A State Police Lieutenant has filed a second complaint alleging workplace harassment and discrimination, this time by a Captain who supervises him and who he says is retaliating for his previous allegations against a top civilian aide to Commissioner James Rovella.
Lt. Adam Rosenberg filed a formal complaint with the agency’s Internal Affairs Unit this week that claims Capt. Kenneth Cain’s hostile treatment stems from Rosenberg’s earlier accusation that civilian political appointee Scott DeVico discriminated against him because he is Jewish.
DeVico is currently under investigation by state officials for sending an email to other agency personnel in May that was titled “Inbred Jews” – a subject line DeVico claims was created by his cell phone’s email auto-correct feature when he typed in “Interview.”
Rosenberg, a trooper for 15 years who holds multiple supervisory positions, is one of only a handful of Jewish heritage on the force.
Sources requesting anonymity given the ongoing investigation say the Connecticut Anti-Defamation League – which investigates allegations of anti-Semitism and to whom Rosenberg also complained – recently met with Rovella and DeVico to discuss the incident.
Rosenberg claims Cain is seeking to appease DeVico because they are friends and due to the role DeVico played in Cain’s recent promotion to a supervisory position over Rosenberg in the agency’s Office of Field Operations.
“I am being harassed by Capt. Cain about my work product which previously has been outstanding,” Rosenberg said in the 3-page complaint, obtained independently by CT Examiner. “Capt. Cain ridicules, harasses, belittles and demeans my work regardless of what I do. This horrible treatment is in retaliation for my complaint against Scott DeVico, my complaint against his anti-Semitic racist remarks and Jewish hate speech. Both of them have now created a work environment that is now toxic for me.”
He said DeVico and other civilian executive staff also routinely treated him in a derogatory fashion due to his unusual placement in charge of a complicated computer system changeover that he was assigned to supervise and deliver due to his extensive private sector and military experience in such operations.
A request for comment on Rosenberg’s complaint against Cain and the status of the DeVico investigation sent Tuesday to Cain, Rovella, and the agency’s top commander Col. Stavros Mellekas drew this response from the department’s media-relations office:
“We were informed a complaint was filed, it has been referred to Internal Affairs. We do not speak on any open and active investigations.”
The statement also said that the DeVico investigation is being handled by the Department of Administrative Services, which serves as the state’s human-resources agency, among other functions.
DeVico has previously told CT Examiner that “I look forward to fully cooperating with the investigation.”
Also among the examples of mistreatment by Cain cited in Rosenberg’s complaint is his refusal to grant Rosenberg compensatory time for working this “entire” past July 4th weekend to assist and direct troopers dealing with a heavy volume of calls and incidents.
Rosenberg said that as commander of four barracks in Eastern Connecticut, he is required to work in those “emergency” situations.
He said Cain “told me that I need to ask his approval prior to working” even though there was no such order in place and that the two had spoken by phone during the weekend without any mention of the issue.
“A lack of supervision could lead to harm of any one of my employees at over 4 barracks across the state and 2 units at headquarters,” Rosenberg said in the complaint. “I told the Executive Command that I will not abide by any order which endangers my employees or staff and prevents me from working to help them and keep them safe.”
Cain also took no action when Rosenberg complained to him about the DeVico incident, he says, despite his assurance that he would.
While Rovella and other top staff have not commented on the probe into DeVico’s email, sources within the agency say that representatives of the Connecticut Anti-Defamation League recently met with Rovella and DeVico at state police headquarters in Middletown.
Rosenberg provided CT Examiner with an email sent to him from ADL’s Incident Response unit that says “ADL remains deeply concerned by the incident you reported to us, and we have shared our concerns with the Connecticut State Police on several occasions, as well as urged an independent investigation (which we understand will now take place). We hope this information is helpful to you. ADL will certainly continue to monitor the status of the investigation and respond as appropriate.”