Former Hartford Assistant Police Chief Sues City

Says he was pushed out because he investigated an ally of Chief James Rovella

Former Hartford Assistant Police Chief Sues City
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Former Hartford Assistant Police Chief Sues City

 

A former assistant chief of police is suing the city of Hartford, alleging he was penalized by current Chief James Rovella for investigating one of his allies.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports.
 
The suit was filed by former Assistant Chief of Police John Horvath, who says Rovella eliminated his job as a way to get back at him for investigating one of his friends. 
 
"Assistant Chief Horvath was punished essentially for being a good cop."
 
That's Richard Padykula, Horvath's attorney. He says his client found that Neville Brooks -- then head of the department's internal affairs division -- was engaging in unethical behavior. 
 
"He had the professional integrity and courage to investigate a member of his own department accused of abusing the authority of a very powerful office, the internal affairs division."
 
This all came at a time of internal power struggles within the department.  Eventually, the suit alleges, Rovella became the chief, promoted his friend Brooks to deputy, and eliminated Horvath's job.
 
The city declined to comment.
 
Horvath is now the police chief and director of public safety for the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
 
For WNPR, I'm Jeff Cohen.