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CT 03: Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro on immigration reform

Saturday, May 01, 2010
Time: 1:08 PM

In honor of MayDay, this weekend, I'm dedicating a majority of my postings in topics related to the immigrant community in Danbury.

This is a cross post from My Left Nutmeg





In light of a recent analysis done by the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization at the Yale University Law School, which outlines how East Haven police target hispanics, and the anti-immigrant legislation in Arizona, during an bloggers meeting with Rosa DeLauro, I asked the congresswoman for her views on the report, as well as an update on the status of immigration reform in Congress.


Rachel Maddow exposes lies from FAIR


Time: 11:29 AM

In honor of MayDay, this weekend, I'm dedicating a majority of my postings in topics related to the immigrant community in Danbury.




This week, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow had on her broadcast the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) President Dan Stein. For those who don't know, FAIR, a organization label as a hate-group, was instrumental in the drafting of Arizona's idiotic anti-immigrant legislation that's caused an uproar across the country.

As with Elise "deer in headlights" Marciano's United States Citizens for Immigration and Law Enforcement, FAIR has a history of LYING their asses off...and as Maddow shows in the following video clip, it's not hard exposing Stein's bullshit.


LOCAL ACCESS VIDEO: Ideas at Work and Beyond 04.30.10

Friday, April 30, 2010
Time: 7:42 PM

TOPIC: Danbury Board of Education budget crisis


HatCityBLOG VIDEO: Board of Education public hearing highlights


Time: 5:05 PM

IMG_5079

BOE_Pub_Meeting02
Residents speak out in opposition to cuts in the education system.
Photo by CTblogger. Board of Education public hearing, 04.28.10.


On Wednesday evening, well over 200 residents filled the auditorium at Roger's Park Middle School and sat for over two hours as speaker and speaker expressed their opposition to the proposed proposed cuts to the city's education system.

Since the hearing lasted well over two hours it will take some time to process the video. For now, due to the high demand, here's highlights of meeting. I'll update this post with an extended version of highlights, as well as footage of the meeting in it's entirety later this weekend.


Danubry has nothing on New Haven


Time: 1:29 PM

When it comes to education woes, if you think things are tense in Danbury, check out what's happening in New Haven.
A faceoff is brewing tonight between parents organized by school officials to rally for public education, and tax-weary watchdogs looking to cut the city budget.

The showdown is set to take place at City Hall, where aldermen will convene at 6:30 p.m. for a final public hearing on the mayor’s proposed $476 million budget for the upcoming year. (If you’re not attending the hearing, you can follow it and comment on it as it happens, right here. The Independent plans to live-blog the event.)

At 6 p.m., parents and school officials are holding a rally at City Hall to protect the Board of Education’s portion of that budget, which is $176 million.

The schools rally comes in response to a call from the citizen budget watchdog group New Haven CAN, which is asking aldermen to cut spending in each city department by 10 percent. School officials and parent groups have been sending out flyers, letters, and emails urging parents and their children to turn out tonight to protect education funding. The messages warn that a 10 percent cut would blow a $17.6 million hole in the schools budget, forcing layoffs and hampering the chances for the city’s nationally recognized school reform drive.

“Tell the Board of Aldermen to SAY NO TO A $17.6 MILLION CUT TO EDUCATION,” declares one flyer circulated among the schools. “Don’t turn your back on our students!”

The flyer warns of the following consequences of a $17.6 million cut: “NO SCHOOL CHANGE INITIATIVE; Larger Class Sizes; Fewer teachers and para[professional]s; Closing schools; Cuts to Afterschool Programming.”

The flyer was sent out via email to school principals and parent leaders of the citywide Parent Teacher Organization. The school system also posted the “call to action” on a long dormant school change Facebook page.

The public information campaign is a joint venture of school officials and the citywide PTO, said Laoise King, the school system’s chief of external affairs. She said she emailed the flyers to the schools, where the flyers were printed out and sent home in students’ bookbags or with report cards.

NHCAN’s Jeffrey Kerekes (pictured) called the flyers “propaganda.” He accused the school system of “fearmongering” and pitting New Haveners against each other instead of working together to find ways to spend money efficiently.

