Thursday, November 05, 2015
Time: 9:10 AM

It's that time again.

A lot has changed online since the start of HatCityBLOG ten years ago and this site has to adapt to the new electronic landscape.

Over the next week, this site will undergo upgrades which will make it easier to view HatCityBLOG on mobile devices.

Stay tuned...

Danbury's longest dishonest mayor's hubris on full display on Election night

Wednesday, November 04, 2015
Time: 9:24 AM

"It's not just a question of whether Mark Boughton has done enough for people to want to fire's whether he's done enough bad things that people want to hire someone else." -Common Council 6th Ward member Paul Rotello: News-Times, Nov 2007.
Mark Boughton's comment regarding last night's election results speaks volumes...calling him arrogant would be an understatement.

He could not be reached for a comment Tuesday night.
Two more years of arrogance and dishonesty and hundreds of thousands of dollars in lawsuit settlements...only in Danbury!

Tribuna newspaper sinks to a new low by making State Sen. Mike McLachlan an "American Dream Leadership Award" recipient

Tuesday, November 03, 2015
Time: 3:05 PM

Ugh...the Tribuna is at it again!

The family-run immigrant newspaper with close ties to Mayor Mark Boughton (which includes providing thousands of dollars in contributions to Boughton's campaign while failing to inform their readership about the donations in their endorsements of the mayor, have sunk to a new low with their latest act of hypocrisy.

Earlier this year, Tribuna Editor in Chief AND current Republican Board of Education candidate, Emanuela Leaf, and her family held an award ceremony entitled "American Dream Awards" in which the newspaper presented awards to members of the immigrant community that they described as "like Tribuna’s founders, have overcome tremendous odds and adversity to make their American Dreams come true."

While the stories of the members of the immigrant community who received an award that night are quite compelling, one award recipient stood among the others...because he's one of the most well-recognized anti-immigrant political at the State Capitol who was also the chief architect for the city's ICE ACCESS program...State Senator Mike McLachlan.

Their own words...

During the gala, community leaders were also honored. The American Dream Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Attorney Americo S. Ventura. State Senator Michael McLachlan (R-24), Alessandro Piovezahn, founder and creator of The LivelyUp Project, an intergovernmental organization in support of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) were honored with the American Dream Leadership Awards.

Faced with this insanity, one has to wonder:

With their history of questionable and unethical practices, one has to wonder if Tribuna is really a newspaper are another form of propaganda for Boughton.

Why did the Newstimes fail to report on the latest discrimination/harassment lawsuit against Boughton and two city council candidates?

Monday, November 02, 2015
Time: 2:56 PM

Fifth Ward City Council candidate Geoffrey Herald, Mayor Mark Boughton, and City Council At Large Phil Curran are all named in a new discrimination/harassment lawsuit against the city.

Another day, and yet we have another disturbing discrimination lawsuit against Danbury's longest serving dishonest mayor...and to this date, as with other court cases against the mayor, the Newstimes has failed to fully inform the public about this matter.

The 80+page complaint filed by a fire fighter for the city contains horrific allegations of sexual, race, and ethnic discrimination as well as sexual harassment...many of which are difficult to read. Rest assured that this case will eventually result in YET another settlement that is sure to cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Thankfully, other blogs and state reporters are learning more about the REAL Mark Boughton and are keeping an eye on his antics...I just happy that I no longer have to do the heavy lifting for the public.

Unlike other cases, Boughton is not sole focus of the lawsuit as Republican City Councilman Phil Curran and Republican 5th Ward City Council candidate Geoffrey Herald are also named in the lawsuit.



A male firefighter with the Danbury, Connecticut Fire Department is suing the city, Mayor Bernard Meehan, a deputy chief, the present fire chief, the past fire chief and his union alleging sex discrimination/harassment, race discrimination and ethnicity discrimination.

Reynoldo Rodriguez, who describes himself as being “of Puerto Rican-American Hispanic descent”, filed the suit earlier this year naming Deputy Chief Bernard Meehan, Fire Chief TJ Wiedl, former Fire Chief Geoffrey Herald, and International Association of Fire Fighters Local 801 in an 81 page – 236 paragraph – 12 count complaint.

