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Former Holmes janitor granted accelerated rehab

Robert Munro

The Darien man who faced breach of peace and lying to police charges has been granted accelerated rehabilitation by the Stamford Superior Court. Robert Munro, 44, of Raymond Street, was also ordered to complete 40 hours of community service after an April incident at Holmes School with a teacher ended with the teacher receiving a hairline fracture to her wrist.

The teacher, Kathleen Verna, was given an opportunity to appeal the decision, but court documents did not include any record of her objection.

Munro was also ordered to pay restitution to Verna, should she have incurred any reimbursable expenses as the result of her injury.

Munro’s lawyer, Chris Bujdud, declined to comment on the case.

Munro, a longtime employee of the Darien school district and a volunteer firefighter, resigned shortly after the incident. Darien Schools had placed him on paid administrative leave before he resigned, said Dr. Stephen Falcone, superintendent. The district’s own investigation concluded that the allegations against Munro were “unsubstantiated,” but Darien Police thought otherwise, and arrested him in August.

“Despite the Board of Education’s conclusion, Verna stated she wanted the incident pursued and that she wanted Munro arrested,” court documents stated.

On April 30, Verna told police that she saw Munro in the hallway of Holmes and told him she hoped summer school would be held at Holmes that year, to which Munro responded, “Don’t ever let me hear you say that again,” according to Verna’s sworn statement. Verna said Munro then grabbed her wrist, and she told him it hurt, at which point he squeezed harder. Eventually he let go, Verna said, and Munro asked if he could see her wrist, at which point he grabbed it, tapped it lightly, and said, “There, is that better?” and walked away, according to Verna.

Munro told police he never grabbed Verna, and agreed to take a lie detector test to prove his innocence. However, on the questions about whether he grabbed her, State Police Det. Brian Narkewicz said “deception was indicated.” While polygraph examinations are rarely admissible in court proceedings, Darien Police arrested Munro, but did not charge him with assault, which is a felony. He was instead charged with misdemeanor breach of peace.

Darien Police Capt. Fred Komm said the breach of peace statute encompasses assaulting or striking another person. Munro gave police a sworn written statement saying he never touched the teacher. Police said this proved to be false, and Munro was later charged for providing a false statement to police.

After the polygraph indicated deception, police said Munro then said he might have run into Verna while walking around a blind corner while carrying paper to the copy room. His earlier statement indicated he never touched her. Nowhere in the report does he ever admit to grabbing Verna.

To successfully complete the accelerated rehabilitation program, Munro must also stay out of trouble until his next court date in June of 2013.

ddesroches@darientimes.com.

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