“The Mayor is clearly attempting to pit families with school-age kids against other residents, who simply say we cannot afford exponentially increasing property taxes,” he said. Many of the taxpayers fighting the mayor’s budget have kids in the public school system, he said.

“How many more times can the Administration try this triangulation strategy of setting community groups against each other so as to avoid making tough decisions?” Kerekes asked in an open letter on the group’s website. He said the mayor tried that tactic last year, when closing senior centers and cutting library hours “became the focus of community discussion in a $600 million plus budget.” The year before that, he spurred community groups to support his budget by suggesting Stetson Library might have to be closed otherwise.

“When citizens ask their elected leaders to consider change, they demonize them,” Kerekes wrote.

Kerekes said his group is not “singling out” the Board of Education when it calls for a 10 percent cut across the board. NHCAN has not detailed specific cuts to the BOE budget. “In fact,” Kerekes noted, “the BOE budget was passed with ZERO public input.”

“It is an insult to the intellect of the voters to engage in such diversionary and us versus them tactics,” Kerekes wrote. “NHCAN is all for effective spending on Education with accountability and performance based budgeting. It dodges intelligent debate to request citizen input and then attempts to use good faith inputs from groups such as ours to demonize those offering inputs.”

King (pictured) said the district isn’t trying to demonize anyone.

“I wouldn’t say that we’re pitting parents against New Haven CAN,” she said. “We’re defending and standing up for our budget.”

“We have a lot at stake,” King said.

A 10 percent cut would mean laying off 300 teachers, she said. “We’d have to dramatically cut back on arts and music, after-school programs, and paraprofessionals.” And most important, she said, the district would not be able to carry through its school reform goals, including working to boost scores with the seven pilot schools.

“We absolutely are not going to be able to do it if we take a 10 percent cut,” she said. “It’s going to be a major roadblock to being able to look forward to school change.”

She added that the school board took a zero-percent increase last year, and in past years, contractually required expenses have been rising faster than the budget has increased.

King said parents became active on this issue after Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. presented his budget at a meeting of the citywide PTO on April 1. He told them that NHCAN wants to see 10 percent cuts across the board. She said a group of parents decided to rally other parents to protect the budget.

In past budget presentations, the mayor has repeatedly couched any attempt to decrease the budget—including getting rid of his $50 million parking meter monetization deal—as an impediment to school change.

Mary Rosario, co-leader of the citywide PTO, is part of a handful of parents who took the lead in organizing the defense of the budget.

She sent out an email on Friday to the nearly 100 members of the citywide PTO. She asked them to attend tonight’s rally, pass out flyers, speak at the public hearing, and “Bring Signs! (We Want School Change; Save our Schools; Don’t Cut Our Schools, or whatever creative slogan you can think of).” She attached the above-mentioned flyer and this budget fact sheet.

[...]

Meanwhile, budget watchdogs continued their own a last-minute push to get people out to the hearing.

In a Facebook message Tuesday, Rebecca Turcio geared her rallying call toward struggling taxpayers.

“Want to know we are fighting so hard? Because this is just the start of this,” she wrote, linking to an Independent report that the city initiated foreclosure on 99 homes in the past year.

“Are you or do you know anyone that is barely paying [their] rents or mortgages?” she asked.

“THIS IS THE LAST meeting for your voice to be heard!,” reads a note on that page. “We need everyone to come to this with friends and family and [their] community! If we do not make a stand, the budget may go through as is. If you can afford the extra Property tax or rent increase then you do not need to come. But if you can not afford it YOU MUST MAKE THIS FINAL STAND!”

In following the education budget crisis in Danbury, over the last couple of months, there has been a significant increase in terms of the number of residents in opposition to the board's proposals. If organizing efforts in New Haven are any indication of things to come, then expect the number of residents in opposition to teacher layoffs and program cuts to increase.

One week and still no comment from Boughton on firefighter lawsuit settlement

Thursday, April 29, 2010
Time: 6:35 PM


Too busy running for governor to answer questions?

It's been one week since the News-Times broke the news that the city of Danbury agreed to settle lawsuit that will cost taxpayers a MIND BLOWING 450,000 (minus legal fees and other goodies) in which the following allegations were made by the plaintiffs:

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.