The allegations of discrimination begin back when Rodriguez was first hired in 1987, and continue pretty much throughout his career. Rodrigues alleges he was both tormented and ostracized on account of his ethnicity as well as a perception that he was homosexual. Quoting from the complaint:

* The DFD and the Union have a long history of treating non-white firefighters, women firefighters, and firefighters who do not adhere to a “macho” gender stereotype less well than the white “macho” firefighters

* This long-held practice of exclusion by the DFD has taken the form of awarding preference points for membership in volunteer fire departments that have historically excluded all women and minorities because of their “private association” status, daily ostracism, name calling, lack of critical support during fires, and relentless demeaning and disrespectful conduct.

* The Union, although obligated to provide representation to all members, has consistently refused to provide service to its women and minority members, even though those minority members are required to be members and to pay dues in the exact same manner and amount as every other Union member.

* In July of 1987, when Plaintiff was hired by the City and was required to join the Union, he became the only firefighter of Hispanic background in the DFD. Plaintiff was accused by co-workers of using the affirmative action laws to force the City to hire him, implying that Hispanics in general and he specifically were unqualified and could not pass the test on their own merit.

* For example, Lieutenant Stephen Omasta asked Plaintiff, “Why couldn’t they have hired a white guy?”

*The ostracism took many forms. Firefighters would refuse to sit at the same table with either Plaintiff or the only African American member of the DFD, Steve Johnson while they ate. Johnson and plaintiff were regularly forced to sit at a table alone to eat.

* The racial animus was at times more overt. As an example, one day, Assistant Chief Vacovetz walked into the day room and announced to the crew he had a joke for Plaintiff. He said, “A baby duck and a baby skunk are lost in the woods. One says to the other, ‘Let’s figure out who we are.’ The skunk says to the duck, ‘You are yellow have a duck bill and quack, so you must be a duck.’ The baby duck says to the skunk, ‘You’re half white and half black and you stink like shit, so you must be a Puerto Rican.’” When Plaintiff objected to the joke, Chief Vacovetz and other members of the DFD said, “Can’t you take a joke?”

* The ostracism directed at Plaintiff was encouraged by the officers of the DFD who also disparaged him. Firefighters are regularly recognized for their heroism during fires or medical emergencies. During his first year, Plaintiff made two single rescues within a month of each other, but the DFD chose not to recognize those rescues for two years.

* In May of 1997, Plaintiff responded to an emergency call with “C-Group” and left a cup of tea he was drinking on the table.

*Upon his return, he drank the entire cup of tea in one gulp. While he was on the call, someone had filled his cup with Dawn soap. Plaintiff was hospitalized from May 18, 1997 to May 27, 1997 as a result. The attack was not investigated nor was anyone disciplined for poisoning Plaintiff.

* On March 19, 1998, Plaintiff was appointed to the position of Emergency Medical Services Coordinator after receiving the highest score on the promotional examination.

* On March 23, 1998, Mark Omasta, who had also taken the promotional examination but had scored lower than Plaintiff, told the current Fire Chief, T.J. Wiedl, that Plaintiff should never have gotten the job, even though he had scored higher than Omasta. T.J. Wiedl then told the on-duty crew in the day room that Plaintiff had only received the appointment as EMS Coordinator because he was a minority and had threatened to sue the DFD. That allegation was completely false.

* As EMS Coordinator, Plaintiff was and is responsible for maintaining the EMS training records, providing training to DFD members, and assuring that every firefighter and EMT’s certifications were current. To do so, he scheduled training classes every Wednesday, which was met with resistance by the firefighters and their supervisors.

* Having been allowed to denigrate and endanger Plaintiff for over a decade, the firefighters and their supervisors knew that they could ignore, resist, and humiliate Plaintiff with impunity. Chiefs would schedule other activities during scheduled class time; firefighters who decided to attend would grandstand, call out responses and be generally disruptive and disrespectful so as to undermine Plaintiff’s teaching and authority.

