Records Detail Workers' Comp History Of Trooper Charged With Assault

The state police trooper arrested after a bar fight last weekend in Groton has been on either workers' compensation or leave from work 11 times since 2004, state records show.

Jeffrey Meninno was charged with second-degree assault after sources said he broke another man's jaw in a fight at the Chapter One Bar and Grill in Mystic. He was released on a $2,500 bail and is scheduled to appear in Superior Court in New London on June 20.

Meninno was placed on worker's compensation in September 2016 for an injury the nature of which is not described in comptroller records. His status was changed in January, placing him on unpaid leave, according to records from the Comptroller's office.

He has accumulated nearly 700 days in workers compensation or leave in the past 10 years, the state comptroller records show.

State police have refused to release any of Meninno's employment history and haven't confirmed that he has been out on worker's compensation at the time of the bar fight. In a short statement released after his arrest they said his badge and gun have been confiscated and the fight is being investigated by internal affairs.

"In accordance with applicable law, (state police) cannot release confidential personnel and medical information," State Police spokesman Eric Haglund said in a written statement.

"Trooper Meninno's police powers remain suspended pending the results of the investigation and prosecution being conducted by the State's Attorney's Office, to whom questions pertaining to the criminal investigation should be directed," Haglund said.

But state police sources said investigation has been expanded to look at Meninno's workers' compensation history. The Chief State's Attorney's spokesman Mark Dupuis would not comment Thursday.

The Courant obtained payroll records for Meninno from the Comptroller's office going back to 2004, but the records have some gaps in explaining Meninno's status. Meninno has been a state police trooper since February of 1997.

A spokesman for the Comptroller's office referred specific questions about his work status to the state police which keeps the detailed employee records.

Meninno has been on and off worker's compensation since August 2004, according to the Comptroller's records. He has been placed on worker's compensation 11 times since then, reecords show.

Many of them for only a few days until 2006 when state police sources said he was involved in an on duty car accident.

Meninno was on paid worker's compensation for the whole month of January in 2006 before getting placed on unpaid leave a month later. He didn't return to work until March of 2007 missing 275 days of work, records show.

For the next five years Meninno worked full-time until May of 2013 when he once again went on worker's compensation and then another leave. Meninno was out for 105 work days that time, records show.

Meninno returned to work in December of 2013. Over the next few years he went out on worker's compensation four more times, the last one in September 2016, records show.

Meninno was the vice president of the State Police Union for several years until recently when he was removed.

Groton police said they were called to the Mystic bar around 1 a.m. for a report of an injured patron. The victim, whose name hasn't been released, was brought to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital for his injuries. State police sources said that included a broken jaw.

Witnesses told police that Meninno had been involved in the fight and had been at the bar with at least two other off duty troopers. Police went to Meninno's house in Waterford and arrested him, records show.

State Police said that Meninno has had his police powers suspended pending the outcome of the investigation by the Connecticut State Police Bureau of Professional Standards.

He earned slightly more than $71,000 in 2016, virtually all of it in first seven months of the year, according to the comptroller's records. He was placed on unpaid leave in January of 2017 and has earned only $327 this year.

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