In reaching the settlement, the following statement was made by the city's legal department:
"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.

This is what the mayor stated when the suit was filed:
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.

Now that the city has ADMITTED to mistakes, lets take a look at what Boughton had to say about the matter now:
Mayor Mark Boughton could not be reached for comment Wednesday despite several attempts.

While Dirk Perrefort was unable to get Boughton to comment on the matter, the last honest man has been quoted in several articles since the publication of the settlement. That being said, and in light of the fact that the taxpayers of this city are on the hook for 450,000 due to someone's screw-up, these questions are still unanswered:
  • 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, the heart of the lawsuit alleged that people at City Hall were involved in nepotism.

Boughton_TODAY01

Instead of posing in front of the NBC camera shaking hands with his planted Republican operatives (like THE SAME Mike Finn Sr. in the above image whose name came up in the lawsuit), maybe Boughton can take a moment from his his fledgling gubernatorial campaign to answer some questions...and the News-Times has an obligation to do a follow-up on this important matter!

I wonder how many teacher's jobs could be saved with 450,000 dollars...

Fighting back against xenophobia


Time: 6:28 PM

The push back against the anti-immigrant insanity in Arizona begins...
Anger mounted Thursday over an Arizona law cracking down on illegal immigration as a police officer filed one of the first lawsuits challenging the law and activists gathered outside an Arizona Diamondbacks game at Wrigley Field in Chicago, chanting "Boycott Arizona."

The lawsuit from 15-year Tucson police veteran Martin Escobar is one of two filed Thursday, less than a week after Republican Gov. Jan Brewer signed the law that's sparked fears it will lead to racial profiling despite the governor's vow that officers will be properly trained.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has said the federal government may challenge the law, which requires local and state law enforcement to question people about their immigration status if there's reason to suspect they're in the country illegally, and makes it a state crime to be in the United States illegally.

Escobar, an overnight patrol officer in a heavily Latino area of Tucson, argues there's no way for officers to confirm people's immigration status without impeding investigations, and that the new law violates numerous constitutional rights.

Tucson police spokesman Sgt. Fabian Pacheco said Escobar is acting on his own, not on behalf of the department.

The National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders also filed a lawsuit Thursday, and is seeking an injunction preventing authorities from enforcing the law. The group argues federal law pre-empts state regulation of national borders, and that Arizona's law violates due process rights by letting police detain suspected illegal immigrants before they're convicted.

"Mexican-Americans are not going to take this lying down," singer Linda Ronstadt, a Tucson native, said at a state Capitol news conference on another lawsuit planned by the American Civil Liberties Union, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the National Immigration Law Center.

City Council Dems to BOE and School Superintendent: "Find more budget cuts, avoid teacher layoffs"


Time: 1:03 PM

Raising concerns with the proposed school program cuts, yesterday, a letter drafted by the City Council Democratic Caucus was sent to the members of the Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools.

Stating that "the proposed cuts to the classroom and student programs are unnecessary to balance the board of education budget," the letter list a number of suggestions to achieve cost savings in order to lesson the impact to the students, which starts with administrator concessions.

While the superintendent, his cabinet staff and school administrators demand raises, other teachers and administrators have stated both privately and publicly that they will voluntarily giveback or accept freezes of previously promised salary increases in order to print teacher layoffs and protect the delivery of services to our students. This seems to contradict statements by the Superintendent and BOE to City Council members that teachers simply were not willing to negotiate contract concessions in order to protect our students. In fact last year teachers took a pay freeze for the first half of the year and only a half percent raise for the remainder of the year. however, last year the school administrators union fought the BOE and were given raises, some as high as nine percent. And this year the administrators have not agreed to make concessions.

The letter also states a number of suggestions raised to them by concerned teachers, parents and administrators.
  • Having media specialists work in at leadst two buildings as other specialists do. This would eliminate at least seven positions saving approx. 300,000 without reducing services. Other specialists such as those in gym and art already work two schools.

  • A the High School there is a principal, associate principal, and four assistant principals totaling in excess of 650,000 in salaries. Eliminating one or two positions would save hundreds of thousands of dollars over five years.

