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Former Mayor Bucci Urges Passage Of Anti-Corruption Bill

April 4th, 2015 · 8 Comments · News and Events

Former Mayor Tom Bucci (full disclosure: I served on his staff) has issued written testimony to the Connecticut General Assembly considering legislation banning individuals from seeking office who’ve violated the public trust. If passed, the measure would go into effect January 2016. Bucci letter.

I have had the honor of serving as an attorney in Connecticut for more than 30 years and the privilege of serving as the Mayor of Bridgeport from 1985 to 1989.

I am writing to voice my strong support HB-7051 and HB-7052. This proposed legislation is overdue when considering meaningful laws other states have implemented to safeguard the public trust as well as Connecticut’s own experiences over the last two decades.

From a legal perspective, our state prosecutors need the subpoena powers that are essential to not only prosecuting public corruption when it happens but also providing a meaningful deterrent for people.

I believe that the vast majority of people enter public service because they want to serve their community. I also believe that laws must be in place to hold individuals accountable when they betray that public trust. For too long we have acquiesced and relied on the U.S. Attorney’s Office to prosecute political corruption in our own state because we don’t have the legislative and legal resources to address it ourselves.

There certainly will be cases that are the most effectively prosecuted at the federal level. There are also cases that can and should be investigated and prosecuted at the state level. Connecticut should not have to rely on the U.S. Attorney’s Office because our laws are not adequate.

As a former mayor, I find this legislation equally important to maintain trust in the office that I proudly held for four years in the 1980s. It was disheartening to watch a Mayor in the 1990s tear down the principle that I so deeply believe in. We need to do better in addressing those who have egregiously and inexcusably violated their oaths of office, and displayed a selfish contempt for the public they were elected to represent. What is the excuse for their felonious behavior? That they were unaware they were conspiring with others to line their pockets at the expense of the citizens they serve? A mayor must focus on progress and not personal profit.  And there needs to be consequences when that is betrayed. We saw Bridgeport set back by more than a decade because of avarice. Until these convicted felons, who have never explained their behavior in a open and forthright manner, explain publicly why they conducted themselves in the way that they did, not just merely mouthing the excuse that they made a mistake, they are not deserving of a second chance.

It didn’t just happen in Bridgeport, it happened across the state, from local municipalities to the state’s highest office. And, it is still happening today, dominating current headlines. Clearly, this is a problem that we have not yet solved.

I support a lifetime ban on corrupt politicians in Connecticut from running for office again. This is not legally unprecedented. Many other states including New York and Michigan have done the same. It makes sense.

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal recently said “that there is continuing, unfortunate, tragic public corruption in this state that in fact victimizes taxpayers and ordinary citizens who have the right to more and better government.”

He’s right. Citizens do have the right to more and better government. And, these bills accomplish that. I urge you to support them.

Thank you for your time.
Thomas Bucci, Esq.

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8 Comments so far ↓

  • charlie

    This concept is a no-brainer; however it appears the crew in Hartford are looking out for themselves and not us!

  • Maria Pereira

    Bucci is the attorney who represents the Bridgeport chapter of NAGE. The union president is in Mayor Finch’s back pocket. Hmmm?

    • Maria Pereira

      Well what do you know? According to a CT Post article in tomorrow’s paper, NAGE is in the midst of negotiating a new contract and union concessions and givebacks. This smells fishy.

    • Wingnut

      AFSCME’S President & VP are not in Finch’s back pocket. OOOPS better call the Proctologist!!!

  • Steven Auerbach

    Thomas Bucci has written a most eloquent and thoughtful letter that most thinking, intelligent, honest and pro Bridgeporters would agree with. Most taxpayers in this city would agree with. Full disclosure, Tom Bucci was my attorney when I purchased my first condominium at the age of 24. Later, as Mayor he appointed me to a commission and never interfered with the process or asked us to vote any special way. I later supported Mayor Moran, but not because of any disrespect to Tom Bucci. I still maintain under Tom Bucci’s administration, the city got the new Peoples United Headquarters and the gorgeous Wright Financial Center.

    I am glad Tom Bucci had lent his years of experience as a Mayor and Attorney in the city of Bridgeport to support a Bill that to most people makes perfect sense. Thank you, Mayor Bucci.

    • Steve Miller

      Bucci and you aren’t God or even judges. You don’t get to add to any sentence because a building was built. Under our system you need to file a sentencing law to prevent a guilty politician from being able to run. Then the judge in the case would need to apply that law for the sentence.

      The sentence and conviction is full disclosure. We know what happened before. We don’t know if Ganim might commit another crime if he got elected.

  • Bob Walsh

    I find it interesting Mayor Bucci choose to put forth public comments on this legislation but not the bill to ban city employees from the City Council.
    Must be the lawyer in him that causes him to believe there is nothing wrong with putting people in a position to do wrong but don’t give them the second chance. Such hypocrisy.
    The public trust is the public trust. It is not OK to violate it sometimes but not other times.

  • Maria Pereira

    Bob, I agree with your assessment. I have never known Bucci to submit testimony or make a public statement in support, or in opposition of any particular issue.

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