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Walsh FOI Trolls Information Among Bill Killers Of Government Reform

March 13th, 2015 · 15 Comments · City Politics, News and Events, State Politics

How deep do tentacles run to kill a government reform bill? That’s what former City Councilman Bob “Troll” Walsh wants to know in a freedom of information request to City Attorney Mark Anastasi whose dubious legal opinion allows city employees to serve on the City Council in defiance of the voter-approved City Charter.

Walsh’s request seeks documents, emails and correspondence between an assortment of city and state officials as well as organized labor leadership working hard to kill a conflict-of-interest bill before the General Assembly backed by most of the city’s legislative delegation to enforce the charter. The request also specifically seeks correspondence between city officials and two would-be bill killers, eastern Connecticut State Senator Cathy Osten and ally Lori Pelletier, honcho of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, who want to pad pockets of union membership. Organized labor provides money and muscle to an assortment of Democratic legislators.

Walsh’s request:

Pursuant to Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act, I am requesting copies of any documents, emails and correspondence from or to Mayor Finch, the mayor’s office, the Chief of Staff Adam Wood, the Deputy Chief of Staff Ruben Felipe, the Chief Administrative Officer Andrew Nunn, City Department Heads, Lawrence Osborne, Director of Labor Relations, Thomas McCarthy as both Deputy Director of Labor Relations and as President of the City Council, City Council members and other city employees using their city e-mail address or using a personal e-mail address and identifying themselves as city employees or city elected officials, regarding H.B. No. 5886 or otherwise known as AN ACT PROHIBITING MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES FROM SERVING ON CERTAIN MUNICIPAL LEGISLATIVE BODIES.

I am seeking correspondence between city officials and employees and state constitutional officers, state officials, state legislators, employees of the legislative branch, lobbyists employed by the city, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, officials and representatives of organized labor specifically but not limited to State Senator Cathy Osten, 19th Senatorial district, Lori Pelletier, executive secretary treasurer of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, Sal Luciano, President Connecticut AFL-CIO and Melodie Peters, Executive Vice President Connecticut AFL-CIO.

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15 Comments so far ↓

  • Baffled in Bridgeport

    Okay, Troll! Way to go!

  • Booty

    Troll,
    You know Anastasi is going to stonewall for as long as he can, but in the meantime you could consider sending the same request to the other side of the possible correspondence, whoever does FOI for the legislature (Cathy Osten).

    • Joel Gonzalez

      You are right, Booty. Perhaps the same level of stonewalling the media experienced when they requested documents under FOI relating to communications between SOTS and Ezequiel Santiago (supporter of the bill who was a no-show) regarding the Mitchell Robles investigation by SOTS.

  • Andmar

    Should consider doing an FOI on Osten as well. This would be quicker and he can triangulate the information. In other words anything missing in the local FOI may appear in the state FOI which would provide evidence of systematic non-disclosure if he ever wants/needs to make this case before an FOI ombudsmen.

    • Joel Gonzalez

      Andmar, you are a smart person. What’s your take on this one-sentence charter language?
      As I’ve stated, it was intended to make sure City council members are not compensated for their elected duties. Keep in mind the word ‘stipend’ is not included in the charter language. The stipend system was established in order to reimburse members for any expenses incurred during the performance of our duties. It was impermissible to buy clothes, liquor, food (unless it was for coffee hours with constituents), paying our own electricity, etc. Permissible: mileage or gasoline, cost of seminars, office supplies, etc. Anything to carry out our duties with many limitations. We had to present receipts for everything. We got $4,000 per year ($1,000 per quarter). It was a reimbursement mechanism, not a salary. After the second or third year, I hardly needed any reimbursement and it was mostly for fuel. Sometime after I left in 2001, the reimbursement/salary amount as we know it today was raised to $9,000 per year–a 125% increase and in total violation of this charter as it is no longer considered a reimbursement but wages under IRS rule.

  • Joel Gonzalez

    Lennie, the title of your topic should have read, “The Troll Goes Fishing.” Bob Walsh, why are you asking for information from so many sources? If you can’t read and comprehend the intent of a five-paragraph section of the City Charter you won’t comprehend much of so much material. While you are waiting for the documents to be delivered, I highly suggest you spend time honing your reading comprehension level. I’m sure you read my comments from this earlier topic, but then again your low level of comprehension hinders your capability to accept the intent of the language. Feel free to try one more time, it may just come to you:
    onlyinbridgeport.com/wordpress/bridgeports-state-legislative-delegation-signs-on-dotted-line-for-reform-bill-sans-chris-rosario/

  • Tom White

    Bob, as already suggested, make the same request to Osten and Pelletier. The city attorney’s office has a dedicated attorney to stall, stifle and disrupt FOI requests when they deem appropriate. Keep in mind the process could take six months and it may require more than voluntary compliance. My bet is there has been communication between McCarthy and Pelletier and in turn with Osten.

  • Tom White

    Joel, take your medication and calm down.

    • Joel Gonzalez

      Read the one-sentence charter and properly interpret it for what it was intended. Need me to be a little more clear and specific on this?
      It’s possible some of you are over-medicated.

    • Joel Gonzalez

      Tom White is conflicted. Andre Baker, Ezequiel Santiago, Bob Halstead and Rick Torres are supporters of the bill. There are former and current members of the City Council who have or may have used (accepted) funds from the City’s treasury in violation of the charter. It is simply to their and your advantage to disagree with my interpretation of the language of the charter. Now since no one has taken me up on the challenge to support their interpretation and simply do so with silence and “You’re incorrect” without elaborating, it’s time to take a different approach. You’ll hear and or read about my approach here, CT Post, and FOI documents when the Troll gets them. I’ve done everything I can to reach out to the supporters of the bill. It’s time and only fair to give the other side the opportunity to do the same.

  • Joel Gonzalez

    To Bob Walsh and anyone reading this. If I told you that you and I can communicate via e-mail without sending the e-mail (clicking the send button), would you believe me? Those who don’t feel free to call me a liar or just say no we can’t. How can you FOI these communications when technically, a trail of sent e-mails doesn’t exist?

    • Booty

      Joel, that method of communication depends on both people having access to the same e-mail account (messages in the “drafts” folder that are never actually sent), and Uncle Sam figured this one out a while ago. Are you suggesting these people all have access to a “secret” e-mail account where they can exchange messages this way? This is absurd, it would be too easy to get caught.

      • Joel Gonzalez

        Not only do you have a fine Booty, you have a good head on your shoulders. There are some here still trying to figure it out even after reading the answer. I’m saying they could be using this method and anyone requesting info under FOI must be specific in their request. Bob Walsh doesn’t cover this in his request. Using private e-mail to conduct government business doesn’t exempt their private e-mail from being being released if requested under FOI (don’t tell Hillary Clinton this). It is not easy to catch or detect. It would appear normal for someone in Hartford to check their e-mail and what’s in their drafts from within the state or country. Let’s say I opened a new Yahoo! account from my home and IP address now. Two hours later, someone in Pakistan has logged into this account. Terrorist communicating? You just won a free meal ticket for two at Two Booties Pizza.

      • Joel Gonzalez

        By the way Booty, what are you doing posting OIB comments at 2:25 am? Don’t tell me you have an after-hours near you, or maybe we live close by. Get your booty to bed early.

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