Former Guilford Cop Arrested After Warning Teacher of ‘Hell to Pay,’ For Graduation Pride Display


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GUILFORD – A former Guilford police officer was arrested this week and is facing a charge of misdemeanor breach of peace after emailing school officials to say there would be “hell to pay,” if a teacher displayed “Pride colors” in her hair at high school graduation.

According to an arrest affidavit obtained by CT Examiner, William Maisano sent an email to Guilford High School Principal Julia Chaffe on June 16 – the day of the high school graduation – referencing Regina Sullivan, a health and physical education teacher at the school.

“I am told that Regina Sullivan has seen fit to dye her hair in Pride colors for graduation. I didn’t say a word last year. I’m telling you right now, if I see her dragging her personal politics and sexual preferences into this event there is going to be hell to pay. As a teacher, by law, she will be crossing the line, and so will the school by not shutting this down.”

Sullivan is president of the teachers union at the high school, identifies as lesbian and is the school advisor to the Gender and Sexualities Alliance Club. 

After receiving the email, Chaffe contacted the local police. 

When questioned, Maisano told police he was upset that the political statement would detract from the graduating seniors, but that he did not intend to hurt anyone or disrupt the ceremony, according to the affidavit.  

Sullivan later colored the left side of her hair for graduation.


According to the police report Sgt. Martina Jakober advised Maisano that he should clarify the meaning of his email given a rise in threats related to public events. 

After meeting with Jakober, Maisano emailed Chaffe again, according to the report, stating: “My phrasing was meant as a statement that if she were allowed to make graduation about herself, then I would respond. Not with violence but with media exposure. A faculty member is being allowed to hijack what should be a day just for students. The fact that Regina can’t put aside her politics and sexual preferences for an afternoon should be concerning. No other teacher would behave this way. That was my only point and I am disappointed that you couldn’t recognize that. Unless one of my kids is graduating I don’t even go. For the record, the only violence in Guilford has been committed against people like me and my family. But I think you knew that.”

Sullivan told police that for the first time in 46 years as a Guilford resident she felt unsafe, unwanted, intimidated and threatened because of her sexuality. According to the report, Sullivan told Guilford Police that she had a number of prior run-ins with Maisano. He also filed a Freedom of Information Request regarding the Gender and Sexualities Alliance Club’s fundraising activities for Pride month, according to the report.

Police said the retired officer should have known his word choice would cause alarm and panic. With violence and threats against members of the LGBTQ+ community on the rise, a decision was made to arrest Maisano, according to the affidavit.

Maisano was released on a promise to appear and is scheduled to be arraigned at state Superior Court in New Haven on July 19.

Police Chief Christopher Massey said he couldn’t recall a recent situation where members of the Guilford school system or the LGBTQ+ community have reported being threatened or harassed to police.

“Nothing sticks out to me,” he said.