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State News

Cop accused of drinking on job, ignoring calls pleads guilty

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — A former Connecticut police officer accused of drinking alcohol on the job with another officer and disregarding dispatcher calls has pleaded guilty and agreed to pay $1,000 in fines.

Former Norwalk officer Sara Laudano pleaded guilty to misdemeanor larceny and reckless endangerment charges Thursday while appearing remotely before a Stamford Superior Court judge, Hearst Connecticut Media reported.

Police officials say Laudano and former Officer Michael DiMeglio were found at a Norwalk hotel after drinking alcohol in their cruisers and failing to respond to calls while on duty in October 2020. Police also said Laudano drove her cruiser with a baby and another person as passengers after drinking alcohol and using a vape pen with THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.

DiMeglio pleaded guilty to the same charges last month and also will pay a $1,000 fine while avoiding jail. Both former officers resigned from the force and their state certifications to serve as police officers were revoked.

“I apologize to the community, the officers and everyone that this all affected,” Laudano said during Thursday’s hearing.

Her lawyer, Raymond Hassett, said Laudano was stressed by working during the coronavirus pandemic and coming back to work early from maternity leave, which played roles in her conduct.

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