* Plaintiff complained in writing to the Fire Chief that he was being harassed due to his ethnic background by numerous acts of insubordination and hate speech, but there was no response and the harassment continued.

* Eventually, Plaintiff complained directly to the Director of Human Resources for the City of Danbury, which angered the Chief and other firefighters, but again there was no response.

* Even in the face of the regular unaddressed insubordination and ridicule, Plaintiff continued to teach and take classes that would expand his knowledge and better serve the DFD. Other fire and police departments requested that he train their members. Plaintiff continued to develop programs to involve the community in the DFD, including the Fire of Life Program, Community CPR, blood pressure screenings for the elderly, mass CPR training classes for the greater Danbury area, and Automatic External Defibrillators in the schools including training the staff.

* Even though Plaintiff’s programs enhanced the DFD’s reputation, he was regularly denigrated by his co-workers and supervisors.

* Deputy Chief Meehan, a lieutenant at the time, referred to Plaintiff as “nothing more than a CPR chimp” while Plaintiff ran the Community CPR program from 1999 to 2005. Similarly, in 2006, Phil Curran, then Acting Fire Chief, repeatedly introduced Plaintiff as “the Department’s token Puerto Rican Jew.”

* From 2009 through 2014, Deputy Chief Meehan called Plaintiff “half-a-day Rey”, implying that Plaintiff, as a Hispanic, was lazy and/or dishonest by stealing time from the City. The repetition of the pejorative nickname so damaged Plaintiff’s reputation that Fire Chief Herald began paging Plaintiff every day at 4:55 p.m. to ensure that he was still in the office. Other officers adopted Meehan’s pejorative nickname and began calling Plaintiff, “half-a-day Rey.” Even though Plaintiff complained to Fire Chief Herald, about the obvious racial animus, nothing was ever done.

* Each time Plaintiff presented a grievance to the E-Board seeking the Union’s representation, the Union refused to provide him that representation. None of the grievances that Plaintiff presented to the Union were ever pursued by the Union on his behalf.

* On December 1, 2005, Plaintiff discovered that the City of Danbury’s Code of Ordinances Sec. 8-2. (e) states that the Ambulance and Rescue division has one Lieutenant and additional men as assigned to the division by the Chief.

* Plaintiff provided the Ordinance to Chief Siecienski and requested that he have the rank called for in the Ordinance. Chief Siecienski refused Plaintiff went to the Union to represent him in acquiring the rank and recognition called for in the Ordinance. He showed the E-Board the Danbury Ordinance Sec. 8-2. described above. Robert Forbes, a Union E-Board member and Officer, told him that the Ordinance was “out of date” and that Plaintiff should “be quiet or you could lose captain’s pay.”

* Because he was the subject of ongoing harassment and discrimination in the DFD, Plaintiff’s performance of his duties was regularly met with contempt and resistance by line members of the DFD. By seeking the rank provided for in the Ordinance, Plaintiff hoped to reduce the misconduct of, at least, the members with lower ranks.

* Plaintiff and other minority members of the DFD are disciplined more harshly than white members and for conduct that would not result in discipline for a white member.

* In March of 2013, Plaintiff was sitting in the day room when Lieutenant Karl Drentwet referred to him as a “Puerto Rican cocksucker” in the presence of then Deputy Chief Wiedl. Plaintiff turned to then Deputy Chief Wiedl and said, “Did you hear what he called me?” Then Deputy Chief Wiedl said, “I didn’t hear a thing,” laughed, and walked away.

* Prior to February 6, 2014, Lieutenant Lounsbury had made a disparaging comment about Plaintiff’s competency and. Plaintiff had sent an email to Lieutenant Lounsbury protesting. On February 6, 2014, then Deputy Chief Wiedl told Plaintiff that he did not approve of the email and told Plaintiff to “develop a thicker skin” to cope with the disparaging comments that are common in the Fire House.

* On June 2, 2014, then Deputy Chief Wiedl ordered Plaintiff to meet him in his office.

