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Finch Proposes Action Against Public Corruption

March 19th, 2015 · 12 Comments · News and Events

In a letter to leadership of the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee, Mayor Bill Finch calls for a “lifetime disqualification for corrupt politicians to run for office … with the caveat that the disqualification measure applies after the 2015 election cycle.” Under the mayor’s proposal this would not apply to former Mayor Joe Ganim who’s expected to make a formal announcement to seek his old job in April. The Judiciary Committee is considering enabling legislative this session.

The mayor’s letter to co-chairs Eric Coleman and William Tong:

I want to express my support and appreciation for your committee in considering legislation–and moving a bill forward–that would strengthen laws aimed at cracking down on public corruption.

Public corruption isn’t a victimless crime. It hurts everyone in our community. It’s bad for the image of our cities and our state because it keeps investors from creating jobs and growing their businesses here.

That’s why for your consideration, I recommend a three-pronged approach to taking further action against public corruption, which includes: kicking all corrupt politicians off pension rolls; stronger state laws against public corruption; and a lifetime disqualification for corrupt politicians to run for office.

Connecticut has made progress over the past several years on giving state prosecutors the tools necessary to fight public corruption, but clearly it has not been enough.

I believe passing–and signing into law–legislation that includes these measures is critical to our state and its future. It will make our cities and towns a place where more companies want to invest and hire people, where more people want to live and work, and where our strong communities make for an even stronger economy.

But, I also believe that tackling public corruption is about more than one person or one election. And, I want to ensure that there isn’t a perception that this bill is aimed at driving any one corrupt politician off of the ballot.

That said, I recommend the committee move forward with this legislation, and with the caveat that the disqualification measure applies after the 2015 election cycle. However, the committee should not dismiss this measure altogether. Because what it’s really about is a better future for our kids and grandkids. And, it’s about restoring trust in government.

To be clear, I agree with U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly in stating, “we want people in prison to come back into society and have some chance of success.” I also concur with her assertion that “public officials who breach the public trust might be in a somewhat different category.”

That’s why sex offenders shouldn’t work in a day care, and corrupt politicians shouldn’t work in government. It’s common-sense, and it will help protect taxpayers from future harm.

Now more than ever, we need to take action against public corruption at the state level. I do not want to see it derailed because of misconceptions. Thank you again for your consideration.

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12 Comments so far ↓

  • Jennifer Buchanan

    At the state level? How about putting your money where your mouth is and clean up your own backyard, start with city employees off city council.

    • Bob Walsh

      Yes, Jennifer. At the state level. Bill has determined of all the reforms he has proposed at the local level nothing has been enacted.
      Maybe that’s because he doesn’t realize he can actually do things at the local level without Mark Anastasi’s permission.
      Time will tell … What the hell.

  • Harvey Weintraub

    I just love that Finch is so nervous about Joe running, it seems it’s all he thinks about these days.

  • Maria Pereira

    Mayor Finch, you were a State Senator when John Rowland, Joe Ganim and Ernie Newton were all convicted for corruption. If you were truly so concerned with this issue, why didn’t you introduce the legislation you now seek? You have been mayor for over seven years and never pursued this legislation, but now it is such a critical matter? PLEASE!

  • Ron Mackey

    Bill Finch is losing so much respect from the voters of Bridgeport and he doesn’t even know it. Finch is so scared of Joe Ganim running for mayor, he’s asking for a law to block Ganim from running. Bill Finch is not man enough to run on his record as mayor against Ganim’s record as former mayor and his time in jail. Now he wants the state to bail him out by passing a bill. This man is a real loser.

  • Bob Walsh

    This is the same clown who sought public disclosure of business relationships when Manny’s driveway was in the news and failed to follow up on that. And suggested similar rules when he had City employees steering contracts to businesses they owned and failed to follow up on that. It’s his solution du jour to end corruption until someone tells him to back off because he might actually embarrass himself and his administration.

