Pereira Cleared Of Charges, Martinez Pleads Guilty To Domestic Violence

CT Post reporter Dan Tepfer files this report on court cases involving two school board members:

City Board of Education member and outspoken critic Maria Pereira was found not guilty Thursday of creating a disturbance during a meeting at Success Village last September.

“Justice prevailed today,” said a jubilant Pereira as she walked out of the courtroom in Golden Hill Street.

Then, motioning down the hall to the courtroom where fellow board member Jessica Martinez had just pleaded guilty to domestic violence charges, Pereira added, “Why don’t you ask the city why they didn’t put out a press release when she was arrested?”

Full story here.



  1. What’s that old song? It goes something like ” I fought the law and the law LOST!”

    As most OIB readers know, when I was arrested at Success Village on September 11, 2018 I never publiclly commented on the matter. I did so on the advice of Judge Lopez and my Attorneys Robert Frost and Erica Barber.

    I do now want to state publiclly that the arresting officer was longtime DTC Member Tony Lanzia’s grandaughter Chelsea Lanzia. He serves on the DTC in Mario Testa’s district and the arresting officer resides on the same street as her grandfather.

    None of the officers knew that the Success Village Community Room has four cameras from different viewpoints recording continuously when the room is in use. I did know. I also knew that the video was going to prove that several Success Village members field statements riddled with false statements and that Officer Lancia’ s police report was a fictional tale.

    The Magistrate was firm, pragmatic, and direct. After both the prosecutor and my attorney made their closing statement, without so much as a 10 second delay, he announced he had made his decision. It was that decisive for the Magistrate.

    The prosecution offered me three unsolicited deals prior to today’s trial. First, they wanted me to plead guilty to a reduced criminal trespass charge and they would drop the charge on interfering with police and breach of Peace. I rejected it.

    Next they offered that if I paid a $50.00 fine not only would they drop all the charges, they would wipe the arrests record. Those I trust urged me to take it. My attorney asked the judge for a two week timeframe to decide. Two weeks later my partner was driving me to the courthouse and I had no idea what I was going to do. We arrived in the parking lot and I turned to my boyfriend and asked him ” if I reject the deal and take it to trial will you support me?” He didn’t flinch and stated “yes.”

    I walked in and told my lawyer I was rejecting the deal and wanted a jury trial. Attorney Frost was shocked. He said are you sure. I get you out of here today for $50.00 with no arrests on your record. He then stated I am more than happy to take your money, but this is like dropping $10,000 at Foxwoods. I stated “I’m sure.”

    When he told the judge he was in disbelief. My lawyer told the judge we wanted the jury trial. The Chief Prosecutor promptly threw out the interfering charge and dropped the criminal trespass and creating a public disturbance to the lowest level possible, infranctions. This is the equivalent to a parking ticket. Even if I was found guilty it would not be a crime, simply a fine.

    I asked Attorney Frost why was that done. Attorney Frost explained no defendant can request a jury trial for infractions. You can only have a trial before a Magistrate who normally deals with contested speeding or moving violations.

    We stated we were pressing forward. We did exactly that and prevailed.

    It was a really good day.

  2. This has made me really think about how broken the judicial system is.

    The average inner city defendant would have jumped at the offer to pay a $50.00 fine with the record of arrest completely erased because fighting allegations they truly believed they were innocent of would be so expensive And, it has been incredibly expensive.

    I have a supportive partner and family that is always going to stand with me. Many defendants don’t have that level of support.

    This was about principal, not cutting a quick deal and moving on.

    I truly felt this arrest was politically motivated, intended to send me a message, and meant to intimidate me. That is why I called their bluff and took it to trial.

    I am really glad I did. I know MANY defendants in the same circumstance could not afford great criminal defense attorneys. That is why our judicial system is so broken.

  3. Congratulations..Maria Pereira. You are s fighter and a winner. Jessica Martinez is just another suckup in the TestaGanim gang of supplicant/acolytes.

  4. Congrats Maria. Now take it to the next level!
    Great editorial in the post calling for long overdue change in leadership for the PD.
    The title however misses the mark. It should read change in leadership needed for ALL leadership at city hall, not just the police department. Hey Lennie, you should do a recap of all the lawsuits settled, pending, and still to come as a result of the mismanagement of the city by JG et al- AND the resulting co$t to the city. It would be an interesting read. Oh, also, GO PORTER!!!!!

