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Boughton can't be reached for comment?!?

Sunday, April 25, 2010
Time: 7:00 PM

Due to additional information provided to me which is absent in Dirk Perrefort's GOD-AWFUL article regarding this case, this post is bumped to the top. More details (and new questions) in this case will be provided soon.

Too busy running for governor to answer questions?

As residents of Danbury learn that they just coughed up a mind-blowing 450,000 dollars to settle an embarrassing lawsuit, lets go back in time and take a look at the allegations filed by the plaintiffs.
Allegations that city officials failed to follow their own rules when hiring firefighters could result in nearly 40 of the city's fire-fighting staff -- almost a third of the 118-member department -- losing their jobs.


The lawsuit claims that an examination held for firefighter applicants in 2005 was invalid because the city's rules weren't followed. As a result, according to Maurer, all of the firefighters hired from that examination could lose their jobs.

Maurer filed the lawsuit in 2007 after several applicants complained that they were passed over for positions even though they scored better than some of the firefighters who were eventually hired.


Maurer said the test, which was held in August 2005, is invalid for several reasons, including that Mayor Mark Boughton never formally filed a "request for personnel" with the Civil Service Commission before the exam was scheduled.

There were other procedures as required by city ordinance that also weren't followed, she said.

Maurer said the Common Council appointed firefighters at the mayor's request in October 2005 before an official list of candidates had been approved by the commission. She added that a short list of the six top candidates, typically sent to the mayor to select appointees from, was never created.

According to city records, the commission approved of a candidate list on Oct. 19, 2005 -- more than one week after the Common Council appointed six firefighters at Boughton's request on Oct. 4, 2005.

Maurer said there were also firefighters appointed in February 2008, months after the list had expired in October 2007.

Even more damaging were these allegations...
The lawsuit also alleges that several firefighters were hired because of their relationship to people in positions of authority.

The lawsuit states that Michael Finn Jr., the son of Civil Service Commission chairman Michael Finn Sr., was hired by the department in February 2008. He was originally ranked 108th on the list of candidates, according to the filing.

The attorney for the plaintiffs added that Patrick Heron was hired by the department in March 2007 and was related by an "impending marriage" to former Fire Chief and current Common Council member Phil Curran. Heron was originally ranked 40th on the candidate list.

Here's what the Danbury's last honest man had to say about the allegations back in 2009.
We will continue to categorically reject the allegations made in the complaint and defend our positions," Boughton said. "I have faith in our process and I have faith in the people we hired.

Well, that was then, and this is now...
The city has agreed to pay out $450,000 and hire two men as firefighters as part of a settlement reached in a three-year-old lawsuit.

The five men who filed the suit claimed they were passed over for positions in the city's fire department because of mistakes that were made in the city's civil service program when an eligibility list was created in 2005.

"In defending the litigation, the city of Danbury did discover that some administrative errors were made in compiling that list," a statement released Wednesday on the settlement said.

Although the judge ruled back in Feb that there wasn't enough evidence to support some of the counts in the plaintiff's lawsuit, nonetheless, the fact that the city settled AND admitted to wrongdoing should trouble residents of Danbury who are now on the hook for the 450,000 price tab.

And what about our mayor who said that t6he city "categorically reject the allegations made in the complaint and defend our positions." Unfortunately, I guess our mayor is too busy running across the state running for governor to answer any questions from the media regarding why the city decided to settle as opposed to "defend our positions."
Mayor Mark Boughton could not be reached for comment Wednesday despite several attempts.

In honor of the last honest man's incognito status, lets go back in time and see what else Boughton said about the lawsuit when he was confronted about the case...

Someone at city hall just cost the people of Danbury 450,000 dollars and Boughton is too busy to answer Dirk Perrefort's call to his cell phone?!?

That being said, because of the high degree of allegations in this lawsuit that are still unanswered, the given the fact that the city has admitted to "wrongdoing" without stating any specifics, someone should remind Perrefort that as a reproter, he has a responsibility to go beyond recycling words in a simple press release and inform the public why they're on the hook for this settlement. While we're at it, someone should explain to our full-time candidate for governor that, as the chief elected official in Danbury, he has an obligation to the public to answer questions regarding this lawsuit, not just ignore his phone.

