Newtown State Police Investigation Actually Concluded In September

Jan 2, 2014

Credit State of Connecticut
Attorney Dan Klau
Credit mdmc-law.com

The state police have released the results of their investigation into last year's Newtown shootings. But some remain critical of how long it took them to do so.

Of the thousands of files released late last week, one document says this: The state police actually finished their investigation into the shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on September 18. It was then that they determined that there were no co-conspirators or accessories and that the shooter had committed suicide.

The file goes on to say that the state police then gave their investigation to Danbury State's Attorney Stephen Sedensky, who asked for more investigation. He then used the files to write his summary report, which came out in mid-November. Then, a month later, after redactions were complete, the state police made their file public.

None of that sits well with Dan Klau.

"It bothers me because, first of all, it shows where the log jam was here. It was with the state's attorney for Danbury," Klau said. He's the president of the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government and is a member of the board of the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information. His law firm also represents the governor's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, but he says he's not speaking on the commission's behalf.

"The question is did he have a good reason to prevent that earlier public disclosure?" Klau said. "And I don't think he did. I just do not believe that that summary report that he put together justified keeping this 6,700-page more detailed police report from the public. Especially when there was a commission established by the governor that was dying for information so that it could do its job properly."

But Chief State's Attorney Kevin Kane said Klau's concern is misguided. First, Kane said Sedensky's work simply took the time it needed.

"The state police investigation was complete in September," Kane said. "Attorney Sedensky had to read those reports before he could make a decision finally as to whether any further investigation should be done. That obviously took time. I don't think there was any unreasonable delay whatsoever."

Kane also said he and Sedensky met with the governor's commission early on to help get it information it needed.