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Tuesday, April 14, 2015


The Hartford City Council got a very expensive lesson in democracy today at the hands of  Superior Court  Judge Constance Epstein. I say expensive because the only ones who have benefited from the legal battle over removing Hartford's Registrars are the attorneys. Probably upwards of $300,000  has already been spent and the battle isn't over.

The price tag will continue to rise as a result of the dangerous path this incompetent Council has taken us down. Will the Registrars now file legal suits for irreparable harm done to their professional reputations by Wooden and the Council's actions. Imagine what that pricetag could be

I have been pretty vocal , even here on the blog that I thought the process of removing an elected official duly chosen by the voters was a dangerous proposition. Further more it seemed improper to me that the same body that determined the charges was then going o sit in judgement of the alleged offenders and  if they determined guilt they would then determine the punishment. The term Judge , Jury and Executioner comes to mind. And I have never spent a day in law school, unlike several of our Councilpeople , as well as their buddies they brought in as "experts" to advise them at significant expense to Hartford's taxpayers.

Why would the Council ever think it was advisable to take the advice of the author of Hartford's Charter to now interpret it and naturally claim he was correct when it was presented to the voters of Hartford years ago . Did they really think he would say "I was wrong, the Charter is flawed" Come on, he's a lawyer.

Luckily, in the initial evaluation, Judge Epstein got it right. Apparently she didn't get her law degree from Walmart like the rest of them.

I was amazed last month when I asked Council President Wooden if there was any estimate of what the Registrar's impeachment could potentially cost. Had anyone thought about the impact before they embarked on their actions. His answer was a quick "NO". Is that responsible stewardship of the taxpayers dollars? I would say not.


Anonymous said...

I hear that they are talking about budget cuts again. We can't afford the stadium, we can't afford these continued legal fees, and we can't afford to re-elect incompetent officials. We need new leadership. Come-on people wake up and show your anger about the lack of care for us as residents and taxpayers. VOTE!!!

Anonymous said...

VOTE! Vote! Vote! Vote Pedro OUT! Vote Wooden OUT!

Anonymous said...

Quiet please, Shawn Wooden doesn't agree with Judge Epstein's decision and is evaluating his options. We hope one of Wooden's options is to stop wasting our money and resign.

Anonymous said...

"JUDGE RULES HARTFORD COUNCIL CANNOT REMOVE REGISTRARS." What part of the decision doesn't high school graduate Shawn T. Wooden understand?

Clarence Darrow said...

Shawn Wooden masterminded this very expensive and DUMB strategy with the help of Attorney Alan Taylor...both should resign.

Anonymous said...

How could Wooden and the other clowns believe that a duly elected official could be simply fired, these people claim to be lawyers? Did Wooden go to UCONN With Sandy and Pedro? Everybody knows UCONN Law accepts tons of minorities with weak academic records from second rate colleges. In Hartford these third rate attorneys from UCONN have had a devastating effect on public policy. If only the average Hartford resident was smart enough to comprehend this.

Anonymous said...

Now that I think about it...A really good idea would be to get rid of the UCONN law school all together in Hartford. Sell the property to a developer so it can be included on the tax rolls. Put UCONN law in a pasture in Storrs with the rest of the cow manure. Maybe the smelly lawyers wont find their way to Hartford like it is an incubator for their half brained lefty ideas.

peter brush said...

Who knows; Epstein could be wrong, or at least an appeal might be successful. At a minimum it would seem that the Taylor position is a big stretch. And, what's the point? If the Council doesn't have more important things to do (a strong plausibility), let it take a vacation.
Taylor wrote. "The Home Rule Act specifically provides that the powers conferred upon a municipality by special act of the legislature may be retained in a Home Rule Act charter and, if they are retained, exist in addition to the powers conferred on all municipalities by the General Statutes. … This language plainly allows municipal charters to contain authority not generally granted to a municipality so long as the legislature has specifically granted that authority to the municipality in question and it has retained that authority in any locally adopted charter."