Here's a small list of questions that the News-Times' Perrefort failed to ask in his article, which should be of significance to taxpayers who have to foot the bill for someone's negligence:

  • If the city admitted wrongdoing, then who in particular screwed up?

  • How is the hiring process being fix?

  • Are the same people who screwed things up, now the same ones responsible for fixing the system?

  • What about this part of the plaintiff's complaint.
    The lawsuit states that Michael Finn Jr., the son of Civil Service Commission chairman Michael Finn Sr., was hired by the department in February 2008. He was originally ranked 108th on the list of candidates, according to the filing.

    The attorney for the plaintiffs added that Patrick Heron was hired by the department in March 2007 and was related by an "impending marriage" to former Fire Chief and current Common Council member Phil Curran. Heron was originally ranked 40th on the candidate list.

    Was there nepotism involved in the hiring of the firefighters? Are the people responsible for the admitted wrongdoing still employed by the city?

  • Is Mike Finn Sr. still on the payroll at City Hall? If he's not on the payroll, then doesn't the city have an obligation to the public to come forward and explain why's he's been removed from his role at Civil Service?

    What was current Former Fire Chief and currant City Councilman Phil Curran's involvement in the case? If the city's admittance of wrongdoing is in anyway connected to Curran, then shouldn't he be pressured to resign from the city council?

  • Did the city's admittance of wrongdoing have anything to do with anything with the mayor's involvement in this case?

Remember, WE the taxpayers are forking over 450,000 DOLLARS because someone screwed up. Boughton is the person who gave his blessing to this settlement and has a responsibility to take a moment from his fledgling gubernatorial campaign to answer questions.

...he is the mayor right?

Someone should remind Boughton that as MAYOR the buck stops with him; therefore he has a responsibility to inform the public regarding the numerous allegations raised in this lawsuit that are still unanswered. We're only talking about 450,000 DOLLARS (minus legal fees and other goodies). In light of the mayor nickel-and-diming the education portion of the budget, I wonder who many teachers jobs could be saved with 450,000 dollars.

Unfortunately, unlike the high standard of investigative journalism, which is commonplace in such papers as the Hartford Courant, in Danbury, we're stuck with reporters like Perrefort who feel that when it comes to reporting about the mayor, a simple regurgitation of a vague press release is more than sufficient.


posted by ctblogger at 7:00 PM | Permalink|


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On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.

The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.

Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.

Plaintiffs request declaratory relief, damages and attorneys fees.



Danbury Area Coalition for the Rights of Immigrants v.
U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security
3:06-cv-01992-RNC ( D. Conn. )

(02.25.08) Court docket

(10.24.07) Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Emergency Motion for Protective Order

(09.26.07) Press Release

(12.14.06) Complaint

Barrera v. Boughton, No. 07-01436
(D. Conn. filed Sept. 26, 2007)

(02.25.08) Court Docket

Amended complaint

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss State Law Claims

Plaintiffs' Opposition to Motion to Dismiss

Order on Motion to Dismiss

Defendants' Answer to Amended Complaint

NEW HAVEN REGISTER: Immigrant's 2006 arrest was flawed Danbury mayor testifies

(10.05.07 (VIDEO) Boughton mislead the public about Danbury's involvement in raid

(09.18.07) Yale Law Students expose Danbury involvement in raid

(12.14.06) VIDEO: Interview with Yale Law Students at FOI presser

(12.14.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 FOI complaint media roundup

City Clerk Jean Natale standing next to skinhead sparks outrage

(10.03.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 rally

(09.29.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 case deepens

Word of raid spread across the country

(09/29/06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 protest news conference

(09/29/06) Immigrant newspaper "El Canillita" gives best account of ICE day labor raid at Kennedy Park

trans_button Santos Family Story
VIDEO: Tereza Pereira's ordeal with ICE agents

VIDEO: Danbury Peace Coalition Immigration Forum (April 2006)
featuring Mayor Boughton and Immigration attorney Philip Berns

VIDEO: 2007 Stop the Raids immigration forum at WCSU

2007: Community protest anti-immigration forum

A tribute to Hispanic Center Director and immigrant activist Maria Cinta Lowe

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