In February 2019, Rutland County State’s Attorney Rose Kennedy wrote a disclosure letter about Rutland Detective Jimmy Plakas that stated he had written an affidavit about a struggle between a fellow officer and a man in custody in May 2018. The detective stated the man’s hands were free, although video of the incident showed the man was in handcuffs.
Kennedy expressed her doubts about Plakas when the RCPD submitted Plakas as a possible death scene investigator. According to an email send by Rutland City Attorney Matt Bloomer, Plakas’ name has been withdrawn.
The email, dated Nov. 6, was obtained through a public records request sent to the Rutland County State’s Attorney’s Office.
The incident that led to the letter, known as a “Giglio disclosure,” was described in an affidavit, written by Plakas, after the arrest of Kevin J. Regimbald, who was 39 at the time, of Shrewsbury. Regimbald was arraigned in Rutland criminal court to misdemeanor counts of giving a false alarm to emergency responders, giving false information to police officers and resisting arrest.
The affidavit, written by Plakas, said Regimbald had reported he had been shot at a Rutland bar downtown, although he had never left his home on the day he called for help.
The affidavit stated Regimbald had attempted to fight with Sgt. Adam Lucia while he was being placed in a holding cell. Plakas’ affidavit described Regimbald as having pulled his arm back in an attempting to put his arm behind his back.
However, in an email sent to RCPD Chief Brian Kilcullen on March 1, 2019, Kennedy stated when she watched video of the incident, she noted Plakas was holding what she said, “I assume to be the handcuff key” in his left hand which she said she believed was a reason Plakas should have known Regimbald was still in handcuffs.
The records about the incident said Regimbald had since died. Kennedy said her recollection was that he died after resolving the charge from which her office had dismissed the resisting arrest charge.
The Giglio disclosure was sent to all defense attorneys in the Rutland County bar. Kennedy said by sending it, she was upholding the law.
“The accuracy of police officers’ affidavits and testimony is of vital importance to the pursuit of justice. A police officer’s affidavit is the basis for a criminal charge, and in some instances, to jail a person until trial. Authoring such an affidavit represents a life-changing power, and with that power comes a corresponding obligation for accuracy,” Kennedy wrote in an email.
In a letter to Kennedy dated Oct. 1, 2018, Kilcullen told Kennedy the RCPD, by policy, reviews all “response to resistance” events. Looking at the Regimbald incident, the conclusion was that Lucia had acted appropriately.
Lucia, still a sergeant at the RCPD, was given a warning on Aug. 23, 2019, because he had reviewed Plakas’ affidavit before it was submitted. The warning was issued because of Lucia’s “lack of thoroughness” before approving of the affidavit.
According to Kilcullen, Plakas, who became a detective in June, is still in that position for the RCPD, but department officials are seeking a meeting with Kennedy to find out what steps the department can take to find him a new position that would allow him to continue at the RCPD as a sworn officer.
“The mistakes and errors that have occurred are matters that need to be addressed by the department and are addressed by the department. (Kennedy’s) role is entirely different than my role but at the same time, enhanced communication, I think, gets us to a place where we both need to be,” Kilcullen said.
He pointed out the incident with Regimbald had happened more than two years ago and there had not been similar complaints made against Plakas.
Kilcullen said he valued a strong relationship between a police force and prosecutors. The state’s attorney expressed a similar sentiment.
“RCPD is a big department with many diligent, thoughtful and caring law enforcement officers who hold themselves to the highest standards. The work of fostering and institutionalizing those high standards is a task that everyone interested in a more just criminal justice system should adopt. To that end, I am in regular contact with stakeholders from around the community and throughout the state, working, within my role, to improve our response to crime,” she said.
Kennedy said Thursday she has received new information since she first wrote the Giglio disclosure and expected she would update and modify it.
Similarly, Kennedy informed the Rutland City Police Department in August that her office would no longer prosecute cases sent by Detective Emilio Rosario after inaccuracies were found in three of his affidavits.