  • Substitute teachers are currently paid a full day per diem salary even for a half day of work and instead should be paid only for the amount of time they actually work.

  • Para-professionals should work two or three days a week.

  • at least one member of The Danbury Enhancement Collaboration Committee (TDEC) works half day and get paid a teacher's salary to do TDEC paperwork instead of covering another school which we understand had to hire another math specialist. TDEC paperwork should not take away from substantive instruction time.

  • Each elementary school has a reading specialist/coach, and depending on how they are utilized by the principal they may have little to no contact with students often serving as a coach to teachers. Math specialists are divided half time between schools therefore it would seem logical that elementary school reading specialists could cover two schools as is already done at the middle school level

Finally, the letter addressed concerns raised by residents regarding the closing of Mill Ridge Intermediate School.
In addition to the budget issues many in ur community are concerned with the proposed closing of Mill Ridge Intermediate School (MRI) and busing of fourth and fifth grade students to King Street Intermediate while putting third grade students in Mill Ridge Primary. According to school personnel we spoke with, this decision was made by a committee comprised of carefully selected administrators, BOE members, and parents, but no teachers were invited to participate and they want answers.

Teachers and parents have stated that the proposed closing and busing of students will be a detriment to students and the Mill Ridge community at large. We recognize that the closing the achievement gap is a primary concern of all of the educators and maintaining MRI as a community school is necessary to do so. MRI is part of the neighborhood community providing open family nights for families to come read and ask questions about school and schoolwork as well as after school tutoring that for many children is only possible because they can walk home.

Parents of students at MRI and King Street School are concerned with a lack of answers to the questions they have posed to the Superintendent. The proposed busing would combine nine King Street classes with eight Mil Ridge classes leaving little room to grow. With seventeen classrooms filled they are concerned with the availability of rooms for other classes such as art, music, and special education. Other concerns include bus routes, length of rides, and student pick up locations. Parents have said that the ambiguous and changing responses are unacceptable. They are not paying taxes to send their children on a long bus ride, to an overcrowded school that cannot meet their needs






This morning, I interviewed city council Minority Leader Tom Saadi and talked to him about the letter sent by members of the Democratic caucus.









You can read the letter addressed to the Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools below:


HatCityBLOG LIVE VIDEO STREAM: Board Of Education budget public hearing

Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Time: 6:50 PM

From Roger's Park, here's live video of the board of education's budget public hearing.

UPDATE: The public hearing is over. The following is the recorded stream. The higher quality video footage will be posted soon.


HatCityBLOG VIDEO: Residents speak out against proposed education budget allocation


Time: 5:03 PM

City_Council_041910
Residents filled the City Council chambers on Monday night and spoke out in opposition to
the city budget allocation to education.
City Hall 04.19.10. Photo by ctblogger


In advance of this evening's Board of Education public hearing, here's a sampling of what you might hear tonight.

The concerns expressed in the following videoclip are from the city council's budget public hearing earlier this month.



NOTE: I will be providing a LIVE VIDEO STREAM of tonight's public hearing starting at 6:15 PM.

You couldn't find any REAL people to shake your hand?


Time: 1:33 PM

Boughton_TODAY
Danbury's last honest man gets away with misleading the public again...


Notwithstanding the utter absurdity in the comments made by Danbury's last honest man during his appearance on the Today show (TRUST ME, I'll deal with the whopper of misleading statements Mark told the TODAY show at a later point), what's more laughable are the number of local GOP operatives Boughton planted in the segment.

Lets have some fun at the mayor's expense...

Here's snapshots of Boughton interacting with members of the public at Elmer's Diner..take note of the people labeled in red.

Boughton_TODAY01Boughton_TODAY02
Boughton_TODAY03Boughton_TODAY04

Now, since this site is read by many insiders, and although I already know the answers, would anyone like to take a stab and name the people Boughton is interacting with in the screenshots? Leave your answers in the comments and I'll post the results later...

Music organizer fed up with "un-friendly" City Hall


Time: 12:22 PM

In light of the last honest man's restrictive city regulations that resulted in the closing of another establishment on Ives Street, here's another situation where people at City Hall are accused of being business un-friendly.