When Plaintiff arrived, then Deputy Chief Wiedl informed him that he was being charged with dereliction of duty and abandoning his post at the Fire School on May 24, 2014. When Plaintiff returned with Union representative Chip Daly, then Deputy Chief Wiedl told Plaintiff, “Maybe you shouldn’t work here anymore.” On June 19, 2014, Fire Chief Herald issued Plaintiff a written warning and told him to attend counseling. A true and accurate copy of the warning is attached as Exhibit “V.”

After a series of visits, the counselor found Plaintiff was functioning on a professional level in his job.

* Plaintiff was also harassed on the basis of his sex. Plaintiff was repeatedly called homophobic names, verbally abused, and physically assaulted by then Captain Meehan based on a perception that Plaintiff was homosexual and did not conform with male gender stereotypes.

* Other firefighters also left signs on Plaintiff’s office door indicating that it was the women’s bathroom, or girls’ bathroom, or that Plaintiff was the secretary or custodian.

* On one occasion in 2012 or 2013, members of the DFD put an inflatable sex doll with a carrot embedded in its “anus” in Plaintiff’s office. Plaintiff reported the offensive and sexual conduct to Chief Herald, who simply told Plaintiff to get rid of it. Nothing was done to address the harassment.

* On or about January 18, 2013, Plaintiff was physically assaulted by then Captain Meehan during a staff meeting. Present were Chief Herald, then Deputy Chief Wiedl, and Assistant Chiefs Steve Williams, Charlie Slagle, and Paul Omasta. Then Captain Meehan entered the room, approached Plaintiff and stroked Plaintiff’s nipple and then put his feet in Plaintiff’s lap.

* Plaintiff told then Captain Meehan to get off of him. Plaintiff reported then Captain Meehan’s conduct to Chief Herald in writing and in person. Even though Chief Herald was in the room and Plaintiff reported the incident immediately to him, nothing was done.

* On or about January 8, 2014, Deputy Chief Meehan entered Plaintiff’s office where he was sitting behind his desk. He told Plaintiff that he needed “a man hug” and proceeded around the desk, preventing Plaintiff from leaving the office. When Plaintiff drew one of his legs up to prevent Deputy Chief Meehan from touching Plaintiff’s body, Deputy Chief Meehan rubbed his groin on Plaintiff’s leg and humped Plaintiff’s leg repeatedly. Plaintiff yelled for Deputy Chief Meehan to “get off of [him].”

* Deputy Chief Meehan dismounted Plaintiff’s leg and left his office. Steve Rogers was in the office next to Plaintiff and overheard the incident. Deputy Chief Meehan’s attack was reported to Chief Herald the same day.

* A true and accurate copy of Plaintiff’s report of that and another incident of Deputy Chief Meehan’s harassment is attached as Exhibit “Z.”

* The Director of Human Resources and the Assistant Corporate Counsel investigated Plaintiff’s report [and] …. informed Plaintiff that there was no substantiation to his complaint.

You can read and download the complaint FILED IN AUGUST below...DEVELOPING.

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The Mercurial (RIP)
Danbury News Times
Danbury Patch
Danbury Hamlet Hub
Danbury Daily Voice
Tribuna Newspaper
CT News Junkie
CT Capitol Report

10.03.18 (PDF):
"Approval of Danbury Prospect Charter School"

10.30.20 (HatCityBLOG VID): Charter School discussion during 2020 interview with Julie Kushner

2018 (RADIO): WLAD
"State Board of Ed signs off on Danbury charter school proposal"

08.20 (VID): CT-LEAD
"Stand up for Education Justice" Rally

08.20.20 (OP-ED): KUSHNER: "Charter schools are not ‘magic bullet’ to improving Danbury schools"

09.13.20 (OP-ED): CHAPMAN
Candidate for state Senate supports charter school for Danbury

01.15.21 (VID): CT-LEAD
Danbury Prospect Charter School press conference

03.19.21 (OP-ED): CT MIRROR
"Danbury leaders do not want a charter school"

04.01.21 (OP-ED): CT-LEAD:
"Why did Sen. Kushner vote against us?"

