A judge has given the Waterbury faction of the Independent Party sole control of valuable political real estate: A line on the 2018 ballot that allows it to cross-endorse major-party candidates or choose its own nominees for statewide offices, including governor. The competing Danbury faction plans to appeal.
The decision by Judge Trial Referee A. Susan Peck comes as the Waterbury faction prepares to hold a nominating convention Sunday, when at least three candidates are expected to compete for the gubernatorial nomination: Bob Stefanowski, the Republican nominee; Oz Griebel, a petitioning candidate; and Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, a Republican.
Waterbury and Danbury factions of the Independent Party have been fighting in court for two years over which group controls the ballot line. The inability of the factions to agree left the line unclaimed in the U.S. Senate race two years ago, as Danbury cross-endorsed Republican Dan Carter and Waterbury nominated John R. Price of Wallingford.
In her decision, Peck rejected the Danbury group’s request for an injunction blocking Waterbury from nominating candidates for statewide office and concluded that Michael Telesca and Rocco Frank Jr., the Waterbury leaders, had properly filed bylaws in 2010 that establish its faction as a statewide party.
“This will be appealed tomorrow,” said Matt Grimes, a lawyer for the Danbury faction.
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.