State Launches Ayala Probe

Christina Ayala
Christina Ayala

From Brian Lockart, CT Post:

State elections watchdogs are investigating whether legislator-elect Christina Ayala committed voter fraud and if her mother, Democratic Registrar Santa “Sandi” Ayala, enabled her to get away with it.

The Elections Enforcement Commission Wednesday decided valid questions have been raised about whether Christina Ayala has been living in the 128th House District she will represent in the General Assembly. Ayala, a Democrat, is supposed to be sworn in Jan. 9 with other new legislators in Hartford.

She has already been warned by incoming House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, that under state law she has until that date to move into her district.

Hearst Connecticut newspapers recently reported that Ayala actually lived in the 129th District. Ayala’s readiness for office was already under scrutiny after she was arrested following a hit-and-run collision, and for a separate domestic dispute,

The EEC investigates complaints but also has the power to initiate its own probe, which spokesman Joshua Foley said is the case with the Ayalas.

“If an issue is getting a lot of press that would undermine the public’s trust in the electoral process, that can be one of the considerations,” Foley said Thursday.

Specifically EEC staff are looking into whether Ayala was a “bona fide” resident of 604 Noble Ave. in the 128th District when she voted in four elections, including her own party primary in August and her November race.

The EEC also wants to know whether her mother, Santa Ayala, who should reasonably have known of her daughter’s living situation, failed as registrar to maintain an accurate record on her daughter.

“I do not have any comment on anything having to do with the whole situation,” Santa Ayala told Hearst Newspapers when reached late last week by phone.

According to the registrar’s office, Christina lives at 604 Noble Ave. in the 128th District. Because of her address, she was allowed to vote there in the November 2011 general election and in this year’s Aug. 14 primary, the city’s special September election for school board, and in November’s general election.

However, when Ayala and her boyfriend were arrested for a domestic squabble two weeks ago, the police report stated they lived at 49 Hillside Ave in the 129th district. And when Ayala filed for a protective order, she told the court she lived at Hillside.

The same Hillside address was listed on a police report when Ayala was arrested the night after winning her August primary and charged with evading responsibility, failure to obey a traffic signal and failure to renew her vehicle’s registration.

Both of her court cases are pending.

Public records show utilities at Hillside were connected under Ayala’s name in October, 2011–the same month that, according to the EEC, she registered to vote using the Noble Avenue address.

When a Hearst reporter visited the Noble Avenue address recently, there was no access inside and no visible exterior evidence confirming that Ayala was a tenant. Occupants of a first-floor apartment refused questions. Other members of her family–her sister, her father, Democratic power broker Tito, and her cousin, state Senator-elect Andres Ayala, have either declined to comment or said they do not know where she lives.

Foley said letters will be sent to Christina and Sandi notifying them of the investigation.

Christina could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Santa Ayala, in a brief phone interview, said, “I have not received the correspondence. When I do I will discuss it with my counterpart (Republican registrar Linda Grace) in the office and respond accordingly.”

Foley did not provide a timeline for the EEC probe. He said most frequently the parties reach a settlement. Failing that the EEC can hold hearings, and those results can be appealed to state Superior Court.

If the EEC finds Ayala was not living in her district, it is unclear what if any impact that would have on her ability to serve in the legislature.

After Sharkey’s warning, Ayala claimed at a court appearance last week that she is living on Noble Avenue.

Also Thursday, Connecticut Republican Party Chairman Jerry Labriola, Jr. called on Ayala to resolve her legal and residency issues before Jan. 9 or resign.

“Representative-elect Christina Ayala has not yet been sworn to office and her decision-making and judgment are already being called to question,” Labriola said in a statement to the media. “Misleading voters and state elections officials about where she lives is a serious issue and a violation of the public trust. Compounded by two arrests, her own actions have created cause for concern about whether she should be a state government leader.”



  1. The job of a state representative is to go to Hartford to ensure their districts are being represented in state decision making. This requires negotiating, building partnerships, friendships and being respected. There are representatives in other towns who are well educated (lawyers, business men and women) and respected. Yet she gives an awful image of Bridgeport in Hartford. It is not her fault at the end of the day, it is the fault of the voters who blindly vote “Democrat” even if the person is not fit for the job.

  2. Wasn’t Sandi Ayala the same person who did not order the necessary number of ballots several years ago during the 2010 election? This made national news. If I had made such a huge ‘error’ I would have been fired, yet she still has this job. Unreal! Let’s see what happens this time around.

  3. That district has been the center for what is wrong in Bridgeport and most other major cities. This is the district of the absentee ballot queen Lydia Martinez.
    The state has known of these problems for years but has failed to do anything about it. They never really checked on all the phoney absentee ballots submitted from this district.
    For years they have sent people to Hartford who have done nothing for Bridgeport and the trend continues.

    1. Thank you for putting that straight, Andy. Lydia Martinez, the AB queen, wouldn’t be able to get away with her criminal specialty without the tacit cooperation of Santa Ayala, the incompetent Democratic Registrar of Voters who ordered an inadequate number of ballots, who tried to scupper Mary-Jane Foster’s campaign, and who is generally a dimwitted stooge for Mario Testa.

  4. *** Is it time to make an example of Ms. Ayala or is this just for show? One third of the Bpt. DTC and their endorsed reps city or state are using bogus addresses or don’t live in their prospective districts, no? Right is right but wrong is wrong and just maybe this lady’s gender and ethic roots may be fueling this issue much more than I can remember anyone else in quite a while! Go after all of them and check their status “SEEC” not just Ms. Ayala because she’s having legal problems at this time. Being firm is all good but let’s be fair as well! *** NO POLITICAL SCAPEGOATS! ***

  5. No Mojo, she got caught in the act and there should be a major investigation. Large numbers of active voters are registered at vacant lots, abandoned building and in the case of one prominent political family in Bridgeport at an office building on Fairfield avenue. It is time to clean house. Let’s make the Ayalas the first example. Most people believe Mario doesn’t even really live here.

  6. *** Let’s not start and end with Ms. Ayala on this state probe ’cause if so, it’s clearly a witch hunt aimed at gender and ethic roots simply for political P/R. *** FIRM BUT FAIR, NO? ***

  7. If people know who the others are who do not live in the district they were elected to then their names should be brought forward.
    Ms. Ayala was not singled out, she brought attention to herself especially with her second run-in with the police.

  8. *** The SEEC knows the names and fake addresses in which I put in a written complaint years ago and “NOTHING, ZERO” was done! Their claim, not able to prove any wrongdoing or substantiate fraud?. So with others guilty of not living in the districts they represent, etc. why regardless of past minor criminal charges is Ms. Ayala suddenly the interest of the State or State legislation? Or is it just time and she’s the unlucky person who happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? *** Doesn’t seem to be passing the smell or sound test in my opinion! ***


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