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Bridgeport Police captain on administrative leave for alleged racist texts

July 30, 2018

BRIDGEPORT — Police Chief Armando Perez’s top aide was placed on administrative leave Monday following accusations the aide sent racist texts regarding another officer.

“Effective immediately, Captain Mark Straubel will be transferred from the chief’s office to administrative leave,” states a memo issued Monday by Perez that was obtained by Hearst Connecticut Media.

Administrative leave is paid leave.

“I can confirm he (Straubel) was put on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Office of Internal Affairs,” said police union president Charles Paris. “We are waiting to see where this goes.”

In one of the texts obtained by Hearst, Straubel states: “I asked (an African-American officer) if he had seen planet of the apes

He said…yes

I asked him if it made him homesick.”

Straubel, who was promoted to captain in 2016, has played an integral part in the running of the police department including writing grant applications. During media interviews, Perez often turns to Straubel for information on department operations.

“On July 26, Chief Perez was notified by Internal Affairs that a citizen’s complaint had been filed by a retired police officer against Captain Straubel of the Bridgeport Police Department. Upon notification of the complaint, in accordance with policy and procedure, Chief Perez has relieved the captain of his duties and placed him on administrative leave pursuant to union contract. The matter is currently under investigation with Internal Affairs,” said a statement released Monday from Rowena White, Mayor Joseph Ganim’s director of communications.

“In light of the sensitive nature of the allegations, I took swift action and immediately sent the captain home and placed him on administrative leave,” Perez said Monday. “ I am assured by the office of Internal Affairs that this matter will be fully and thoroughly investigated. If the allegations are found true and accurate, the captain will be appropriately disciplined.”

Straubel could not be reached for comment. A graduate of the FBI Academy, he made $148,244 in 2016.

Ken Kubel a retired Bridgeport police sergeant who now works for the Stratford Police Department, confirmed that he had made a complaint against Straubel with OIA and as part of that complaint turned over texts that he was not part of and had intercepted. He declined further comment.

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