Should Taxpayers Cover City Legal Bills For Primary Lawsuit?

From Democratic mayoral candidate Mary-Jane Foster:

Democratic candidate for mayor of Bridgeport Mary-Jane Foster called on Mayor Bill Finch today to have his campaign pay for all the legal bills relating to the lawsuit that found the Democratic Registrar of Voters improperly rejected Foster’s primary petitions. The City was represented by several attorneys during the trial and likely had significant staff support, as well. The mayor has said repeatedly that he is happy to have a primary and would not appeal the lawsuit.

“Too little to late,” responded Jason Bartlett, Foster’s campaign manager. “The mayor’s lack of sincerity is ever-present. He could have stopped this entire episode from happening by just demanding his city attorneys not interfere with the certification process and allowing the Foster slate to be certified. Instead he demanded that the Registrar decertify and forced the court challenge.”

Mary-Jane Foster rejected the mayor’s hollow words during today’s debate and called on Mayor Finch to pay for the legal fees.

“Why should the taxpayers of Bridgeport pay the bills for a lawsuit designed to disenfranchise them?” asked Foster. “Mayor Finch should do the right thing by the residents of Bridgeport and pay for the costs of the trial out of his hefty campaign war chest.”

Foster was prevented from being on the primary ballot by Democratic Registrar of Voters Santa Ayala, who indicated that she was aware she had provided Foster with a flawed petition. Foster filed suit and won the legal challenge on all counts on September 2, 2011.



  1. Bill Finch should have no problem picking up this legal tab. As Finch has proclaimed about his PAC, he never wanted the city taxpayers to pay for personal expenses.

    1. The PAC has a balance of less than $1,700. None of the Beccaros want to touch the checkbook anymore–maybe Finch will ask his wife to do the honors like the pro she is.

  2. Yes. Ayala is a city employee who made a decision that happened to be a bad one and one that may have even been coerced. But she made that decision on behalf of the city in her capacity of whatever the hell she does. Mistake; intentional or not should be paid for by us.

    1. I highly doubt she “made the decision on behalf of the city.” She made the decision because she was told to. Maybe Ayala should foot the bill for intentionally misleading the Foster campaign. OR we could send the bill to Mario. If she resigns maybe then the city could foot the bill.

  3. Bridgeport taxpayers always pay for political entertainment. I think it is in the City Charter.

    The Finchae can act like mimes while the Fosterns bawl like banshees.

    Could be good politics though.

    Maybe both sides will want to ship Santa off to the North Pole before the primary.

  4. Under no circumstances should the people be on the hook for that idiot AYALA’s attorney, Ganim. Mario should pay off the debts with the insurance he should get from the fire at his restaurant after Finch and the rest of the crooks lose.

  5. Never mind taking a check from the PAC–take the money out of Finch’s paycheck every week ’til the damned bill is paid off. Tough if he doesn’t have enough money to pay his mortgage and other “personal” expenses … he’ll have to learn to do without–just like the rest of us do!

  6. Let’s all remember Ayala consulted her “personal lawyer” Paul Ganim for advice. Taxpayers should not be footing the bill for her personal lawyer–who can track this and be sure no checks are going to him? As taxpayers, do we have a right to know?

  7. Wait a minute! Wasn’t Paul Ganim and the Ganim law firm the ones who did the legal research and instructed Santa Ayala to reject the petitions?
    Did Santa really hire Paul Ganim? Did she pay Paul to rob Foster? Did the City pay Paul to rob Foster or was it pro bono? Paging Mary-Jane Foster. It’s FOI time again.

  8. I was surprised to hear Mayor Finch refer to CitiStat success and the volume of calls received and fielded. Those of you who read my words know any numbers from this administration require careful study to understand their meaning, and the few that are released often reveal only part of the truth in an attempt to lead the public to certain impressions, not entirely accurate.

    OK, we have also learned the CitiStat system as envisaged in Bridgeport and that operates fully in other communities was surgically castrated during the Finch term. The call-in system operates but the data derived is not necessarily used to re-structure broken systems, make municipal processes more efficient, etc. Finch does claim people with call-in requests get a response …

    Which leads me to think: What if each of us called in with questions about City finances to be answered by Tom Sherwood or Dawn Norton, questions on healthcare plans, on pension assumptions, on legal expenses, on how many people are …?, on City Capital plan report, on the raft of things that do not come to Council members but are promised “in a few months,” etc., and how many school crossing guards who are part-time City employees are earning a pension benefit for their part-time work protecting school children?

    We could keep track of how soon we get a response, what the response is, and really determine how effective the CitiStat system is in our eyes, the all-important taxpayer. Try it. Thanks. I think I will … Time will tell.

  9. CitiStat is greatly diminished since the days of John Gomes. It is merely an information source and complaint line now. If you call in to get a phone number or to report a pothole, that call is logged in. When the City employee gives you the phone number or when the pothole is filled, the call is marked as successfully completed and service received. There is no difference in the service being provided just that it takes the employee longer to provide it since he/she now has to log it in. So the City received 50,000 calls through CitiStat? What does that mean exactly? It is a waste of time if you ask me. CitiStat should be addressing the larger systemic issues in City Hall (of which there are many) and it does not.


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