  5. The CT Post is simply disgraceful!
    .When I was arrested at Success Village on three low level misdemeanors and given a PTA, it made the front page.

    I fought the charges, demanded a trial and won,! The story of my being found not guilty on all charges is buried on page 15!

    The CT Post is such a poor newspaper!

  6. Right thing, Maria
    Don’t pay the $50
    Don’t admit to anything they say you did wrong when you haven’t done anything wrong. It would come back to haunt you. It would be cited against you

  7. When the legal system is amenable to, and complicit in harassing and silencing law-abiding citizens in the context of the abrogation of their First Amendment rights, we can be certain that society is in the danger zone. Conversely, when the system gives a pass to law breakers because of the influence of money and political power, we are also in a very dangerous situation.

    Maria’s win in court over what is, at best, a stupid arrest over what amounts to a false complaint by the political opposition in a condo-board dispute, lays-bare Brideport’s dysfunction at its most basic level. It would seem that condo-board politics is taken more seriously by BPD than such things as traffic safety and secure, night-time commercial activity throughout the city.

    This speaks of confused priorities within the BPD and the Police Commission, and, by logical implication, confused priorities all the way up to, and including the Mayor’s Office.

    But Maria’s win in court can serve to allay our fears and frustration a bit, since things did work properly higher up the food-chain in the state judicial system. (And, perhaps the most important thing to remember here is that the judicial system wouldn’t have worked correctly — or at all — had Maria just allowed the deliberately-/illegally-applied legal stressors to induce her to take the “easy way out” and just pay a $50 fine.)

    And that suggests the presentation of a parallel observation concerning our failing, mismanaged cities: Cities such as Bridgeport wouldn’t be failing if the state and federal government were maintaining proper oversight and support from Hartford and DC. Just as the courts are there to help to assure smooth civic functioning between various descriptions of interactive parties, so is the hierarchy of government deliberately positioned to support and sustain the smooth functioning of the lower organizations of government — to intervene, appropriately, where there is dysfunction and shortfalls of resources/wherewithal, such as in natural disasters, financial exigency, civil unrest, disruptive systemic corruption, etc…

    The state and federal government have failed every Connecticut city, but one, in this regard.

    In this mayoral election year, with real Bridgeport unemployment near the highest in the state, despite our Fairfield County location (with youth unemployment near 50%, reflected in nearly 1-dozen young people killed, and 5-dozen others wounded by intentional/planned shooting incidents), it is obvious that while the judicial system still has the potential to function adequately, much of the rest of our machinery of government would appear to not have that capacity — especially at the State level, especially in terms of economic development… This raises the question of mayoral candidate economic development platforms and their engagement of the state in helping the state’s largest city… And, of course, it also raises the question of what reforms the candidates tend to pursue in regard to meeting the very serious challenges and problems currently up-ending the BPD…

    But there is dysfunction throughout Bridgeport municipal government, and a few people, such as Maria Pereira are working diligently, across several areas, to get things back on track. It is absolutely destructive and incompetent for City Hall to not resonate with the positive energy and ideas of such people. And for our police department to play into them harassment and silencing of such people because of plain incompetence or politically-orchestrated reasons, speaks of a city reaching, or maybe even beyond, the point of no return. Such destructive incomptetence within the purview of our Bridgeport municipal government must cease and become unthinkable, even as the state and federal government, burdened as they might be with their own corruption and incompetence, commence to properly administer their compromised Bridgeport charge…

    And the residents of the City of Bridgeport owe Maria Pereira a big Congratulations! and Thank You!

  8. The day after I was arrested at Success Village, school board member Jessica Martinez posted Lennie’s OIB article with the following comment:

    ” We need better leaders to step up and lead with integrity, whom our upcoming children and leaders can mirror.”

    ” We need to do better!”

    Meanwhile, the following month she was involved in an incident where she was charged with Felony Assault in the 2nd Degree and a Class A Misdemeanor Reckless Endagerment in the 1st Degree. Her Bond was set at $50,000.

    She was arrested on January 24, 2019 for a variety of charges related to driving an unregistered vehicle, misuse of plates and failing to use her vehicle lights. The arrest for the October 2018 incidents are also listed as January 24, 2019 which seems to indicate when she was stopped for the vehicle she was picked up on a warrant for the October 2018 matters. Both arrests state the Bridgeport Police Department was the arresting agency.

