A former police sergeant who pleaded guilty to was formally sentenced Wednesday at state Superior Court in Danbury to 10 years in prison, suspended after serving six months, and three years' probation.
According to a report in the Danbury News-Times, former police sergeant Domenic Costello, 34, of Stratford, must also pay full restitution to the victims. He was reportedly given the same punishment as former officer Andrew Stinson, a co-defendant in the case who was sentenced last week.
Costello's formal sentencing was continued to Wednesday so court officials could clear up a discrepancy over how much money he still owed the union, according to the News-Times report.
As reported on Newtown Patch, Costello and Stinson were arrested in 2010 on charges that included multiple counts of first-degree larceny. They were accused of withdrawing for their own personal use more than $90,000 each from the police union bank and investment accounts over the course of several years.
The alleged thefts were first uncovered in October 2010 after members of the police department began asking questions about union finances only to discover the accounts were nearly fully depleted. The union funds came from a mix of dues, donations, and investment income dating to the start of the local department, which was chartered in 1971.
Stinson, who at the time was a nine-year department veteran, and Costello, a seven-year veteran, were respectively the president and treasurer of the union. In their positions, they had access to the union's bank and investment accounts.
The scandal rocked the close-knit police department, particularly because prior to the scandal, Stinson and Costello were well-liked among their peers and considered exemplary members of the force. They resigned their positions in late 2010.
At the time of their arrests, both officers reportedly told investigators that they had "borrowed" the money from police union accounts and that they had intended to pay it back.
[Editor's note: This article has been updated to correct information wrongly and inaccurately attributed to the Newtown Bee.]