A U.S. District Court judge released Danbury trash kingpin James Galante from federal detention Friday and let him go home to New Fairfield, where he must stay under strict conditions while his racketeering case is pending.
Judge Ellen Bree Burns warned Galante, owner of Automated Waste Disposal and other companies, that she would not hesitate to order him back to prison if he doesn't follow her conditions.
After putting up his $1.6 million house and two adjacent properties as collateral to post $2 million bail, a smiling but guarded Galante left the courthouse with his wife, Roseanne.
Galante must wear an electronic bracelet and is confined to his house except for emergencies, court appearances and religious reasons.
Since the indictment, Galante has been in custody at a federal detention center in Rhode Island. Lawyer Hugh Keefe had argued he couldn't prepare a defense because his contact with his client was limited.
In a court document made available Friday, prosecutors call Galante "ill-tempered," "volatile," and a "bully," and say they are concerned he will tamper with witnesses or "obstruct justice."
Before making her decision, Burns said she understood the government's concerns.
"But I think I'm going to take that chance," Burns said.
Burns ordered Galante to stay away from any co-defendants in the case or potential witnesses or targets of the investigation. She said he can't possess or have access to a cell phone or computer. A device called a "pen register" should be installed to monitor calls.
Burns said she was worried about the potential for calls from cell phones, which cannot be traced as easily.
Keefe said Galante will have to be responsible for not using any cell phones.
"How are we going to know?" Burns asked.
"There are some things you are going to have to take on faith," Keefe said.
His wife, Roseanne, said she would not keep or allow their children to keep a cell phone in the home. Burns also ordered her to stop any visitors from bringing a cell phone into the house.
Time: 2:37 PM
Good music, good cause
Time: 6:55 PM
Time: Doors at 9:00pm
Where: City Ale House, Main Street, 253 Main Street
9:30pm - Earls of Sandwich
Come and see Bruce Wingate and friends play some dope-ass music! Bruce, as you may or may not know, rose to stardom fronting Adrenalin OD. Don't know the band?
10:30pm - Open jazz/funk jam featuring:
JEN DURKIN of Deep Banana Blackout and Bomb Squad. Note: She just performed with George Clinton! She's known as "Jenny Pipes" -- come see her amazing talent!
PAUL CORTES of Omine on the vocals and keys. Smooth!
PETE WALRATH of Blue makes a very special guest appearance (And takes a break from working his tail off in the Danbury music scene revival!)
Plus tons of other area musicians! If you'd like to chill and jam, bring your instrument and join the fun!
$10 at the door goes to the American Stroke Association and gets you raffle tickets to win a new Gretsch acoustic guitar (maybe if you win Pete will give you a top-notch lesson!), autographed Alice Cooper memorabilia and more! Mrs. B is also offering drink specials! (Can you believe it?!?!)A stroke, also known as a "brain attack", can happen to any person at any time. Typically unable to be prevented or predicted, with regular check ups and monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol levels, doctors are able to take necessary measures if you or someone you love are a candidate for stroke. For further information, please visit www.strokeassociation.org
UPDATE: Post was updated and bumped to the top to show the latest acts that were added to the lineup. Come out and show your support.
We all lose
Time: 8:56 AM
First, the people who are parading up and down the street need a wake up call. Where are the community leaders who can help put a stop to the disruption the celebrations are having on Main Street? I mean, if the parades were done in a way where it didn't cause such a traffic lineup, there probably wouldn't be a problem but this isn't the case. If your going to claim discrimination when Mayor Boughton comes after you over illegal immigration, you would think that you would do everything possible so Boughton wouldn't come after you when he has the support of the community behind him.
What did you think would happen when these parades happened? Did you think Boughton would just ignore the issue? Why didn't the community leaders tackle the problem before the games started? Why didn't anyone try to talk to people after the first parade brought Main Street to a standstill?
Don't give the the cultural differences excuse. This is ridiculous. The traffic caused on Main Street is a problem and if Danbury was populated with Irish, Enghish or German first generation immigrants who ran up and down the street, it would still be a problem.
For the lack of action, the people at City Hall are going to come down on you hard and you have only yourselves to blame.
