Video report by Jeevan Vittal, Fox CT
Text by Shawn R. Beals, Hartford Courant
Middletown Mayor Daniel Drew held a termination hearing Friday afternoon for Officer Francesca Quaranta, but said after the hearing he has not made a decision on her fate.
The mayor sent a letter to Quaranta earlier this month notifying her that since she has been declared unfit for duty as a police officer, is out of sick time and failed to attend a follow-up fitness for duty evaluation, he was initiating her separation from city employment.
“I listened to Officer Quaranta’s case and I’ll consider the evidence she presented,” Drew said in his office Friday after the Loudermill hearing.
“The people of Middletown can’t be expected to pay an employee not to work in perpetuity,” he said. “We don’t give away the people’s money.”
Quaranta, a transgender woman, has been out of work since requesting administrative leave in August of 2013. A few months later she filed a complaint with the state Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities alleging discrimination, harassment and a hostile work environment in the police department.
Quaranta came out as a woman after nine years in the department. She said the department initially seemed supportive, but things changed quickly.
“I told them a secret. My life fell apart,” Quaranta said Friday after the hearing. “For the first nine years I worked with them I was still the same person, they just didn’t know it.”
Drew said he does not know when he will make a decision in Quaranta’s case.