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State Investigates Election Allegations By Outgoing City Council Members Against Opponents

November 23rd, 2013 · 13 Comments · City Council, City Politics, News and Events

The State Elections Enforcement Commission this week voted to investigate complaints brought by outgoing City Councilmen Angel DePara and Carlos Silva accusing the September 10 Democratic primary winners in the 136th District Richard DeJesus and Alfredo Castillo of a variety of campaign violations including improper collection of petitioning signatures to qualify for the ballot and challenging DeJesus’ voting residence in defiance of the City Charter. Read the complaint here.

 From the City Charter:

At the city election in the odd-numbered years, two council members shall be elected from each aldermanic district by the electors of the city residing in such district and council members shall be residents and electors in the district which they represent. No resident of one council district shall vote for a council person of any district other than that in which he/she is registered.

DeJesus, according to local election voting records, moved into the 136th District that includes the East Side and The Hollow neighborhoods after the September 10 primary and before the November 5 general election.

In a story published in the Connecticut Post July 15, DeJesus said although he was a resident of the adjoining 137th District he would move into the district he sought to serve if he won. Connecticut law requires winners of state office, for instance State House and State Senate, to move into respective districts once they are seated. They need not reside in the district office they seek as challengers. The complaint brought by DePara and Silva claim a different standard applies to candidates for City Council, according to the City Charter.

This gets into a fuzzy area. Does the intent of the City Charter language apply to primaries, or just general elections?

The complaint brought by DePara and Silva also claims voting records show a pattern of DeJesus’ voting addresses conflicting with districts in which he’s required to cast a ballot.

It’s unclear the resolution the outgoing council members are seeking. The SEEC has no statutory authority to vacate an election. That power rests with the courts.

Last month, however, the state commission urged Connecticut’s chief state’s attorney to investigate possible criminal violations of election law against State Rep. Christina Ayala and her mother Democratic Registrar Sandi Ayala.

DePara and Silva, veterans on the council, were caught up in the September 10 primary tsunami that swept away all endorsed candidate for City Council and school board. DePara occupied an important role as co-chair of the Budget and Appropriations Committee.

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13 Comments so far ↓

  • Mojo

    *** Bpt politicians “not” actually living in the districts they’re supposed to be representing is “old hat” in the Park City. Whether it’s “grandma’s place,” “my girlfriend’s crib,” a “post-office box” number or “business address number,” they’re all really just an “alias” that is not supposed to be accepted on a temp bases before, during or after an election, however it seems like the “SEEC” for years has continued to overlook this rule unless lots of media attention or overwhelming evidence, etc. is submitted by the complaining parties! Let’s see where this takes the losing incumbents who at times themselves have been under question about their actual place of residence, no? *** Careful What You Wish For! ***

    • Joel Gonzalez

      “Let’s see where this takes the losing incumbents who at times themselves have been under question about their actual place of residence, no?”

      It’s one thing to have one’s place of residence questioned and another to have it questioned with documented proof. All that’s needed are the utility bills of his real home address.

  • Joel Gonzalez

    Good Job, Guys! The paper trail is pretty revealing when researched and examined carefully. This is the part I liked that jumped at me:

    1719 CENTRAL AVE., BRIDGEPORT, CT, 06610

    Is this that old nice house across from the Harding High School football field? It sounds like the address used by Yessenia Figueroa. She is the listed Deputy Treasurer of Santiago 2008. I believe this is the same address she stated she lived in at the time. She is named in the $50,000 SEEC complaint I filed and currently under investigation. I’ll check to make sure as I may be wrong as I’m working on pure memory at the time. I’m sure on the 1026 Chopsey Hill address she moved to after.

  • Joel Gonzalez

    Hey Lennie, can you tell us how the guys were able to submit the documents in the way the readers can view them the way we are able to view them here?

  • Joel Gonzalez

    “This gets into a fuzzy area. Does the intent of the City Charter language apply to primaries, or just general elections?”

    Then there may be the problem of State Election Law superseding the City Charter. At worst, it appears the garage address will be hard to explain. It would be interesting see what’s the address on his drivers license and what form of ID he used at the poll when voting. If the address on the license is that of the garage, how does the Department of Motor Vehicles allow that? A fine and a slap on the wrist is the most he’ll get.

  • Bob

    Sore losers. Everyone seems to be playing by the same corrupt rules. Just desserts. Time for serious reform, end of cronyism, nepotism, voting by demented seniors with absentee balloting, etc.

  • Bond Girl

    Bob: Most reform-minded folks I know think dePara and Silva should have been reelected. dePara has shown independence and is smart and pragmatic. Silva is not a part of the so-called machine. When the powers that be asked dePara to dump Silva and he refused, they put up candidates against both of them. These boys are casualties of the Tuesday Night Twister that was the Democratic primary challenge slate for BOE and the usual AB hijinks. I say in this case, investigate away.

    • Bob

      Angel DePara has been on the council for enough years to show little for his independence. If you’re looking for someone to blame for the address irregularities try looking (along with the SEEC) at Ms. Ayala in the Registrar of Voters Office.

  • Sunshine96

    I live in the 136th, near Richardson and Ashley. Before the primary, Mr. DeJesus showed up at my door looking for my signature on his petition. He stated he was “my neighbor” and he “lives on Richardson Street.” He made comments about DePara and Silva being liars and they were part of the same old crap. Well I didn’t buy his story at the time and I’m not buying it now. I truly think his story re DePara and Silva was so easy for him to tell because it was true, only the names had been changed to protect the guilty.

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