  • Jimfox

    Fixing Mayor Finch’s typos
    The mayor’s letter to co-chairs Eric Coleman and William Tong:
    I want to express my support and appreciation for your committee in considering legislation–-and moving a bill forward–-that would strengthen laws aimed at cracking down on my public corruption.
    Public corruption isn’t a victimless crime. It hurts everyone in our community, even in Stratford. It’s bad for the image of our cities and our state because it keeps investors from creating jobs and kicking back growing my businesses here.
    That’s why for your consideration I recommend a three-pronged approach to taking further action against Manny, Sal, McCarthy and Tippy whose public corruption will cost this city in the millions for decades to come, which includes: kicking all corrupt politicians off pension rolls; including Rich Paoletto retired two-time sex harasser I personally try to save.
    Stronger state laws against public corruption; and a lifetime disqualification for corrupt politicians to run for office. I know this will hurt many people in my administration but what the fluck as long as I look good to the voters before the August Primary.
    Connecticut has made progress over the past several years on giving state prosecutors the tools necessary to fight public corruption, but clearly it has not been enough.
    I believe passing–-and signing into law–-legislation that includes these measures is critical to our state and its future. It will make our cities and towns a place where more companies want to invest and hire people plus kicking back to my administration, where more people want to live and work, and where our strong communities make for an even stronger economy.
    But I also believe tackling public corruption is about more than one person or one election. And, I want to ensure there isn’t a perception this bill is aimed at Joe Ganim or driving any one corrupt politician off the ballot, but if you see it in your hearts to implement this bill this year, then who am I to stop you?
    That said, I recommend the committee move forward with this legislation as fast as humanly possible, my ass is in a flucking sling, and with the caveat the disqualification measure applies before the 2015 election cycle. However, the committee should not dismiss this measure altogether. Because what it’s really about is a better future for my kids and grandkids. And, it’s about restoring trust in government.
    To be clear, I agree with U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly in stating, “We want people in prison to come back into society and have some chance of success, but not at my job.” I also concur with her assertion that “public officials who breach the public trust might be in a somewhat different category.” So please move as fast as you can to pass this bill, or my ass is toast! That’s why sex offenders shouldn’t work in city hall, and corrupt politicians shouldn’t work in government or airport projects in Stratford. It’s commonsense, and it will help protect taxpayers from my future harm.
    Now more than ever, we need to take action against public corruption at the state level. I do not want to see it derailed because of misconceptions. Thank you again for your consideration.

    Did I mention I was up for reelection this year?

  • Bob Halstead

    It is disheartening that the connections in Hartford go so deep for this Mayor.

  • John Marshall Lee

    I agree with those who would have the Mayor deal with public corruption at the local level first. Steps towards that goal might include public meetings to explore the facts about and the lessons learned from:
    ** Sikorsky Airport–what happened? At what public expense? How did it happen that we paid for a driveway in Stratford for a private party known to many?
    ** October 1, 2013 Revaluation–What happened to results sent from Vision Appraisal to the City? Who viewed the results? Who directed the decision making that resulted in the City not having such results and still paying Vision $300,000 for the 2013 results? What does the City Net Taxable Grand List look like today when posted on a 10-year trendline? If neighborhood results have operated in unequal fashion since at least 2013, how unjust are the current payments for those in the poorest-value neighborhoods?
    ** Where is the Public Hearing to be held annually according to the City Charter on the Capital Budget? Where is the Capital Budget detail for the past several years showing projects for a given year, where the funding came from, the status of completion of such project, and current disposition of funds for projects uncompleted with expected completion??? How does one sheet of paper with $42 Million worth of purchasing constitute a reasonable intro for a non-expert group of City Council members on which to make a decision that may put taxpayers deeper in debt?
    ** The Finance Office of the City on too many occasions has published reports with errors of various kinds that provide testimony to poor proofreading at a minimum. Why isn’t the monthly financial report simplified into a five-line expense report per department, eliminating all BOE reporting except for 4-5 summary lines? Eighty pages or more will shrink to about 20 and provide an Executive Summary that can be understood by Council (including Police, Fire and Emergency Operations Overtime expense).
    ** The June 30, 2014 Monthly Report based on audited results and termed a FINAL report has not surfaced yet. Why not? Are there actions revealed in that year similar to the ILLEGAL purchase orders for charitable contributions by 15 Council persons committing nearly $30,000 of taxpayer funds for political purposes?

    Time will tell.

  • Andrew C Fardy

    McCarthy violated the charter and the law when he and 15 council members donated $30,000 to various charities. To make it worse many of the council candidates in one form or another were involved in these charities.
    McCarthy violated the law when he allowed certain council people to use their stipends to provide themselves with groceries for a year and free cable for a year. McCarthy has to go.

  • Bob Walsh

    Lennie,
    Can you post this bill or a link to it?
    Just wondering who sponsored the legislation, how it defines “corruption” and what language is in the proposed legislation as to an effective date.

  • Wingnut

    Where is the million dollars for the remediation of property at Central Ave and Trowel St. (Mt. Trashmore)?

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