The Branford Police Department is investigating recent Facebook posts made by one of their Community Service Officers (CSR).
Paul Kenney, who serves as a CSR in Branford, is also a retired New Haven police officer, made the posts.
The posts, which featured homophobic terms and accusations of bribery directed at Planning and Zoning Commissioners in anger over the Parkside project, were posted to an Infowars-style conspiracy theory page started by resident Wayne Cooke.
Comparing a recent moratorium granted Milford on affordable housing, Kenney wrote that local officials “never even attempted to lift a finger to combat this like Milford and other towns. Just rolled their lazy, fat, gay and weasily asses over, took envelopes and let the out of towners and opposition minority party have their way to destroy our neighborhood and town!”
Kenney has taken to the Cooke conspiracy site many times in anger over the Parkside issue, attacking a long list of town officials.
Regarding the matter, Deputy Chief John Alves stated today that “We have been notified that a Community Service Officer has posted insulting and inappropriate comments to a Facebook page via his personal social media account. We have begun an internal investigation on the matter and it will be addressed appropriately by our agency.”
Kenney’s posts in question have been since removed.
The Parkside project has been contentious, but town officials have largely been handcuffed due to state law regarding Affordable Housing. The applicants for the project have used the law to circumvent significant items that would almost certainly have led to a rejection of the 4-story structure application had the affordable housing statute not been approved.
Towns can apply for a moratorium on the law, but are typically approved after the town has allowed some affordable housing. Because Branford as less that 10% of its housing stock deed restricted as “affordable,” it has become a target of developers using the law s a weapon to circumvent zoning.
The Parkside issue remains in court, as the applicant look to avoid some of the stipulations placed on the project.
The Cooke site has become a gathering place for the disgruntled and often misinformed. Cooke has attacked countless officials of both political parties with a long list of false claims as he remains unable to find a buyer at his asking price for his property.