BERLIN - After initially denying the request, police are now considering releasing the report detailing the arrest of a Town Council member early Saturday.
Democratic Town Councilor JoAnn Angelico-Stetson was charged with driving under the influence and failure to signal early Saturday morning.
Angelico-Stetson, 56, of East Berlin, was stopped by police in the southbound lane of the Berlin Turnpike at the intersection of Middletown Road at 12:28 a.m., according to the summary of the arrest police provided Saturday.
Police said she failed to signal twice while making a left turn and was found to be intoxicated. Her blood-alcohol level was not included in the arrest summary.
No other information was available as of Sunday, Berlin police said. Angelico-Stetson provided The Herald with a statement Sunday admitting responsibility for the incident.
Deputy Chief Chris Ciuci told The Herald Monday morning that under a subsection of state Freedom of Information law that the police department will not release the full report on Angelico-Stetson’s arrest because it could be “prejudicial” to the pending case. Ciuci also said that from this point on Berlin police will not release any arrest reports under the same sub-section.
Ciuci said the department is complying with FOI law. Ciuci later said Police Chief John Klett will review The Herald’s FOI request to receive a copy of the full arrest report.
State FOI law stipulates that police departments must release arrest warrants. In the case of an arrest made without a warrant, an official arrest, incident or similar report, must be released unless the documents have been sealed by a court. The law allows police departments to redact the names of witnesses or informants, information on juvenile arrests or if they “reasonably” believe the release would be “prejudicial” to the pending prosecution.
Bob Peters, chairman of the Police Commission, told The Herald Monday that he told Klett and Ciuci they should release the report. While understanding the department has to go through the FOI process, Peters said he is advocating for cooperation from the Berlin police.
“If the FOI laws say release the report, release the report,” said Mayor Mark Kaczynski.
He said the procces is underway, and that he is sure the department will do the right thing while following what the state statutes and corporation counsel advise.
“I don’t want this treated any differently,” said Peters. “If somebody was arrested we should release the report.” The topic may come up for discussion at the next Police Commission meeting on Jan. 17 if the police department doesn’t cooperate, he added.
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.