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‘Someday We’ll Be Together’–Up Next For City Council District Litigation, Connecticut Supremes

December 1st, 2017 · 29 Comments · City Politics, News and Events

supreme bench

Seated, L to R: Justice Richard N. Palmer, Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers, Justice Dennis G. Eveleigh. Standing, L to R: Senior Justice Christine S. Vertefeuille, Justice Gregory T. D’Auria, Justice Andrew J. McDonald, Senior Justice Carmen E. Espinosa, Justice Richard A. Robinson. Image from judicial website.

The process to fill two City Council seats in the North End 133rd District will take several months and possibly longer, depending on the Connecticut Supreme Court’s willingness to accept the case on an expedited basis, according to lawyers of the various parties. Meanwhile, Jeanette Herron, whose seat is entangled in this legal case, and Tom McCarthy, outgoing council president, continue to represent the district until successors are chosen. McCarthy did not seek reelection.

Lawyers for the defendant parties, including Deputy City Attorney John Bohannon representing city election officials, are expected to file an appeal next week of Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis’ decision to order another Democratic primary. The judge concluded that absentee ballot abuses warranted a third primary involving party-endorsed Herron and Michael DeFilippo and challengers Bob Keeley and Anne Pappas-Phillips. The two top finishers will go on to the general election to face Republicans Michele Minutolo and Neville De la Rosa.

Keeley challenged the results of the second primary as well, with the endorsed candidates leading. The judge had previously ordered a redo of the September 12 primary, with Herron leading Keeley by one vote, citing a previously uncounted absentee ballot that found its way into a recount.

Lawyers will petition directly to the state’s highest court based on seeking a quicker resolution of an election challenge. The Supremes could take it on an expedited basis or simply accept it as part of their regular docket.

Overview of the court:

Between September and June of each year, the Supreme Court hears oral arguments on pending cases in eight two-week terms in the Supreme Court courtroom located at 231 Capitol Avenue in Hartford. Oral arguments are open to the public and you are invited to attend.

The proceedings in the Supreme Court differ from the trial court proceedings in three important respects: First, this court does not hear the testimony of witnesses. Instead, it hears the arguments of lawyers for each party, who have filed written briefs beforehand in which they have described the case to the court.

Second, this court does not decide questions of fact. Instead, it decides issues of law, such as the interpretation of a statute or the constitutionality of the procedures used in presenting evidence at trial.

Finally, this court does not decide a case immediately after the proceedings. Rather, after each side has had the opportunity to present its case to the court in a half-hour oral argument, the court takes the case under advisement and delivers its judgment within a few months.

If the Supremes refuse to hear the case, lawyers will then take the case to the Connecticut Appellate Court. So it’s hard to say when–if–a third primary will take place.

So resolution of the case will drag on for a while. The larger question is, sooner than later?


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29 Comments so far ↓

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    To my layman’s eyes this looks like a case of black letter law. Judge Bellis has had a ruling or two reversed on appeal but this time the facts are on her side. There is testimony Mario Testa and Michael DeFilippo, the drink slinger at his pizza joint in Fairfield, manipulated the absentee balloting process to secure the latter’s election to the City Council. Bridgeport Police Officer Nikola, a veteran law enforcement professional, testified under oath he was sent by Chief Armando Perez to assist in the the collection of absentee ballots at DeFilippo’s direction. Max Medina’s report detailed absentee ballot discrepancies at  a nursing home and the mailroom at Bridgeport City Hall. 

    If Mario Testa and Michael DeFilippo have nothing to hide why did they refuse to testify in open court? And what about Chief Perez? Is he criminally liable for his part in this? It would be informative to hear what he has to say under oath.

    • Joel Gonzalez


      Reports are coming in of a white bald male wearing glasses and a female passenger driving around parts of the North End in Bridgeport in a 1963 Cadillac. A flood of 911 calls have been coming in with people complaining about this vehicle playing extremely loud music. The volume is said to be so loud that citizens are reporting broken windows on homes and businesses. Several witnesses have stated that they believe the driver is former State Rep. Bob Kelley and the song he was playing was this one:


  • Grin Ripper

    This is not a rehearing of the trial. It will be based on case law and the citing of the respective law and statutes.

