I wanted to be in the courtroom Monday, but like half the state, I’m still in the dark with limited internet. If anyone out there has any influence with Northeast Utilities, please help! Or at least light a candle for me.
Day one of the Superior Court hearing to determine mayoral candidate Mary-Jane Foster’s ballot position featured testimony from her campaign manager Jason Bartlett and Democratic Registrar of Voters Santa Ayala, who rejected Foster’s entire slate because Ayala said Foster had one too many candidates for Board of Education.
The court hearing, according to several court observers, featured a contrast in legal styles, Attorney Alan Neigher for plaintiff Foster taking on the role of an understated country lawyer, while Deputy City Attorney Art Laske, the lawyer for the defense, was the aggressor.
Bartlett took the stand early Monday afternoon to explain his interaction with Ayala to seek petition papers on behalf of the Foster slate. Ayala followed Bartlett late in the afternoon. Neigher tried to trap the Registrar in a series of inconsistencies over what transpired in her conversations with Bartlett regarding submission of paperwork for the Foster slate to qualify for the ballot.
Neigher, a first-amendment and media attorney, wants to introduce an article from the Connecticut Post focused on what Ayala knew and when she knew it regarding her rationale to disallow Foster’s entire slate for ballot spots. Judge Barbara Bellis asked Neigher to file a brief for her consideration Tuesday (today) morning before the hearing resumes at noon.
Dan Tepfer from the Connecticut Post was there, read his take here.
Mr. Neigher thinks he can impeach Ms. Ayala with a newspaper article? Sounds like desperation to me.
That “newspaper article” may lead to a charge of perjury.
Not considered admissible in determining perjury. So many wanna-be attorneys posting.
I’m sure the article was well vetted by the editorial staff at the Post. Attorney Neigher can prove she’s a liar with the newspaper article and the testimony of the reporter. That could lead to a charge of perjury. Judges don’t like it when defendants lie under oath. Just ask Joe Ganim.
I do not think Mr. Neigher is trying to impeach Ayala. However, he is definitely showing Ms. Ayala’s inconsistent comments. Ayala’s legal adviser kept objecting to simple questions. The Ganims were in the room. Ray was turning green. It was such a long process I feel like I lost more hair and aged two years sitting through it. Jason Bartlett held his own as Laske asked the same question for 2 hours every different way he could. Ms. Ayala seemed to have a problem answering the most elementary questions. I sat there for 5 hours just to support the team. Left and mowed the lawn and tried to get to the gym but they were in the dark also. I will be there tomorrow to hear Laske cross-examine Ayala. That should be exciting–yawn. Even the judge was bored with the redundant testimony. I think she was playing poker online.
Showing inconsistent statements is the definition of impeachment in a courtroom. The problem for Mr. Neigher, however, is the rules simply don’t permit it with a newspaper article. There is this annoying little thing called the hearsay rule …
On August 25, 2011, a Connecticut Post Editorial called for Santa Ayala’s head. On August 29, 2011, Santa Ayala denied ever stating to the Post she knew about the irregularity or flaw on MJF’s petition before they were circulated. If in fact she made the alleged statement to the Post, she is calling the reporter a liar. If the CT Post truly believes it’s time for Santa Ayala to go, it would be only fair to have the reporter who interviewed Ayala testify in court and attest to the statement she made and denied under oath. This is looking like an additional case of perjury and it would be an interesting development to hear the CT Post reporter testify. If the Post would like to see their editorial piece come to fruition, here is your opportunity.
Right on, Joel. I was thinking the same thing.
Joel, is this the quote from Santa Ayala you are talking about?
“It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”
Of course, if you want to curse out the tree that knocked down the power lines and blocked the road, that is entirely your business.
Oh c’mon guys. Look, Ayala believed there was a problem with the petition at the beginning because of the question of whether it should have BOE candidates at all, not whether it should have 3 or 4 candidates. When you look at her comments in their entirety, it is clear this is what she was referring to in the Post article. And nobody has proven differently from what I can tell. Indeed, Mr. Bartlett doesn’t even claim he ever specifically asked her or discussed with her about the # of candidates. Their discussion only focused on whether there should be BOE candidates on the petition at all. And even though it was unclear to Ms. Ayala and Mr. Bartlett at the time, he made the strategic decision to include them, knowing it could jeopardize the validity of the petition later on.
The “we were misled by Ayala and relied on her advice” claim goes nowhere in these circumstances. The MJF camp is left only with their arguments about the interpretation of the statutes and the charter.
Sandi is doing a pretty good job of impeaching herself. Bartlett in his testimony several times stated he requested a series of rulings from Ms. Ayala that she never provided. The word “ruling” will be a keyword in this case.
“Oh c’mon guys. Look, Ayala believed there was a problem with the petition at the beginning because of the question of whether it should have BOE candidates at all, not whether it should have 3 or 4 candidates. When you look at her comments in their entirety, it is clear this is what she was referring to in the Post article.”
If this was what Ms. Ayala said based on your above statement then she committed perjury yesterday.
The arguments about the statutes and the city charter are the crux of the biscuit. Ms. Ayala perjured herself yesterday. If Judge Bellis allows the newspaper story in it would prove she’s a liar. If either Arthur Laske III or Paul Ganim advised her to testify falsely it could lead to a charge of suborning perjury, an offense that could result in the suspension or revocation of a law license.
You are right on. Mr. Bartlett brought that slate down single-handedly with sheer ignorance. Obviously a poor excuse for a campaign manager who should know the rules and statutes inside out.
Mr. Bartlett’s position is since the reconstitution of the school board is being challenged in court it was appropriate to field BOE candidates.
*** Just ’cause it feels wrong, doesn’t make it right, no? *** EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED ***
We attended the MJF hearing yesterday in court, and have definite opinions on various issues, Jason’s testimony, the video shown in court which was filmed at the Registrars’ office (Registrar official said stop taking pictures and they continued, who was filming?), on the merit of two lawyers’ arguments, on the extensive objections, and opening procedural problem issues, however do not want put these in writing here. May make comments on the show tonight.
Santa Ayala is a liar and a crook. Or she is simply a shill for Mario Testa. Either way, Ms. Ayala is unfit to hold the office of Registrar of Voters.
MJF supporters: Remember to “buy local” when you get those “Jason Bartlett Stole My Vote” t-shirts printed up. Lots of t-shirt shops in Bridgeport would love your business.
This wouldn’t be up for discussion if Bartlett had an f’ing clue as to what he’s doing. A lot of lives will be ruined if MJ doesn’t get on the ballot. Finch will destroy our city.
Rick Torres, Republican candidate for Bridgeport mayor, will be special guest on the live TV show “Bridgeport Now” tonight at 8pm, on channel 88 for 30 minutes.
I can’t believe the Registrar of Voters’ office has no responsibility to the public or candidates running for public office.
Every Registrar of Voters, as long as I can remember, has always advised candidates running for office on the DO’S AND DON’TS. If I were running for the city council and I brought in 3 NAMES as my running mates, she would inform me you can only have two people running per district. She has a responsibility, not only to the public, but also people running for public office!