Oh, don't think I'm giving Boughton or the police department a pass.
Now guys, come on. You knew these parades were going to happen and you knew it was going to be worse than it was on 1994, 1998 and 2002. You should be pros at thsi stuff by now. Since these parades were no surprise to anyone, how is it that the department was caught with their pants down and unprepared to handle the situation on Main Srteet?
Again, here's Mrs. Mitchell talking about the parades and the disruption it causes at the May Common Council meeting. Notice all the politicians in attendence (I'm almost positive the chief of police was in attendance also).
Now, this was back in May. There was a permit requirement proposal introduced to address this issue. Given these facts, the Mayor, Common Council, and Chief Baker knew well in advance that the parades would happen during the World Cup Games.
Where was the plan to tackle the issue before it got out of hand? Why was the first and second parades allowed to get so out of control?
If you know (for a fact) that something is going to happen that is going to be a problem in Danbury (and you dealt with it in the past), you would think that the leaders at City Hall and the police department would have some type of plan in place to address the issue. This wasn't the case and the people who live and travel on Main Street were the big losers.
For those who don't live in Danbury, you might say to youself "what's the problem?" Well, here is a silent video of traffic in Danbury on a normal Saturday on North Street (I was going to use this footage in my report on traffic but it seems good to use it in this post).
Now, if this is level of traffic is on North Street on a normal day, imagine the traffic on Main Street during rush hour with people celebration a World Cup game.
Now, I'm not taking any sides on this nonsense. I'm just asking the question...where was the leadership on both sides when we needed it. The lack of communication between both parties is contributing to the problem and if both sides worked together, this probably never would of happened.
In the end, we all lose. Tensions between the mayor and immigrant leaders will rise again, the tax-payers will pay for the overtime, and unfortunately, racial tensions will increase with the temperature.
Flashback video: parade permit ordinance
Time: 10:15 PM
Here's Margaret Mitchell commenting on the parade requirement ordinance proposal at the Common Council meeting back in May 2006. Now, unfortunately, I missed Lynn Waller's unhinged rant on the subject as she spoke before Mrs. Mitchell (who is a wonderful woman and I hope she finally gets her ditch...it's a long story).
Anyway, this isn't about Mrs. Mitchell (who actually has some valid points), it's more about the real reason this ordinance came into existence at this time.
Watch and listen.
Like I said, I was unable to get the other people who talked at the meeting but all had something to say about the permit requirement ordinance and centered their comments around noise the immigrants made during the world cup celebrations.
Now think about it.
1. The world cup games Mrs. Mitchell talked about was in 1994 which means this was a "problem" in 1998 as well as 2002. Why wasn't this issue addressed back then?
2. This permit requirement ordinance proposal came into existence two month before the start of the 2006 World Cup games. Since the proposal was sent to an ad-hoc committee, it would take some time before the proposal came to a vote because the council meets monthly. The World Cup games started in June while the proposal was in an ad-hoc committee. Coincidence?
3. Mayor Boughton issues a statement blasting the World Cup parades and mentions the permit requirement ordinance in Wednesday's News-Times article. Coincidence?
The whole proposal was a setup from the beginning and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to connect the dots. The moment I heard about this proposal, I said "great timing" and knew that this proposal centered around the parades which occur during the World Cup games. The parades were sure to create an outrage as the celebrations clog up Main Street and can bring traffic to a standstill. When the people start complaining, the people at City Hall can say "hey, we have this proposal in committee that will solve all the problems. Show your support, write letters to the editor, speak out on the subject at the next Common Council meeting and show your support, call into local radio and public access shows, yada, yada, yada."
Next thing you know, the powers that be can say, hey, this is what the people want and bang, the bill passes. Democrats would be put into a corner because they would be seen as weak on this issue and out of touch with the emotional response of the public. The Republicans would use this to their full advantage because they can turn around and say that the Democrats are giving us a hard time with this proposal. Checkmate.
Now, if this ordinance was presented earlier (lets say last fall), people wouldn't give it a second thought. We live in a fast-food society and people forget things as soon as the 30 second sound bite is completed. Since the timing of the proposal was setup perfectly, people on the Common Council who are in support of the measure will have the anger of the "short attention span" public behind them (ah, I can see Pauline Basso holding up a News-Times article right now).
