A still from surveillance video of City Councilwoman Maria Pereira inside the home of Agnes Thompson
Campaign supporters of Mayor Joe Ganim and his Tuesday primary opponent John Gomes are going tit for tat over absentee ballot irregularities, the Gomes camp firing at East End City Council candidate Eneida Martinez, seeking a comeback to the legislative body, and Martinez returning fire charging that City Councilwoman Maria Pereira broke into the home of an elderly woman on Thursday to seek an absentee ballot.
City spokesman Scott Apply said on Friday, “The Bridgeport Police are actively investigating this incident to determine if any criminal activity occurred.”
Pereira has for years been an aggressive pursuer of absentee ballot voters while also criticizing political enemies for doing the same.
At issue is the residence of 81-year-old Agnes Thompson who lives at Fireside Apartments on Palisade Avenue in Pereira’s Upper East Side District. OIB has confirmed that the Town Clerk’s Office processed an absentee ballot request by Thompson. Pereira is a Gomes supporter.
In addition multiple-minute video surveillance inside Thompson’s residence has been turned over to city housing authority that oversees Fireside apartments as well as law enforcement.
The Gomes campaign Thursday afternoon called a news conference to complain about absentee ballot impropriety in Martinez’s East End district.
Just hours prior, according to the timeline of video surveillance, Pereira is captured examining paperwork with clipboard in hand. Thompson was not in her home.
From the CT Post:
(Pereira )said she helped the resident request an absentee ballot, which she said the woman misplaced. Pereira said she then helped the woman request a replacement.
Pereira said the woman told her on Wednesday that she also misplaced the replacement ballot. Pereira said she told the woman she would come to her apartment on Thursday to look for the ballot.
“She said she would leave the door ajar if she was not there,” Pereira said. “And when I came the next morning, the door was slightly ajar.”
Pereira said she looked for the absentee ballot, didn’t find it and left.
Still, the questions linger: why would Pereira go to such lengths for one absentee ballot? She is not an official caretaker of the woman. Only an immediate family member or a caretaker can touch an absentee ballot.
Other senior citizens living in Fireside have also confirmed Pereira’s aggressiveness toward them to influence absentee ballots.
Martinez posted this on her Facebook page:
WELL, WELL, WELL LOOK AT WHAT WE HAVE HERE, NO OTHER THAN MARIA PEREIRA INSIDE OF AN ELDERLY WOMAN APARTMENT AT FIRESIDE APARTMENTS, LITERALLY GOING THROUGH THE LADIES MAIL/PAPERS LOOKING FOR HER MAILED BALLOT.
LET ME JUST SAY THIS, THE POOR ELDERLY WOMAN WAS NOT EVEN IN HER APARTMENT WHEN MARIA PEREIRA INVADED HER HOME.SO THIS IS THE TYPE OF TRANSPARENCY, LOYALTY AND INTEGRITY MARIA PEREIRA HAS FOR THE SENIORS OF THE 138TH.
CAUGHT RED HANDED, LITTLE RED RIDING WOLF ALWAYS SAYING MY CONSTITUENTS WON’T STAND FOR THE NONSENSE, WELL LET’S SEE IF THEY WILL STAND FOR THIS ROBBERY….