    In 2007 Judge John Blawie ruled against Chris Caruso in his election case with Bill Finch. Caruso took the expedited route and the Supremes agreed with Judge Blawie based on existing case election law.

  • Jimfox

    Maybe the Supreme Court will disband the corrupt DTC once and for all!

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    Off topic but newsworthy nonetheless:


    It seems we now know the reason the President has been unhinged these past few days.

    In his insecure and troubled mind, his worst fears have come to pass. Mike Flynn has turned state’s evidence.

    It should come as no surprise. The warning signs have been flashing for days. Flynn’s attorneys cut off cooperation with the White House. The President’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was called into the grand jury, presumably as a witness against Flynn, and then there were Flynn’s reported concerns about his own son’s possible legal jeopardy.

    In my mind, it was just a matter of time.

    The big question now is what will come next.

    The answer lies in the Statement of Offense prosecutors signed relative to Flynn’s plea agreement. And in Flynn’s own acknowledgment, offered in court during the plea proceedings, that he accepted full responsibility for his actions and will work to fix them.

    In the statement, facts are set forth that Flynn made “materially false statements and omissions” to the FBI that had a “material impact” on the FBI’s “ongoing investigation into the existence of any links or coordination between individuals associated with the (Trump) Campaign and Russia’s efforts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.”

    Those “materially false statements and omissions” were directly related to contacts Flynn had with the Russian ambassador to the United States on behalf of then-President-elect Donald Trump in late December 2016.

    Why is this problematic?

    Because those contacts were possibly illegal and entirely inappropriate. Trump did not represent the United States government at that point in time. Indeed, it could be reasonably believed that his actions interfered with the actions of the legitimately elected government in place at the time. And, if that were not enough, because Trump has spent much of the last year trying to cover up his actions by Tweet and deed.

    Flynn, as a consequence of his plea agreement, will now tell the special counsel who told him to do what, and why. Incidentally, the charge against Flynn — violation of 18 USC 1001 — is part of the special counsel’s meticulous and legally sound effort not only to find and hold those responsible for undermining our democracy, but those who may have enabled it.

    Seems reasonable Flynn has finally recognized this and is now prepared to fall on his sword in defense of the nation and the rule of law.

    And you can bet his information isn’t going to be about Turks, or Ukrainians, or something unrelated to the special counsel’s case in chief. The fact the charge is based on his lying about contacts with the Russian ambassador is proof of that. Indeed, it will be information that goes straight to the heart of this matter; proving an American-enabled Russian conspiracy to undermine our Republic.

    Strong words, I know. But that is why the special counsel made this deal with Flynn. Bob Mueller is a tenacious bloodhound who’s just hit on a fresh scent. Flynn is the rabbit who’s providing it.

    What exactly will they find at the end of the trail? That remains the million-dollar question.

    But you’re smoking a funny rope if you believe the nonsense already coming from the White House about Flynn. “The false statements involved mirror the false statements to White House officials which resulted in his resignation in February of this year,” said Trump lawyer Ty Cobb. “Nothing about the guilty plea or the charge implicates anyone other than Mr. Flynn.”

    That’s almost as bad as their description of Flynn as a “former National Security Advisor at the White House for 25 days” and “a former Obama administration official.”

    No wonder he turned.

    The truth is this: The line-and-block chart of suspects who were calling the shots in this national tragedy contains many, many members of the Donald Trump’s inner circle, and maybe Trump himself. No wonder the President is losing it.

    The blood hound is coming.

    [From The New York Daily News]

  • Jimfox

    Someone said Mario was making Pizza for the Russians!

  • Bob Walsh

    Bastards. They got to Don Mario!

  • Local Eyes

    Did you hear about the tax bill?

    If the Dallas Cowboys are America’s football team, Susan Collins (R, Me.)should become America’s Senator.

