A Waterford man is suing four members of the Waterford Police Department, alleging that a Waterford officer had a sexual relationship with the mother of his child and then framed him on a charge of stealing plants from a local nursery, causing him "severe emotional distress."
John Troland, a former Vernon Police Officer and a convicted felon, is suing Waterford Police Chief Murray Pendleton, Waterford Police Sgt. Jonathan Pettigrew and officers Steven Whitehead and Matthew Hutchings for "malicious prosecution" and “extreme and outrageous conduct for the purpose of causing (Troland) to suffer severe emotional stress.”
Troland alleges that Hutchings had a sexual relationship with the mother of his child and then, with help from Pettigrew and Whitehead, framed him on a charge of fifth-degree larceny.
Troland also says in the lawsuit that he told Pendleton that Hutchings was biased against him and Pendleton did nothing. Pendleton did not comment on the case per town policy, deferring to the town attorney, and Troland’s lawyer, John Williams of New Haven, said because of the nature of the suit, he didn't feel comfortable discussing it publicly and said he would let the complaint speak for itself.
Troland was a Vernon Police Officer, but was arrested and eventually pleaded guilty in 2006 to interfering with an officer and a third-degree computer crime, a felony, and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Troland was arrested after he allegedly leaked information to his girlfriend about narcotics investigators and their informants, which his girlfriend gave to the subjects of the narcotic investigations, and for illegally using the law enforcement database, according to the Hartford Courant.
In his complaint, written by Williams, Troland alleges that in 2010 he was trying to evict his girlfriend and the mother of his son, Lori Gilleo, from his Waterford residence. The complaint claims that in retaliation, Gilleo falsely accused Troland of threatening her.
Hutchings was tasked with investigating the accusation, and soon became Gilleo’s lover, according to the complaint. The lawsuit alleges that Hutchings sent Gilleo nude photographs of himself “in a sexually aroused state” and sent her sexually-explicit text messages.
Troland says he contacted Pendleton in December of 2010 and January of 2011, telling the chief that Hutchings "had exhibited open bias against him." The complaint alleges Pendleton did nothing and continued to allow Hutchings to investigate the case, and "thereby encouraged and condoned the misconduct of (Hutchings)."
On Jan. 24, 2011, the complaint alleges that Hutchings and Whitehead “maliciously and intentionally fabricated a false affidavit” accusing Troland of stealing plants from a local nursery, based partly on statements Hutchings received from Gilleo. On Feb. 2, 2011, Hutchings and Pettigrew “participated personally in a surprise arrest” of Troland for fifth-degree larceny “in a manner that would cause the plaintiff the greatest possible emotional distress,” according to the complaint. The suit also claims that Hutchings later said, "Arresting that guy made my day.”
According to the complaint, the arrest was thrown out of court, as well as a tangential arrest for violating probation, and it “became clear” to the State’s Attorneys in New London and Rockville that Troland had been framed.
Troland is suing for compensatory damages, punitive damages, attorney fees and costs. Hutchings resigned from the Waterford Police Department in 2011.