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State trooper sues superiors over suspension, demotion 

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HARTFORD — A Connecticut State Police master sergeant is suing his superiors, saying he was unjustly demoted and suspended over unproven drunken driving allegations.

Master Sgt. Patrick Torneo filed the lawsuit in federal court earlier this month. He’s seeking reinstatement to lieutenant and an undisclosed amount of damages.

The lawsuit says Middletown police officers found Torneo in his cruiser on the side of a road in April 2013, the morning after he rescued a wounded fellow officer during an active shooting situation in Westbrook. No charges were filed.

Torneo was promoted to lieutenant and awarded a medal for bravery.

The lawsuit says state police later suspended Torneo for five days and demoted him back to master sergeant for the Middletown situation.

State police referred questions to the attorney general’s office, which declined to comment.

Torneo was also the subject of an internal affairs investigation for the arrest of a protestor at a DUI checkpoint, where the protestor’s phone recorded conversation between Torneo and other troopers.

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