and Col. Danny Stebbins related to this incredibly insensitive release of information," said Hovey. "The fact Col. Stebbins chose to share details with a conference before families were notified and before any official findings have been released shows incredibly poor judgment and is unconscionable.”
The Daily News column by Mike Lupica, published Sunday, drew attention with its descriptions of a "sickeningly thorough ... spreadsheet" and descriptions of photos of the shooter posing with guns. The Daily News quoted an anonymous source, referred to as a "tough career cop" present at the meeting.
Hovey said delaying the release of information to the community was "just plain wrong."
“The people of Newtown and the lawmakers on the Bipartisan Task Force who are crafting legislation ... that will affect the entire state ... must have access to all of the official facts," she said. "The first time they see this should not be in the newspaper.”
Along with other Connecticut state legislators, Hovey is a member of the task force, assembled to seek solutions to gun violence, school security and mental health issues. Her district includes Monroe and part of Newtown.
On Monday, Connecticut State Police spokesperson Lt. J. Paul Vance called the leak "unfortunate," adding the seminar was designed "for law enforcement professionals only."
"Following each tragic mass murder incident in this country it is customary for law enforcement to share their lessons learned from the investigation so that other law enforcement agencies can learn," he said.
Police are not releasing any new information at this time, said Vance. A final report on the investigation is reportedly still several months away.