Amanda Bloom of the Mercurial wrote a great piece regarding the increased frustration among organizers of independent music venues when it comes to working with city officials.

In two years, Anthony Yacobellis' Safe To Swim(STS) festival brought 77 bands to Danbury over the span of two weekends, most of them performing on the Danbury Green at no charge to the public. Though he saw only growth in crowds, sponsorship and vendors in the festival's second year, Yacobellis has decided to forego a third STS on the Green. The reason? Over $4,000 in unexpected costs and and an overwhelming frustration with the city.

That $4000 comes on top of the money Yacobellis invested in both years of the event, including paying the bands–every single one. STS was born as a celebration of the music that Yacobellis showcases at Cousin Larry's with his almost nightly Sub Rosa Party. One of the foundations of Sub Rosa is a promise to take care of the artist, and the name for STS came from the concept of "no sharks".

"Ironically, it's not safe to swim for me," Yacobellis said in a phone interview. "I got thrown under the bus."

Yacobellis, a 34-year-old schoolteacher by day, had a stage built to supplement the bandshell on the Green for the first STS in 2008. He was under the impression that the stage had been approved after complying with specifications supplied by the Building Department, but he was informed the week of STS that his proposal had failed. According to Yacobellis, the Building Department denied making any edits to his blueprints and put the blame on Andrea Gartner, the manager of CityCenter Danbury, who was acting as Yacobellis' liaison with various city departments. The stage had already been paid for and built at this point, but Yacobellis had no choice but to rent another one for almost $1000.

Later on, the Building Department came to realize that they had indeed made an error. They invited Yacobellis down to the office to figure out what went wrong, and it came down to one employee's mistake. "They yelled at him in front of me," Yacobellis said. "They demeaned him ."

The following year, Gartner suggested that they move the STS date from July to Labor Day weekend, thereby keeping CityCenter's Summer Concert Series in tact and making Danbury a holiday weekend destination. Moving the date also bumped STS from the CityCenter event bracket, eliminating the complimentary police security that goes along with CityCenter events. Yacobellis found himself signing an invoice quoting police security at $3400. He had paid $800 the previous year.

"The festival only grew in the second year," he said. "and I lost more money than the first year. And not from my mistakes."

There were other snafus too. Yacobellis kept all of the paperwork from year one and resubmitted all of the forms with a different date. Initially, the Building Department couldn't locate his file, and during the actual festival, one of the vendors was hassled by the Health Department for selling prepackaged food and drinks with a peddler's license.

"No one can do their job," Yacobellis said. "For an event like this, you have to do X, Y and Z. X doesn't know Z, Z hates X and Y is dependent on Z. I did my job; I can't be expected to do the Building Department's job or the Police Department's job."

Here Yacobellis and Gartner are of the same mind. Both see a minimal level of cooperation throughout the city and cite it as the main reason for a subpar downtown. Only recently, Gartner had to find her own way to hang the Connecticut Film Festival banners from the CityCenter office, though the city provided the service for the library directly across the street

"People have siloed themselves," Gartner said in an interview. "It's individual property owners acting on their own behalf. With a concerted effort, [Danbury] could really be something."

Gartner referred to the STS police bill as an oversight on her part. "I think it's forgivable," she said. "I had only been on the job for two years at that point." For the third festival, she offered to wrap STS into the CityCenter series, which would incorporate some police coverage and grant more leeway with permits. Yacobellis declined.

Here Yacobellis and Gartner are of the same mind. Both see a minimal level of cooperation throughout the city and cite it as the main reason for a subpar downtown. Only recently, Gartner had to find her own way to hang the Connecticut Film Festival banners from the CityCenter office, though the city provided the service for the library directly across the street

"People have siloed themselves," Gartner said in an interview. "It's individual property owners acting on their own behalf. With a concerted effort, [Danbury] could really be something."

Gartner referred to the STS police bill as an oversight on her part. "I think it's forgivable," she said. "I had only been on the job for two years at that point." For the third festival, she offered to wrap STS into the CityCenter series, which would incorporate some police coverage and grant more leeway with permits. Yacobellis declined.