  • Robert Teixeira

    Game plan: USA

    A. Trump gets impeached, Pence becomes president.
    B. Democrats wins the Senate and gains in the House.
    C. Men in power continue to fail from grace for their abuse on subordinates(women) in sexual misconduct, except for “adult” same sex, you “freaks.” @beingfair
    D. Pence loses Presidency, Democrat president passes Medicare for all because the health care system has imploding.
    F. Jets Beats Miami in Superbowl. Enjoy the Game you F%$kin heathens.

    @Time will Tell in 4 years. See you in 4 Bam I’m out. :)

    First On topic

    Dose it really matter? The legal apparatus in place to collect ABs at nursing home or places where campaign operative control will continue. The way I see it. If you can stack the deck with ABs, stack the deck. Why wait to the last minute to make your move. This ain’t Cinderella. If you want to stop the obvious and blatant “illegal” abuse of ABs. since ABs is an accommodation, set to a law, stating all AB have to be in and tallied by the opening voting day. @ if you have the power to abuse ABs, stop being lazy with it. #hackerswin


    PS. TBK I know I’m a stupid asshole. Keep scrolling :)

  • Lisa Parziale

    Back to topic, I hate to say this but kudos to Bohannan for outsmarting the plaintiffs attorney by convincing him to agree to the Feb. 6th primary date. First, Bohannon knows darn well there will be no Supreme Court challenge, they can’t afford another hit and they will get one if they proceed. Second, he knows this longer primary date will cool off the emotions of the voters, they will after all move on with their day-to-day responsibilities, and this will be a distant memory. It was so convenient to seize the moment, too bad. The plaintiffs attorney did an outstanding job,but he unintentionally blinked at the end.

    • The Bridgeport Kid

      The Connecticut Post is going to remind its readers about this at every turn, Lisa. The reportage will become a bit more lower case with every telling. A few weeks ago Michael DeFilippo was referred to as “a bartender at Testa’s Brooklawn Avenue restaurant.” Lately he “slings drinks.”

      • Frank Gyure

        There can be an advantage. Others in Bridgeport can help out if it gets to another primary. The 133rd can become “Ground Zero” for Democratic politics in Bridgeport. I have mentioned this before. It is a travesty that the Democratic Party in Bridgeport does not have a working,functioning website. The reference for the Democratic Party in Bridgeport is a phone number and e-mail for Mario Testa. Certainly,Democrats in Bridgeport can do better.

  • Bob Halstead

    I believe Keeley will gain strength in the next election because of the judges ruling a whole new new ballgame not the same ole. The sleeping giant is awakened. Voters feel a sense of empowerment. Voters who haven’t voted since Obama will come out as Leeley Now has the moral high ground and the press on his side. I worked the neighborhood for Keeley. I brought out new voters. I will return to them and they will bring out additional voters. We really have a theme on this one: we are rooting outcorruption! We are getting our sea legs. We are an army at dawn!

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    Absentee ballot fraud is no secret in Bridgeport. We all know it has been happening forever. Unendorsed candidates win the machine vote only to lose the AB tally. Now, thanks to Robert Keeley’s lawsuit, the fraud has been exposed in a court of law. Everyone’s suspicions have been confirmed: the democratic process was negated by Mario Testa. The following is an excerpt of dialogue from the 1976 film “Network”:

    We sit in the house, and slowly the world we are living in is getting smaller, and all we say is, ‘Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone.’ Well, I’m not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get mad! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot – I don’t want you to write to your congressman because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad. You’ve got to say, ‘I’m a HUMAN BEING, God damn it! My life has VALUE!’ So I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell, ‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!’ I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell – ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Things have got to change. But first, you’ve gotta get mad!… You’ve got to say, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Then we’ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: “I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!” 

  • Robert Teixeira

    I’m passive aggressive, and I’m kind of OK with it. :) DORK


  • Robert Teixeira

    Step 1 Get mad, (check) Good Job
    Step 2 go walk to the window and open it
    Step 3 now stick your head out of it and shout, “I’M MAD AS HELL AND I;M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE. :)


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