Following the resignation of R. Christopher Meyer, Mayor Joe Ganim has appointed a familiar face to lead the city’s legal office, Mark Anastasi, who served as city attorney from 1992 to 2015.
Friday was Meyer’s last day. Anastasi will preside on an interim basis until the selection of his successor.
Meyer served in the City Attorney’s Office for more than three decades, the last six and one-half as chief counsel.
Ganim also announced that attorneys James T. Maye and Deborah M. Garskof will join the legal office on June 27.
Garskof comes to Bridgeport from Ury & Moskow of Fairfield where she practiced since 1998. Maye will be leaving his own practice in Norwalk focusing on real estate, bankruptcy and business law.
“I appreciate Attorney Anastasi returning to the position of City Attorney to lead the Office and providing his assistance as we search for a successor,” said Ganim in a prepared statement. “I want to again thank Attorney Meyer for his outstanding service to the city, and his leadership in my administration. We all wish him well.”
Ganim appointed Meyer immediately after his return to the mayoralty in 2015. He had originally tabbed Anastasi in 1992 to helm the office that had been filled historically by part-time leaders. Anastasi had served for more than a decade as associate city attorney.
Some members of the City Council have been critical of law office leadership asserting it is beholden to the mayor and not the city as a whole. They argue that they need their own dedicated counsel to advise on a cross-section of legal issues.
Happy retirement Christopher Meyer you served with distinction, now the clocks turn back in time, for Hamilton Burger.
Mark Anastasi (aka,Hamilton Burger) Bill Finch and David Dunn are three of the most dangerous and worse Bridgeport City offical to serve Bridgeport.
Brian Lockhart Oct. 17, 2014
Updated: Oct. 19, 2014 11:36 p.m.
His title is City Attorney but he’s really the mayor’s attorney irrespective of who holds the office. His title is City Attorney but he’s really the mayor’s attorney irrespective of who holds the office, such is Mark Anastasi’s perspective serving as the city’s chief legal counsel for more than 20 years.
Arguably one of the most powerful people in City Hall, City Attorney Mark Anastasi, who shields administrations with legal opinions the way the Secret Service is supposed to protect U.S. presidents, ’s perspective serving as the city’s chief legal counsel for more than 20 years. CT Post scribe Brian Lockhart has the latest on Anastasi.
Anastasi was hired in 1983 by the legal office. In 1992, then-Mayor P. Joseph Ganim made him city attorney. Ganim’s successor, John M. Fabrizi, kept Anastasi in that role when Ganim went to prison on federal corruption charges. Finch retained Anastasi after his election in 2007.
All three mayors are Democrats, and Anastasi has long been involved in local Democratic politics. The administration hired Anastasi’s son, Christopher, in 2009. Christopher Anastasi is the city’s sustainability coordinator.
The public can witness Anastasi in action at council meetings, hovering around the mayor and council like that body’s 21st member, stooping over to whisper in the occasional ear.
Here”s another reason that Mark Anastasi (aka,Hamilton Burger) Bill Finch and David Dunn are three of the most dangerous and worse Bridgeport City offical to serve Bridgeport.
“Judge Dale Radcliffe And Carmen Lopez, Legal Power Couple”
October 11, 2013 LennieGrimaldi Analysis and Comment,
Changing the mind of a mayor is not an easy thing, especially when it appears a project is a done deal. It takes a rallying point or someone to help rally the opposition to make it clear holding firm will be more trouble than it’s worth. In the days leading up to Mayor Bill Finch vetoing a police plan to house a shooting range inside a revamped police precinct in the West End at the juxtaposition of City Council Districts, retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez was meticulously burning up the phone lines, issuing emails, organizing meetings, visiting the Zoning Department, reaching out to City Council members, police officials and questioning the tactics of city lawyers all on behalf of parents opposed to the proposed indoor range across from Cesar Batalla School.
Last week the mayor received an earful from parents at a community meeting at Batalla School. It was a noisy affair, according to folks who attended the session. The mayor has had success deflecting opposition to his favor at community meetings. Not at that meeting. It was enough for the mayor to say let’s stick this thing someplace else. Okay boys and girls, go figure it out and don’t dare put it near a neighborhood school.
Finch understands what occurred on September 10 when every Democratic Town Committee endorsed candidate was vanquished by challengers was a potential game changer for his reelection in 2015. Ignoring the wishes of angry parents is not good government or politics for Finch coming on the heels of the primary results.
In her cause célèbre on behalf of the disenfranchised, Lopez has emerged as a formidable legal foe of the city’s political power structure. When Lopez retired from the bench five years ago she didn’t sit back very long before challenging governmental decision making. She herself understands political process. Decades ago as a young attorney, she was part of the political establishment. No more. Not in the current configuration of city politics, anyway. She asks questions, makes strong arguments and challenges the due diligence of lawyers in the City Attorney’s Office. She’s become a pain in the butt for the political establishment on a number of levels.
Independently of Lopez, her husband, Superior Court Judge Dale Radcliffe, has issued some decisions and observations from the bench lately that should snap lawyers in the City Attorney’s office to attention. The other day in a related hearing involving the status of the controversial $400,000 taxpayer-paid driveway for Manny Moutinho’s Stratford mansion, the judge asked an underling of City Attorney Mark Anastasi, “Why did Mr. Anastasi make the decision to put in the driveway when the appeal (brought by Stratford property owners) was pending?” Judge Radcliffe had ruled previously city taxpayers had no obligation to cover the cost of Moutinho’s driveway for a municipally owned airport improvement plan, the one that got Airport Manager John Ricci fired for what the city claimed was Ricci withholding the extent of his relationship with the developer. Ricci disputes the city’s position.
Judge Radcliffe did not say so in open court, but perhaps the judge was indicating maybe the city fired the wrong guy.
Hmmm, what dinner conversation must be like in the Radcliffe-Lopez Black Rock household.