Police Chief To Pay Cost Of SUV Crash, Gets Reprimand

July 14, 2020 - 11:40 am
Jason Thody

Aaron Kupec/WTIC

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTIC and AP) — Hartford police Chief Jason Thody will pay for the damage he caused to a city vehicle, and a formal reprimand from the mayor will be placed in his personnel file.

Mayor Luke Bronin released a letter on Monday saying Thody must reimburse the city $3,300 for damage from a May 31 crash. Thody hit a guardrail on Route 154 when returning from a marina, and scraped the side of the city-owned Chevrolet Tahoe, the Hartford Courant reported.

Thody reported the incident and the damage, including photographs he took of the vehicle and guardrail, to Harford's chief operation officer, but he did not call the state police as required.

An initial report written by a lieutenant wrongly stated that Thody had called the state police, and that the state police declined to inspect the crash or to issue a case number. Thody later filed a second report attesting that he had not called the state police, and that damage to the vehicle was less than $1,000.

“I accept Mayor Bronin’s discipline, and I am committed to focusing on moving forward and serving our community to the best of my ability,” Thody told the newspaper.

The crash was first reported by a local blog on June 25.

On the day of the crash, another driver called 911 to report a law enforcement vehicle swerving across lanes, before hitting the guardrail. The caller said he thought the driver was intoxicated. Thody denied being under the influence.

In his letter, Bronin wrote he did not think Thody intentionally concealed the crash. “I have no reason to believe the incident was the result of anything other than distracted driving at a time when you were actively responding to city responsibilities," the mayor wrote.

On Monday, the Hartford City Council delayed voting on a resolution calling on Bronin to suspend Thody.