    Did Chief Perez, Mayor Ganim or their communications staff notify all City Council members of these matters and her arrest? Did they notify the press? No, it was hush hush.

    Jessica Martinez was re-arrested in Stratford on June 3, 2019 for a Felony Charge of Failing to Adhere to a Protective Order and received a PTA.

    My friend noticed Jessica Martinez and her boyfriend sitting in the lobby in the court house yesterday. I had not noticed her. I assumed she was there to watch my trial which is certainly her right.

    Suddenly, Dennis Bradley appears with a folder and starts consulting with her. I realize Jessica is dressed really nice and her is very professional and we all realize she is in court for her own matter (s).

    I go over to the wall with the docket and find her on the Domestic Violence Docket with multiple charges. I immediately search CT and find the criminal offenses and motor vehicle offenses totalling 6 charges.

    Her boyfriend was also charged with a total of eleven charges on all the same dates including four felonies with two being risk of injury to a child and violation of a protective order. He received a $75,000 Bond for the October incidents and a $5,500 Bond on June 3, 2019.

    Yesterday, Jessica Martinez plead guilty to a lesser charge of failure to follow conditions of release which is a Class A Misdemeanor. This was pleaded down from the Felony of Violating a Protective Order which is certainly a wise thing to do.

    An attorney must file an appearance prior to representing a client in court. If you look at all three cases for Jessica Martinez, the attorney representing her is completely blank.

    I wonder of Jessica Martinez still thinks we need leaders with integrity that serve as examples for future leaders and children.

    ” We need to do better!”

    Let’s not forget that Jessica Martinez was Dennis Bradley’s Treasuer and both are still being investigated by the SEEC. I know that for a fact.

    1. @Maria
      #1 Congratulations

      #2 “An attorney must file an appearance prior to representing a client in court. If you look at all three cases for Jessica Martinez, the attorney representing her is completely blank.”
      Attorneys regularly file appearance forms when the clerk calls the case.. The docket forms are printed in advance and the attorney may not have been hired and an engagement letter signed and retainer paid.

      I was in court a couple of months ago and there was no attorney listed for the person I was suing. I did not see him in court. When the clerk called the case, a female attorney I know well stood up and said she represented the client. I questioned why no appearance was filed. She told the judge she only received the engagement letter and check by Fedex 10 minutes before court started and was in the process of handwriting an appearance form when the clerk called the case..

    2. Well, at least MANY people in Bridgeport, elected and appointed etc., have one consistent theme going for them: arrest records!! The bartender on the council also has had his experiences being arrested a few times as well. Assault 2nd as a matter of fact which is a felony. Mario of course, overlooked that when he “ordered” his bartender to run for the council.
      Here, Here, The gangs all here!!!

  9. When Jessica Martinez publicly spoke, she had no idea it would come back to bite her in her self righteous ass.
    “We need better leaders to step up and lead with integrity, whom our upcoming children and leaders can mirror.”
    ” We need to do better!”

    You’re absolutely correct Councilwoman Martinez and we should start with the members of the City Council and the Mayor’s office.

  10. Thanks, I knew that and I knew it wasn’t Enida. She’s my girl whom I highly respect. Having said that the sentiment is the same irrespective of her title.

  11. I feel really supported by those in the Bridgeport community.

    The day after my victory I was being interviewed by Channel 12 News. A city refuse truck came down the street and the driver hopped out of the truck to grab a trash can and he told me something to the effect that I was a great fighter and to keep fighting. A few minutes late an older gentlemen with FaithACTS for Education came down the street and asked if he could give me a hug. He congratulated me on my victory and told me to keep up the good work.

    I ran into a retired BPD officer that I attended Warren Harding High School with, and he congratulated me on my victory. He told me the chargers were bullsh_t and that my new charges on a “Breach of Peace” were laughable, too.

    I just got home and one of my voters in JFK literally drove to my house and left me a card and a gift.
    The card read as follows:

    ” It’s your time to shine!”

    ” Celebrating this moment right along with you.”

    ” Congratulations on your BIG WIN regarding the Success Village court case!”

    Thanks to all those who have and continue to support me. 🙂


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