What forced Rutland cop off the job? Internal report has answers - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

What forced Rutland cop off the job? Internal report provides answers

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RUTLAND, Vt. -

"He has made the decision to leave the force and retire," lawyer Peter Langrock said.

Langrock says his client, former Rutland City Police Officer Thomas Fuller, left the force on his own. After 27 years, Langrock says Fuller retired for several reasons, including his belief that it is an improperly run department.

"My client is outspoken, a straight-shooter and calls it the way it was. And he was not very happy with what was going on at the Rutland Police department. And I think they went out of their way to go after him," Langrock said.

But for the first time, the Rutland Police department released an internal investigation into Fuller. And it shows a different picture of the officer.

"The report speaks for itself," Rutland City Police Chief James Baker said. "We received an allegation of misconduct that does not fit the values of the Rutland City Police Department and we felt obligated to open up an internal affairs investigation into that conduct."

The investigation focused on two incidents. The first happened in July 2012, when Officer Fuller responded to a disorderly conduct incident on Elm Street that led to Fuller arresting a woman, who investigators believe should not have been arrested. The internal investigation found his story of events did not match up with the cruiser cam video. The officer in charge of the internal investigation wrote that "Officer Fuller is a very angry individual" and should be evaluated for fitness of duty. He said: "I believe in his current emotional state of mind he cannot properly fulfill his obligations to this department or the community."

The investigation also looked into an incident in December at the Rutland Regional Medical Center. It also included a criminal investigation after Officer Fuller allegedly kicked a paramedic in the groin while on duty.

"A friend of his came up behind him and grabbed him and he just kicked back. Nobody was hurt, there was no altercation, but I think the friend was a little bit surprised about how fast his reaction was," Langrock said.

But the RPD's investigation found: "Officer Fuller kicked him in the groin, doubling him over in 'pain' ... Officer Fuller then grabbed him and told him not to do that again and shoved him backward 'violently.'"

Fuller was cleared of any criminal charges, but the IA determined that his conduct was out of line. Since December, he has been on administrative leave, and formally retired Oct. 1. Chief Baker says he recognizes that there has been disorganization in the department in the past, but says that will not be the case for the future.

"We have been focused on rebuilding this police department to build trust in this community, to impact crime in the community and bring a level of trust between us and the community," Baker said.

Baker said he wouldn't get into specifics of Fuller's investigation out of respect and in case of further litigation. When WCAX News asked Fuller's lawyer if he will be suing the department, he said, "He has retired, he is receiving his retirement benefits, and the world moves on."

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