Anonymous said...

Kevin -

Great post. What is astonishing is how the Hartford Courant has never picked up on the very basic point you made - that Alan Taylor is the architect of the current City charter and therefore was in no position to offer a neutral view of the City's power to remove the registrars.

Basic Googling would have revealed that the City's prior corporation counsel (John Rose) had serious concerns about the City's power to remove elected officials. Members of the charter revision committees questioned the power of the city to remove elected officials.

Instead of proceeding carefully, the City moved in the way that it always does: by dumping resources into something that is designed to have massive symbolic effect, without first checking to see if it will work. In this way the registrar proceedings are very much like the baseball stadium.

When the full tale is told (and it should be), people will learn that this all started with the Democratic machine's burning desire to get rid of Olga in a way that did not connect her incompetence to the Democratic Party.

Olga was responsible for the vast majority of the problems on election day 2014. The reason why Dannel Malloy and Denise Merrill had to wait to vote was because Olga screwed up the process of checking absentee voters off the voter lists. As a registrar, Olga is not very good. Unfortunately for the Democratic machine, she is very good at winning Democratic registrar primaries.

Instead of the Democrats focusing on the political problem of its inability to get Olga to step aside, the machine tried to spread the blame for the 2014 election among the "three registrars." Note how many times the Courant used the term the "three registrars" to describe the problems with the election.

The idea was that if the election problems could be blamed on a bad "crew" instead of a single party that could not control its own registrar, the Democrats would emerge unscathed and maybe even look decisive.

The machine cranked up an expensive show trial that was illegal from the start.

Every dollar on this process was wasted. Hartford didn't do its legal homework. The powers that be hoped for a result that would make the City Council look strong and decisive. It achieved exactly the opposite result.

I'd love to post this comment in the Courant, but it appears to have little interest in what really happened.

Jeff Cohen has done some decent reporting on this. Maybe if he digs a little deeper, he'll have a great long form story on this.

For the moment, we have to rely on you, Kevin. Thanks and good job.

Anonymous said...

Please do not insult the millionaire, intellectual guy from the South End, Shawn Wooden, who's fighting for us the poor Hartford residents, well, at least pretending to do so. Give this intellectual some time to evaluate the big mess and the expenses he got us into.

Anonymous said...

Seriously guys, who do you trust more:
city council president, the honorable Shawn Wooden - or - superior court judge Constance Epstein.
Be honest.

Anonymous said...

This disfunctional mayor together with his city council keep on embarrassing us time and time again and again. We're sick and tired of these people. Enough already.

DarkCloud3 said...

Wooden has his hands out just like a lot of them city hall folks. He ain't the only one who profits. Spread the wealth Shawn My Boy!

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day, how much will this Wooden/Segarra adventure will cost us, Hartford tax payers?

Anonymous said...

Wooden--Mr. prep school boy--went to NYU Law School. And he lives on Scarborough Street in the west end, and grew up in the Blue Hills area (where he has NO credibility).


I don't think Wooden and most of his Council members have any credibility any where in the City, not just Blue Hills. Except maybe Dr. Deutsch. Kennedy, Wooden ,Jennings all need to go.

Anonymous said...

6:01pm What # on Scarborough Street? The reason I'm asking is to know if there's any connection to the Scarborough 11 on the same st.
Is the Wooden family the one who want them out? Obviously these hard working, good, peaceful people bother nobody.

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 7:25 PM: All of the homeowners on that street signed the petition complaint against the "Scarborough 11", except Shawn Wooden--not because he didn't want them out, but because it would have been a bad move for him politically to do so. I'm not sure about the second home for UConn president Susan Herbst, which is also on that street.

Anonymous said...

I could only say that Hartford would be a better place if we only had more Scarborough 11's

Anonymous said...

"Wooden" and "Credibility" do not fit in the same sentence. You may want to try "Wooden" and "Corruption" or "Wooden" and "Incompetence" which might work better.