Remember, this is your local government at work and this is politics 101 at it's best.
Time: 2:55 PM
Unfortunately, I coulnd't attend Pascarella's meet and greet at the Broadview school last night or else I would provide video of the event. Hopefully, I'll be able to interview Pascarella in the future.
Who didn't see this coming
Time: 11:56 AM
In a radical shift in strategy, the mayor said Tuesday night he has ordered an aggressive police crackdown on exuberant Brazilian soccer fans who have celebrated World Cup wins in recent weeks with parades through the center of the city.Remember that ad hoc committee I talked about a while back. Now, look at this comment by the mayor last night.
The police response for the next game, scheduled for Saturday afternoon, will be the most aggressive the city has seen since the soccer tournament began June 9.
It comes as a Danbury police officer was nearly struck Tuesday as he directed traffic at a Main Street crosswalk. The driver of the car involved in the incident was among 16 people cited by police that day.
Most tickets were for infractions such as driving without a seat belt and for passengers hanging out of cars. Twelve cars involved in Tuesday's parade were towed, police said.
In announcing the heightened response, Mayor Mark Boughton said the city will use overtime to pay extra officers.
"The behavior is not going to be tolerated," Boughton said. "We are going to discourage people from disrupting the normal course of business on Main Street."
The city's Common Council is considering a measure that would make illegal the sort of parades that have created gridlock several times this month.You seeing the big picture here?
This year is the first time Danbury has been forced to confront the Cup-related parades, and the shifting strategies announced Tuesday night are a signal the police department is struggling to punish participants without having the legal authority to criminalize the parades themselves.
Until the Council acts on the measure, the new no-tolerance police effort is a temporary move to stem soccer celebrations that have gotten out of control, Boughton said.
The World Cup happens every four years and it's not like these celebrations didn't happen four (or eight) years ago. Also, people (i.e. Mrs. Mitchell, Lynn Waller) have complained about the celebrations and made their concerns known to the Common Council four years ago and at the May 2nd Common Council meeting...the very same meeting when the parade permit ordinance was conveniently introduced in advance of the World Cup tournament. Now, one would think that the celebrations happening today would come to no surprise to the police department or city hall since at least two local political junkies talked about it at the May 2nd meeting, right?
Mayor Boughton and the Common Council knew that the parades were going to happen and yesterday's comment from the mayor was as predictable as the sun rising in the morning. It's no coincidence that this ordinance proposal was introduced in May as the outrage from the public over the celebrations would assist in getting this ordinance pass in the Council. In other words, the celebrations, and the outrage from the people, were predictable which is exactly why the proposal was introduced back in May (as opposed to any other time).
This whole "parade permit" thing was all well-thought out by the mayor and supporters of the bill and I’ll explore this in greater detail later.
The News-Times taking a page out of my playbook
Time: 6:03 PM
Not too bad. I would recommend not using a digital camera for capturing video and using a video camcorder instead. If you guys need any help, shoot me an email.
Time: 1:10 PM
I almost forgot...this week marks the 1st anniversary of this site.
I'd like to thank the 10,000+ people who visited this site in the last year. I never thought this blog would be as popular as it is among people in the state but I guess it's safe to say that many of you are very interested in what's happening in Danbury.
I want also like to thank those former Danbury residents from around the globe who read my site daily. I enjoy reading their emails of support and I promise to provide the best coverage of events and issues that are happening in Danbury.
For our next year, you'll see changes to this site as I'll be doing more in-depth reporting which will include more video interviews and highlights from various City Hall meetings.
Between this site and ConnecticutBLOG, there have been over 150,000 visits from people who are searching for information that they can't get through the mainstream media. Hopefully, I've assisted in providing you with the news that you can't get from reading the News-Times or watching Channel 8 and I promise that the quality and amount of reporting will not only improve, but be more extensive.
Again, thanks to all. If it wasn't for you guys, I wouldn't be writing this blog.
Come and meet Dr. Sal Pascarella
Time: 8:00 PM
Danbury school district, will have a meet and greet on Tuesday June 27th at 7:30 at the Broadview School.
Everyone should attend...
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