Tuesday, June 22, 2010
A PITIFUL MAN, A PITIFUL SITUATION
Another day has gone by and Eddie Perez is still in control at Hartford City Hall. Is it any wonder very few have confidence or hope for the future of Hartford?
We have had to deal with Perez and his ego maniac tendencies for years now, but when does it end? We have heard ever since his first arrest that he wanted his day in court, that justice delayed was justice denied and all the other rhetoric. Now a jury of his peers has given him the justice he so desired, and he still refuses to abide by the decision.
If you apply any common sense to the matter, we have to ask ourselves if the CEO of a bank was convicted of bank fraud and embezzling, would he be allowed to return to his office the day after his trial concluded and he is now labeled a convicted felon? I would think the shareholders as well as numerous regulatory agencies would take a strong stand on the matter.
Yet here we are as the Council allows Eddie Perez to dictate the terms of his eventual exit from City Hall. And not just the Council, under Connecticut State law both the State's Attorney and the Attorney General are empowered to begin proceedings to remove Perez.
AN ACT CONCERNING THE REMOVAL OF MUNICIPAL ELECTED OR APPOINTED OFFICIALS.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:
Section 1. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2009)(a) Any person who holds a municipal office, whether by election or appointment, may be removed from such office pursuant to the provisions of this section if: (1) The term or tenure of such office is fixed by law, and (2) such person: (A) Misappropriated public property or funds, (B) violated the oath of office, (C) was convicted of a felony after such election or appointment, (D) engaged in any act of malfeasance that adversely affected the rights and interests of the public, or (E) failed to perform any duty prescribed by law, to the detriment of the public interest.
(b) The Attorney General, the Chief State's Attorney or the state's attorney for the judicial district in which such municipal officer resides may file a petition with the Superior Court seeking the removal of such officer for any reason listed in subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of this section. Any such petition shall be prosecuted on behalf of the citizens of the affected municipality by the Attorney General.
(c) Upon receipt of any such petition described in subsection (b) of this section, the clerk of the Superior Court shall issue a summons, together with a copy of such petition, requiring such municipal officer to appear before the court on a date, as specified in such summons, and answer the claim described in such petition. Such summons shall be served not less than thirty days before the return day for such summons and in a manner consistent with the provisions of chapter 896 of the general statutes.
(d) Immediately following the filing of any petition described in subsection (b) of this section, the Superior Court shall forward a copy of such petition to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the state for the purpose of impaneling a three-judge court that consists of three judges of the Appellate Court of the state. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the state, without delay, shall appoint three Appellate Court judges to hear such petition. At the time of making such appointments, the Chief Justice shall designate the date, time and place for the convening of such three-judge court. Such date shall be not less than thirty days after receipt of such petition by the Chief Justice.
(e) Such three-judge court shall hear the claims contained in such petition and all evidence offered in support of such petition and in opposition to such petition. Upon the presentation of clear and convincing evidence in support of the claims contained in such petition, such three-judge court shall issue an order for the removal of such person from municipal office. Any such order that either removes or denies the removal of any such person from municipal office shall contain such findings of fact and conclusions of law as such three-judge court shall deem sufficient to support its decision of all issues presented by such petition.
(f) Any such order of removal shall concomitantly order the records, papers and property of such removed municipal officer to the care, custody and control of the Attorney General, Chief State's Attorney or state's attorney, as applicable.
(g) An appeal from an order issued pursuant to subsection (e) of this section may be taken to the Supreme Court of the state not later than thirty days after the date of entry of such order. The Supreme Court shall consider and decide any such appeal upon the original papers and documents. The Attorney General shall represent the citizens of the affected municipality in any such appeal.
(h) From the date of any order issued pursuant to subsection (e) of this section that removes a person from municipal office, until the final adjudication of any applicable appeal by the Supreme Court, the municipal officer, commission or authority that has power to fill a vacancy for such vacant municipal office may fill such vacant municipal office with a temporary appointment. After the issuance of any final decision by the Supreme Court in such matter, such vacant municipal office shall be filled in accordance with any applicable provision of the general statutes, special act, charter or ordinance.
This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:
Section 1 October 1, 2009 New section
Throughout this ordeal, we have heard Perez claim his "love" for Hartford, yet his current actions seem to show the total opposite. Perez's time has come and gone, and for the good of Hartford it is time for Eddie Perez to go.
His "open ended" promise to submit his letter of resignation on Friday, but yet no firm date for him to be gone does not instill any confidence in Hartford's future.
If the Hartford City Council can't or won't take strong decisive action, state officials should to the full extent allowed by law. Eddie Perez can not be allowed to continue to call the shots, he needs to be gone and be gone yesterday.