Windsor Locks to decide Robert Koistinen’s payout via town referendum
WINDSOR LOCKS — A public hearing held in Windsor Locks Thursday night to discuss a proposed settlement with former police Sgt. Robert Koistinen is over, and now the issue will come to a vote.
Last week, the town Board of Finance voted unanimously to approve a proposed settlement of $460,000 stemming from a labor grievance filed with the state after an arbitration panel ruled last month that the town wrongfully terminated Koistinen.
Koistinen was terminated after being accused of hampering a 2010 fatal DWI investigation involving his son, former Windsor Locks Police Officer Michael Koistinen. Henry Dang, the 15-year-old victim, died in the crash.
The Dang family then received a settlement in a wrongful death suit.
A jury later acquitted Robert Koistinen of the charges and he sued the town to get his job back. The state found that his termination was not warranted and that he should be entitled to back pay, pension and benefits. However, under the terms of the settlement, Koistinen would resign from the force.
At Thursday night’s meeting, town officials and most neighbors agreed that this settlement was the best move for the town. “The town has moved forward, the police department has made great strides, resolving this issue would allow it to move forward,” said Windsor Locks Police Commission Chairman Michael Royston.
“I think the best thing this town can do at this point is get this behind us and the best way to do that is to let him go. If we keep fighting him in court it’s going to cost us more money than it is now if we pay him off,” said Mary Campbell, a Windsor Locks resident.
A town referendum will be held on Tuesday, March 17 from 12-8 p.m. in the District 1 and District 2 polling places.