A volunteer firefighter arrested in Vermont on sex-related charges has been put on leave from a city dispatcher job and a part-time emergency medical technician post in Ansonia. Mayor John M. Picard announced Monday afternoon that as of March 1, Frank Meyer, a 39-year-old city resident, is on paid administrative leave from his $54,000-a-year dispatcher job, pending a hearing, as per Connecticut law.
Picard has refrained from commenting since the city found out Thursday Meyer was arrested, but spoke briefly Monday.
"Generally, it is not my practice to comment on criminal matters. However, these are serious allegations that have been brought to light," Picard said.
Jared Heon, executive director and EMS account executive of Ansonia Medical Rescue Services, said Meyer is suspended from his part-time paid city position as an EMT with ARMS in Ansonia, but would not comment further.
Additionally, in West Haven, Meyer was put on leave last week from his position as a volunteer firefighter captain and a leader of the Explorers youth group at the Spring Street fire station, which is under the purview of the Center Fire District.
Meyer and Brett Bartolotta, 42, a former West Haven volunteer firefighter who now lives in Vermont, were arrested last week by Vermont state police on charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child and slave traffic.
Both are out on bail, and pleaded not guilty in court.
An arrest warrant affidavit for the men say they engaged in a lengthy sexual relationship with a minor in Vermont until February.
The minor, who is now 25, told police he was paid for participating in sex acts that included being wrapped in cellophane and hung by ropes from the ceiling and bondage.
Meyer has worked since 1999 at the city's 911 call center, handling police, fire and medical calls. Picard said he hasn't been notified of any improprieties committed by Meyer in West Haven.
When asked if the Police Department is investigating Meyer and his activities in West Haven, Police Chief John Karajanis Jr. said, "Anything we're doing at this time is predicated on the investigation that Vermont is involved in right now."
Picard said in accordance with state law, Meyer can only be put on paid administrative leave from his dispatch job until a Loudermill hearing is held, and then changes can be made. Picard said a private Loudermill hearing will be held for Meyer Friday and he is expected to attend.
"It's a constitutional right to present your case," Picard said.
A resolution is not expected Friday, and the hearing isn't guaranteed to only take one day, Picard said. Such hearings are required by state law for government employees before further action can be taken, according to Director of Personnel and Labor Relations Anne Marie Paone-Mullin.
The directive to suspend Meyer with pay came from 911 center Director Abe Colon and Paone-Mullin.
Picard later reiterated the Police Department's role, saying, "I have full faith and confidence in our police chief, deputy chief and the entire department. The police are in constant communication and cooperation with all authorities, including Vermont state police and the Connecticut State's Attorney's Office."
Karajanis said his department is in touch with the state's attorney's office because the office must prosecute any case the Police Department brings forth; however nothing has developed, he noted.
Meyer is also a member of the West Haven Community House Association Inc., a nonprofit that offers preschool, enrichment and child care programs for kids, as well as activities and residential services for adults with developmental disabilities.
Patty Stevens, Community House executive director, said Meyer is not involved in programs, but in policies and fundraising for the past several years.
The nonprofit's experience with Meyer has been a good one, Stevens said, adding, "Our experience with him has only been positive and professional."
His continued membership will be up to the board, and nothing can be changed without a board vote, she said.
Written by New Haven Register