DANBURY -- Police Chief Alan Baker on Thursday blamed a "clerical error" for the omission of the arrest of a federal prison official from the police department's daily log earlier this year.
The chief said a supervisory officer, whose normal duties do not involve approving arrest reports and entering arrests into the log, "simply forgot" to list the name of Maureen Baird, warden at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, when she was charged with drunken driving in April.
The omission came to light earlier this week, when The News-Times reported that Baird, 41, hadn't been arrested in a Jan. 21 one-car rollover accident at Locust and Cleveland streets until Baker received a series of anonymous telephone calls several days later and ordered the crash to be reinvestigated.
The caller claimed a high-ranking law enforcement official had been involved in the accident and "still showed signs of intoxication" when she was released from Danbury Hospital, where she was treated after the accident, according to court documents.
The new investigation revealed that police hadn't spoken to Baird at the hospital, even though one of the officers who responded to the 11:45 p.m. accident observed a bottle of vodka in the car and one of the firefighters who helped extricate Baird from the overturned vehicle reported smelling alcohol.
Hospital records that police obtained as the result of a search warrant as part of the reinvestigation showed Baird had a blood-alcohol level of 0.252, more than three times the legal limit.
She has pleaded not guilty to the drunken driving charge and is due back in court Aug. 1.
Baker said Baird's name has since been entered in the log and he has reaffirmed with all officers the department's responsibility to disclose the identity of everyone charged with a crime.