The Waterbury State's Attorneys Office is seeking authorization to transfer the case of an Avon resident and former Waterbury fire captain facing first-degree larceny and workers' compensation fraud charges from Part B to the Part A division of Waterbury Superior Court.
That is the higher court where cases for more serious crimes are heard, according to court officials.
Michael Farrell, 48, who the Waterbury Fire Department terminated about a week ago as a result of his arrest, did not enter a plea when he appeared before Judge William Bremins at Waterbury Superior Court Monday.
During his appearance, prosecutors said they filed a request to screen Farrell's case for the Part A division. In typical court procedings, judges review the request and discuss it with attorneys from both sides before transferring the case.
Waterbury police charged Farrell on Sept. 7 with from the city of Waterbury after learning that Farrell responded to at least two Avon Volunteer Fire Department calls and taught Connecticut Fire Academy classes at the same time he was excused from work on paid injury leave to recover from a back injury, according to a court affidavit.
Separately, he has had other disciplinary problems at the Waterbury Fire Department, where he has worked for 24 years and been captain since 1998, according to Attorney Kevin Daly Jr. of Waterbury Corporation Counsel's Office, who represents the fire department. Previously, Farrell was suspended twice in Waterbury and given a written warning "all in response to different violations over the years he has been a firefighter," Daly wrote in an email to Patch, citing Farrell's personnel file.
Farrell also has a history of suspensions at the Avon Volunteer Fire Department, where he is facing possible expulsion and has already been recommended for retirement status.
Farrell made little comment during his brief appearance in Waterbury Superior Court but, in the absence of his attorney at the courthourse, asked for his case to be continued to Nov. 5. The judge approved the continuance.
Bremins, upon listening to Temporary State's Attorney Dan Miller request the case be considered for transfer to the higher court, authorized screening Farrell's case for Part A.
Depending on the seriousness of the charges, in Farrell's case two Class B felonies, an attorney, usually the prosecution, can ask for a transfer to the higher court, according to the State's Attorney's Office.
If a judge decides that the charges are serious enough to move the case to Part A, Farrell's next appearance will be on the Part A floor of Waterbury Superior Court on Nov. 5. If not, he will appear in the Part B level of the courthouse on that date.
Attorney Francis Grady, who represents Farrell, was not present Monday and Farrell left quickly, so Patch was not able to get comment from either at the courthouse. Neither was available for comment before publication, but Patch has left phone messages with both Grady and Farrell.