REMEMBER What's important IS NOT the case. In fact, people get somewhat confused when talking about the case as there are TWO cases...the deportation case (which is in appeal) and the MORE important CIVIL case.
In short, what is at issue (in my opinion) and Mayor Boughton's history of misleading the public and overstepping his grounds as an elected official. I stated at the beginning of this episode that I woudl keep a VERY close eye on what happens from the arrest as I knew it would expose the mindset of Boughton and his supporters at City Hall and I've been proven correct.
It's not the case that matters, it's the statements Mayor Boughton made in regards to the arrest of the day laborers that are at issue and, if the civil case goes forward, could place him into an embarrassing situation where he could be called to testify (which could be devastating). Remember, Boughton claimed in numerous interviews to the media back in December of 2006 that DANBURY HAD NO ROLE IN THE OPERATION THAT RESULTED IN THE ARREST OF THE DAY LABORERS ON KENNEDY PARK. It wasn't until the lawyers representing the day laborers won their FOI lawsuit against the city of Danbury was it shown that an UNDERCOVER DANBURY POLICE OFFICER drove the van that picked up the day laborers. This is a direct contradiction from the previous statements from the mayor and as of today, Boughton refuses to talk about the what he said back in December of '06.
Why is this important?
This is important because Boughton has a history of misleading or OUTRIGHT lying to the public in areas where criticism and/or questions of wrongdoing can be pointed to him. As we reach the beginning of the State of Connecticut illegal campaign contribution case against James Galante (where bundled donations were made to Mark Boughton, State Senator David Cappiello, and former disgraced State Senator Lou DeLuca) hopefully, we'll be able to expose another case of misleading the public from the mayor.
AGAIN: It's not the case...it's Boughton's record of misleading the public. Keep your eye on the CIVIL case...
Originally posted in 10/07
This is serious.
This is no joke.
This is not about one's view on immigration.
This is about an over-zealous mayor who has once again, used the topic of immigration for political purposes.
This is about the local media KNOWING that the mayor mislead the public YET won't challenge the mayor on his previous statements.
This is about residents having to read news accounts from other mainstream media outlets to get the real story.
This is about honesty.
This is about integrity.
This is about trust.
This is about competence.
• In December, Mayor Boughton (who had no problem talking about the incident) was repeatedly quoted in the media as stating that Danbury was not involved in the raid that occurred last September.
• Documents finally released in April by a FOIA request shows that a booking report lists the arresting officer as a Danbury Police official.
• A court brief by the Department of Homeland Security states that a undercover Danbury Police officer was the individual who drove the vehicle used to pick up the day-laborers.
• Also included in the FOIA release to the Yale Law students were a series of over overtime slips from Danbury Police officers.
• Until two weeks ago, the public was under the impression that Danbury played no part in the raids. NOW, one year after the raids and ten months after Mayor Boughton made his initial statement about Danbury's non-involvement in the raids, The Fairfield Weekly quotes a News-Times article that states Chief Al Baker "explaining that the arrests were initially made because of complaints about the day laborers' effects on traffic and that Danbury police did drive the van."
• Once having no problem talking about the incident (and hurling insults at the Yale Law Students), NOW Mayor Boughton refuses to comment on the details of the raid.
• Mayor Boughton's action has placed the city in a MAJOR constitutional lawsuit, which will cost the city more money than I care to think about.
The story is Boughton misleading the public about Danbury's role in the raids.
If Boughton mislead the public about the September raid, what else did he misleading us about?
For instance, here are some quotes from the last honest man in Danbury regarding the use of local police to enforce immigration laws:
Hartford Courant, April 26 2006.
Most local police departments say they have no interest in arresting illegal immigrants who have not committed crimes. Even in Danbury, when Mayor Mark Boughton last year tried unsuccessfully to have state police enforce immigration law, he said he didn't want his police doing it because it could discourage immigrants from cooperating in criminal investigations.
New York Times 05.25.05
It will begin at Kennedy Park, where the crowds of Hispanic men who gather before dawn to find work as day laborers helped prompt Mayor Mark D. Boughton to ask that the state police be deputized to enforce federal immigration laws.
