Former West Haven police spokesman arrested on 87 counts of forgery
State police arrested former West Haven Police Department spokesman Sgt. David Tammaro Wednesday morning on 87 counts of second-degree forgery related to his use of overtime, the department said in a news release.
Tammaro turned himself in at the state police Troop I barracks in Bethany and was released on a $10,000 non-surety bond and is scheduled to appear in Milford Superior Court on Nov. 13 at 9 a.m., the release said.
Tammaro retired from the police department effective Aug. 17, after spending several months beginning last winter on paid administrative leave. He served as a West Haven police officer for 28 years and as its spokesman for several years.
Tammaro was suspended in late February or early March pending both an internal investigation and a state police investigation into allegations involving his use of overtime, multiple sources have said.
He could not immediately be reached for comment.
The release included Tammaro’s arrest warrant affidavit.
The affidavit says the state police Central District Major Crime Squad was asked by the Milford State’s Attorney Office to investigate on Feb. 22, 2018, after that office received a memorandum from retired police Captain Robert Proto alleging overtime abuse.
Proto “alleged Tammaro falsified hours on overtime slips and forged the signatures of supervisors approving the hours worked,” the affidavit, prepared by Major Crime Square Detective Matthew Geddes, states.
“Proto claimed Tammaro has been committing this type of overtime abuse for several years,” the affidavit says.
As the department’s public information officer and crime prevention officer and as supervisor of its school resource officer and community resource officer programs, Tammaro reported directly to Police Chief John Karajanis, the affidavit states.
Proto, who retired on Feb. 28, 2018, alleged “that Tammaro took advantage of his position as PIO to be paid overtime for hours not worked,” claiming, “Tammaro falsified hours on overtime slips and forged the signatures of the supervisors approving the hours,” the warrant states.
“Proto states for years, multiple members of the police department ... complained about possible overtime abuse by Tammaro” and he approached Chief Karajanis about it at least twice, “but Proto felt the complaints were not formally investigated because Tammaro and Chief John Karajanis are close friends.”
Chief John Karajanis Jr. has been out on medical leave for several months. He could not immediately be reached for comment. Karajanis has not been charged in the case.
Deputy Chief Joseph Perno, who is in charge of the department in Karajanis’ absence, declined to comment, referring questions to state police.