05.06.21 (VID): Danbury rally to fully fund public schools

10.07.21 (VID): Danbury City-Wide PTO "Meet the Candidates" education forum

10.07.21 NEWSTIMES
Danbury candidates quarrel over charter school, education funding

01.10.22 NEWSTIMES
"New operator named for Danbury charter school: ‘I’m a huge advocate for parent choice’"

01.10.22 NEWSTIMES
"Some Danbury Democrats ‘open minded’ about charter school after new, CT operator named"

01.21.22 (OP-ED): CT MIRROR
"Lessons from Danbury: Ending the dual process for charter school approval"

02.09.22 NEWSTIMES
"Proposed Danbury charter school won’t open in 2022, governor leaves funding out of budget"

02.18.22 NEWSTIMES:
Danbury residents plead for charter school funds in 9-hour state budget hearing: ‘Just exhausted’

03.05.22 (LTE):
Time has come for Danbury charter school

03.12.22 (OP-ED): TAYLOR
"Why I am excited about the Danbury Charter School"

03.16.22 (LTE):
"Why a Danbury Charter School?"

04.02.22 CT EXAMINER:
"Crowding and a Lack of Options for Danbury Students, But No Agreement on Solutions"

04.04.22 (OP-ED): DCS
"Danbury Charter School plans debut"

04.07.22 (PODCAST): (CEA)

04.18.22 (VID): CT-LEAD
Protest press conference

04.25.22 (RADIO): WSHU
Latino group call on Connecticut lawmakers to open a Danbury charter school

06.03.22 (OP-ED): KUSHNER:
"Career Academy ‘a great deal for Danbury"

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



11.15.23 Recanvass return
(Head Moderator Return Format)

11.07.23: Election night returns
(Head Moderator Return Format)

11.07.23: Initial returns

Oct 10 2022
Jan 10 2023
Apr 10 2023
Jul 10 2023
Oct 10 2023

Apr 10 2023
Jul 10 2023
Oct 10 2023

Dem/GOP slate/ballot position

VIDEO: DRTC convention
VIDEO: DDTC conveniton


(VID) DDTC nomination convention
(PDF) DDTC campaign slate flyer

(VID) DRTC nomination convention
(PDF) DRTC campaign slate flyer

(VID) 2021 Danbury City-Wide PTO educational forum

First quarter
Alves Apr 10th SEEC filing

Second quarter
Alves Jul 10th SEEC filing
Esposito Jul 10th SEEC filing

Third quarter
Alves Oct 12th SEEC report
Esposito Oct 12th SEEC report

Alves "Jan 6th" attack mailer 10.21.21
Esposito "you can't trust Alves" attack mailer 10.20.21
Alves mailer 10.20.21
Alves mailer 09.30.21
Esposito mailer 09.28.21
Alves mailer 09.27.21
Esposito mailer 09.27.21


Danbury 2005 election results
Newstimes Dean Esposito profile (10.25.05)

Danbury 2007 election results
(VID) Helana Abrantes TV ad
(VID) BRT tax deferral presser
(VID) Helena Abrantes "Community Forum" interview

Danbury 2009 election results
(VID) 2009 Danbury City-Wide PTO educational forum
(VID) 2009 Danbury Chamber of Commerce mayoral debate
(VID) 2009 DDTC nomination convention

Danbury 2011 election results
(VID) Saadi/Nero campaign kickoff

Danbury 2013 election results
(VID) 2013 DDTC nominaiton convention

Danbury 2015 election results

Danbury 2017 election results
(VID) Al Almeida concession speech
(VID) 2017 Danbury City-Wide PTO educational forum
(VID) Al Almeida nomination acceptance speech

Danbury 2019 election results
(VID) 2019 NewsTimes Editorial Board interview with Mark Boughton and Chris Setaro
(VID) 2019 Danbury City-Wide PTO educational forum
(VID) 2019 Danbury Chamber of Commerce mayoral debate
(VID) 2019 convention endorsement speeches from Mark Boughton and Chris Setaro