Now, while members of Danbury's Common Council continue to draft a ''repetitive outdoor activity'' ordinance to restrict volleyball by cracking down on parking and noise, among other things, the mayor says deputizing the state police may not be necessary, that the police may have enough remedies without becoming immigration agents.
Hartford Courant 05.07.05
Lost in the hubbub is the political reality that having state police enforce immigration law in Connecticut is unlikely to happen anytime soon, if ever. And even Boughton acknowledges that his plan would have little effect on the number of undocumented immigrants in town.
Blumenthal responded to Boughton's request by saying it would need the approval of Gov. M. Jodi Rell, Public Safety Commissioner Leonard Boyle and the state legislature.
Blumenthal said there is no chance of that happening this year and he has "serious reservations" about the proposal.
"Deputizing local or state police is not a long term or fundamental solution to the problem," he said.
Although Boughton wants state police to enforce immigration law, he is not interested in Danbury police having the same authority, for fear it would cripple their ability to investigate other crimes.
"The same is true, to an even greater extent, for the state police," Blumenthal said.
Something to think about when Boughton, and the shameless Republican leadership, take the first steps towards local police enforcing immigration enforcement tomorrow.
Now onto more serious matters that goes to the heart of Boughton's character...the mayor's misleading statements to the public in regards to the city's role in Danbury 11 case:
Hartford Courant 12.14.06
A group of students at Yale Law School is expected to file suit today in federal court in a bid to find out how Homeland Security put together its sting on Sept. 19. The students want to know what role Danbury played in the operation and if the policies guiding the department's Immigration and Customs Enforcement arm may be unconstitutional. Their inquiry began with a request under the federal Freedom of Information Act. "We asked nicely," said Simon Moshenberg, a second-year student from Washington, D.C. "They didn't answer. We sued."
In an interview Wednesday, Boughton insisted that immigration police acted alone. They notified Danbury police this summer that they'd be making some arrests this fall but offered no other details, he said.
Television reports on Danbury 11 case: 12.06
Channel 8: Boughton said the city played no part in the September 19th action...
Channel 30: He [Boughton] said the city was not involved in the planing of the raid...
Fairfield Weekly last week (before Boughton was slapped with a lawsuit):
A year ago, eleven Ecuadorian day laborers were sneakily apprehended in Danbury's Kennedy Park by Immigration and Customs Enforcement with help from some men pretending to be contractors. They had some hard hats, a van and, according to recently uncovered information, a few Danbury police badges.
Why were the local cops assisting in a federal sting? Well, according to remarks from Danbury mayor Mark Boughton last December, they weren't. He repeatedly said the city played no role in the ICE raid.
Simon Moshenberg, a Yale Law Student representing the "Danbury 11" in a federal court case that began Monday, received the booking report for the arrests after placing a FOIA request. Under "arresting officer," was the name "Lolli," which turns out to be the name of a Danbury police officer. The Danbury News-Times quotes Chief Al Baker explaining that the arrests were initially made because of complaints about the day laborers' effects on traffic and that Danbury police did drive the van. The department chose not to further comment on their involvement when approached by the Weekly.
Boughton elaborated in an e-mail that "the city provided logistical support to ICE," which is "common" and "does not mean that the Danbury PD planned, organized or carried out the raid." He stands by his comments from December.
Interview with Simon Moshenberg, a Yale Law Student representing the "Danbury 11" in a federal court.
1.: Information obtained from the FOI request shows Danbury police officer as the arresting officer on booking report.
2. According to defense attorney Simon Moshenberg, in brief to the court, the Department of Homeland Security states that DANBURY POLICE OFFICERS were the ones disguised as contractors and driving the van used to pick up the day laborers. This is contrary to statements Boughton made to the press in December and the city of Danbury has not issued an official response in any legal proceedings regarding DHS's statement.
Video highlights of what we knew then about Danbury's role in the raid versus what we know now.
When you think of leadership, you think of an individual with certain characteristics such as honesty, integrity, trust, and competence. As more details of this case emerge and more people are informed about the Boughoton's conflicting comments, it's going to be increasingly difficult to apply these characteristics to the mayor.