On February 24, the City Council’s Miscellaneous Matters Committee unanimously approved Mack Allen’s appointment to the city’s Ethics Commission, according to minutes of the meeting. Co-chair AmyMarie Vizzo-Paniccia, Co-chair Trish Swain, and members Jack Banta, Milta Feliciano, Bob Halstead and Sue Brannelly were in attendance.
Minutes of the meeting:
The appointee Mack Henry approached the committee. He thanked the committee for considering the appointment and for the work that they do. He went on to say that he has been a resident of Bridgeport since November 4, 2002, noting that he has been married for twelve years and has three children that attend Bridgeport Public Schools and Kolbe Cathedral High School. He shared that he is a New Vision International Ministries member and he runs the prison ministry. He is also involved in outreach, food drives and the angel tree program. He mentioned that he worked in construction and demolition for Fuse 180 as an outreach coordinator. He stated that he is active in the city to try to make sure that Bridgeport is the best it can be. He is also a member of the NRZ. He expressed that he loves the city and his family and he is looking to make sure that his children have a legacy living in Bridgeport. He said that he is also supportive of the B Green Initiative and he wants to ensure that ethical standards for city officials and fairness are upheld across the board.
Co-chair Vizzo-Paniccia stated that although Mr. Henry’s past record has been discharged, she thanked him for his honesty for including the information on his application. Mr. Henry stated that he grew up in Los Angeles and he was a product of a broken home. He shared that he was molested as a child that caused him some trauma, which resulted in him acting out and subsequently; he was incarcerated for drug activity. He has since learned to overcome and it has been over twenty years without any legal issues. He completely changed his life around by entering into a relationship with the Lord and he rebuilt his life. He expressed that’s why it’s important to him to help rebuild the community in Bridgeport. He further expressed that he can’t make up for what he did, but he can demonstrate and live a life of integrity.
Council member Banta commended Mr. Henry for bringing something to the table, notably, an awareness of the street. He commented that for him to step up to the plate with honesty and integrity meant a great deal. He urged him to continue doing good things in the community.
COUNCIL MEMBER BANTA MOVED TO APPROVE THE APPOINTMENT
CO-CHAIR SWAIN SECONDED
MOTION PASSED UNANIMOUSLY
I think Mr. Allen means well in terms of being on the Ethics Commission. However, I do have some reservations.
1. He mentions his membership on the NRZ, but this membership is actually expired. Ethically, one should not be on a Board and vote on matters if their term is expired. It has been expired for a very long time now.
2. Bylaws: The South End NRZ does not have approved bylaws and this has taken place for many years now. Ethically, a Board should have bylaws and would warrant discontinuance of the Board until the bylaws are approved, but the Board still operates despite not having approved bylaws. This has happened for well over 4-5 years now.
3. Conflict of Interest: There are serous conflicts of interest on the SE NRZ. For example, the NRZ Board voted in support of a $52 million public housing project that moves poor families from dry land into a FEMA flood zone. The Chair later revealed he has a financial interest with the developer. This was not disclosed at the time the NRZ voted on this project. Ethically this should have been addressed but it never has been despite being raised to the NRZ Board by concerned citizens. In fact, some Board members have said a formal vote never took place in regards to this project.
4. Voting irregularities: People vote on the South End NRZ despite not being on the Board and despite having expired term limits. Ethically, this is not permissible, but still continues.
When someone can sit on a Board and witness such basic and egregious irregularities and not address them for years (and still pending), I have serious concerns about the appointment to an Ethics Commission.
Recently Sen. Ayala brought back millions for Bridgeport’s NRZs (kudos to Ayala) and I have serious concerns about such an entity having any say on state monies.
KUDOS to Mr. Grimaldi for showing a level-handed approach to The Ethics Commission’s selection process.
The South End NRZ is in a McCluster Fluck!
These 2/14/14 minutes — if complete and accurate — reflect that the committee was not provided the complete and accurate information by Mr Allen regarding his criminal record — including his registered sex offender status — as documented in the 7/2/14 Hartford Courant article “Charter School Group Stung By Another Worker’s Criminal Past”.
The council is made up of old morons, young morons, morons who have served long terms and newly elected morons but what we have are MORONS.
Ask oneself. Who is the chair and co-chair of the committee? They are the ones who receive the reports (tax, police) of anyone who is being considered for appointments. So when they received the information, did they share it with the other members, did not read it? My perception is someone recommended this individual, our Mayor in desperation of his continued appointment of blacks in his circle, so they can support him on election day, did not take a better look at the findings.