If you ever wondered why bar and restaurants seemed to have increase in popularity on Mill Plain Road while Ives Street looks like a deserted island, this article should give you a clue.

I highly encourage you to read the rest of Bloom's write-up over at the Mercurial website.

Calling out birthers on their B.S. is too easy

Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Time: 8:09 PM

This video is required viewing for those interested in exposing "birthers" as morons.

Last week, Anderson Cooper interviewed right wingnut Arizona Rep. Cecil Ash, one of the key legislators responsible for that state's "Birther's Bill" that requires candidates for federal office to show proof of citizenship.

...the video speaks for itself.


CT 03: Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro comments on municipality cuts to education


Time: 2:32 PM

With the prospect of 2,000 teachers in Connecticut losing their jobs, during a recent bloggers meeting with Rosa DeLauro, I asked the congresswoman from the third district about if there were any plans in the works at the congressional level to assist school boards across the state.



For more information on the Keep Our Educators Working Act, click here (pdf).

I'll have more clips from the bloggers meeting with Congresswoman DeLauro later.

John Stewart hammers Arizona xenophobia


Time: 1:15 PM

The videoclip speaks for itself.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Law & Border
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

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.

Ugh!

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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.

CLICK HERE TO READ/DOWNLOAD MAYOR BOUGHTON'S DEPOSITION

CLICK HERE TO READ/DOWNLOAD MIKE McLACHLAN (then MAYOR CHIEF OF STAFF) DEPOSITION

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


Politics_Over_People
View Boughton's campaign finance statements from 2001-present (COMING SOON)

When questioned, Boughton fails to address the issue of anti-immigrant racism in Danbury

City admits mistakes in firefighter lawsuit, taxpayers forced to pay 450K settlement, and Boughton offers no comment, no details of accountability

READ allegations of wrongdoing by Boughton filed by the plaintiffs

Boughton misleads public about World Cup games "spontaneous" celebrations for FOUR years

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MARK BOUGHTON'S TICKING TIME BOMB

DOWNLOAD AND ANALYZE MARK BOUGHTON'S ELECTION AND PAC FINANCE REPORTS

Why won't Boughton give back Galante money?

Boughton contributor goes to jail

Fairfield Weekly questions Boughton's honesty

Hatrford Courant's Stan Smith not believing Boughton

Connecting the dots

Boughton-Galante connection established


APPEAL HEARING: 10/21/14 @ 09:30 AM

Directions to Litchfield Court House

Decision Day: GUILTY!

Day Ten: Moving forward

Day Nine: DNA

Day Eight: The seven trillion dollar man

Day Seven: Jury Trial

Day Six: Motions denied

Day Five: Endless subpoenas and bizarre motions to dismiss

Day Three/Four: He's competent!

Day Two: Excuses, excuses

Day One: Strange behavior, disturbing arrest warrant affidavit

McGowan arrested, charged with first-degree sexual assault


Read the full report on
the gross incompetence of
City Clerk Jean Natale

Watch Jean Natale's misleading, questionable, and outrageous testimony in front of the charter revision commission

Natale moonlighting during City Hall business hours

Republcian Common Council member claim City Clerk of being "racially motivated" in the Hispanic Center ad-hoc committee case

Danbury News-Times editorial criticizes City Clerk "racially motivated" involvement in Hispanic Center ad-hoc committee case

Photo of City Clerk standing next to skinhead holding anti-immigrant death threat sign

Public complains that the City Clerk is never available in her office / spends most of her time in the Registrar of Voters office

City Clerk confronts and yells at her critics at City Hall

Transcript of Minority Leader Tom Saadi criticizing Jean Natale's performance.

Freedom of Informaiton ruling on a complaint filed against Jean Natale.


Elise_Deer Highlighting the disturbing mind of a hate group leader and her xenophobic followers...

Exposing lies from Marciano regarding death threat made against yours truly

VIDEO: Marcaino shows her anti-Muslim side

I'm an AMERICAN!!!!!

MORE TO COME!!!

TOM "Big(o)T BENNETT HAS ONLY HIMSELF
TO BLAME



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