HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s chief of staff has asked state police to be more selective about giving public speeches on the Newtown school shooting.
Chief of Staff Mark Ojakian recently asked state police to “take a deliberative approach” when deciding whether to attend law enforcement conferences and discuss the December massacre of 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Malloy spokesman Andrew Doba said Wednesday.
The governor and state lawmakers expressed frustration earlier this year after learning that the state police commander, Col. Daniel Stebbins, discussed the case at a seminar in New Orleans while police were releasing few details back home. Lawmakers said in March that they were upset because they were trying to draft legislation in response to the killings and had repeatedly asked, without success, for information from state police.
Ojakian’s request was first disclosed by The Hartford Courant, which also reported Tuesday that state police officials canceled speeches about the school shooting that were scheduled for this week at conferences in Anaheim, Calif., and Dallas.
State police officials didn’t return messages from The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Two state police lieutenants, David Delvecchia and William Baldwin, had been scheduled to give a keynote address titled “Active Shooters: Lessons from Sandy Hook and Beyond” on Wednesday in Anaheim at the annual Threat Management Conference presented by the Association of Threat Assessment Professionals and Los Angeles police, according to an online brochure for the event.
Delvecchia and Baldwin canceled their appearance “due to responsibilities on cases back home,” association meetings and membership specialist Elizabeth Cardwell wrote in an email to the AP Wednesday.
FBI agent Andre Simons, who was scheduled to speak with Delvecchia and Baldwin about the school shooting, was still expected to give his speech, Cardwell said.
Delvecchia and state police Sgt. Joshua Pattberg also backed out of being keynote speakers Thursday in Dallas at the Crimes Against Children Conference sponsored by the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center and Dallas police, the Courant reported. But a Newtown police sergeant, David Kullgren, remained on the program for the same conference for a speech titled “Responding to the Active Shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.”
The conference appearances were canceled as state police continue working on the much-anticipated final report on the Newtown school shooting. State officials announced last week that the report, which they initially said would be done by the summer, won’t be ready until sometime in the fall.
In March, the New York Daily News published a column, citing an unnamed police officer, reporting that Stebbins discussed the Newtown case at a law enforcement seminar in New Orleans. The column said Stebbins revealed there was evidence suggesting that the shooter, Adam Lanza, studied other mass slayings and planned extensively for his rampage.
At the time, Malloy said he was “disappointed and angered” to learn that Stebbins had “leaked” information about the case that the victims’ families may not have heard before. But Ojakian later said Malloy stood by Stebbins, who wasn’t disciplined.
Lanza, 20, fatally shot his mother, Nancy Lanza, at their Newtown home before the school shooting and killed himself as police arrived at the school. The motive for the shooting remains unclear.