Fabs’ Locke On History, Plus: Shays Talks To Animals And Conroy Case Verdict

Filmmaker Larry Locke had a strange, and amazing, vantage point during the John Fabrizi years, shadowing the mayor’s every detail–the good, bad and ugly. His work behind the camera will be unveiled publicly for the first time Monday night when we’ll all have a chance to see his finished product The Accidental Mayor at the Barnum Museum.

The docudrama tells the story of Fabs’ unconventional journey as chief executive following Mayor Joe Ganim’s conviction on corruption charges. Fabs, ever compulsive, did not disappoint the filmmaker. Locke and I had an email exchange on Wednesday about his experience. See below. If you want to attend Fabs’ Film Fest contact the Barnum Museum. See link at left under Perfect Pearls. The event benefits the Barnum and City Lights Gallery.

Q. In a strange way, although you may not have known Fabs well, was there a prescient desire to do this film like you knew Fabs is the kind of guy prone to stub his toe even when things are going well?

Locke: I had no sense that Fabrizi was so self destructive. And I had no previous experience with politicians. So in the early days I was just shooting and not really understanding what I was shooting. That is not uncommon. Editing is always a revelation. That’s when you say, “so that’s what they were up to.” Caryn (Kaufman, Fabs’ press aide) was, I think, much more worried that I would get more than I bargained for. She never told me until later that she assumed I would get either Fabrizi the man who had learned to control himself or I would get Fabrizi the suicide bomber. In a way I got half and half.

Q. You were provided amazing access. Can you think of the times Fabs, or a staffer, said okay, Larry, time to turn off the camera?

Locke: There was one time I was asked to leave the room and that was the day the sex offender thing broke. It was between Charlie (Carroll, Fabs’ chief of staff) and Fabrizi and it was more about how mad Charlie was at him than any secret. It was more friend to friend.I left a lot on the cutting room floor. During the cocaine thing he was on the phone with his lawyers and I obviously didn’t include that. But there were no bombshell secrets in their conversations. Fabrizi’s dealings with the feds are well known by people like you who cover politics in Bport.

Q. I always thought that Fabs could survive the cocaine revelation. There’s a Ralph Kramden sort of appeal to him. Walking into the courtroom to ask leniency on behalf of a convicted sex offender was a different story. When did you first hear about the court appearance and what were your initial thoughts?

Locke: I agree about him surviving the cocaine thing. As you know, they had everything lined up for his re-election. It’s amazing but true. To understand how I learned about the sex offender thing you have to understand how my access worked. No one ever called to tell me something was up. Nor did they deny me access. I had to learn and then show up. There was a ground breaking the afternoon he testified and I was there to shoot it for the BRBC (Bridgeport Regional Business Council). I could tell Caryn was really upset about something, but she didn’t say what it was.

The next morning it was in the Post. I saw that and showed up at the Annex at like 7:30. So I was there when they all realized how big this was and what it was going to mean. The scenes in the film from that day are really powerful.

Q. Is it possible for this film to enjoy a life outside of a Bridgeport market?

Locke: As for an outside audience, I certainly am aiming it that way. As I am an outsider, I tried to steer the film’s discoveries in the same path as my own. If it’s a surprise that the cocaine thing busts in the film, it’s because unlike all of you in Bport I didn’t know about all the rumors. I didn’t know he had an alcohol problem. The film slowly unwinds all these stories. It also covers his successes like City Trust and Steelpointe and appointing (Police Chief) Bryan Norwood. As you know better than most, John Fabrizi is a very very complex man. He is a reflection in many ways of his city.

I just can’t wait to make a film about the 2011 election. Think about it–Tom McCarthy versus John Fabrizi versus Bill Finch versus Joe Ganim. One thing I’m sure you wake up thinking every day is even if Bport politics are sometimes mean, sometimes petty, sometimes even stupid, they sure are never boring.

Golden Hill Ribbon Cutting

Speaking of Fabs, one of the benefits Mayor Bill Finch enjoys is cutting ribbons for projects started by his predecessor. See Finch news item below:

Mayor Bill Finch will attend the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Golden Hill Apartments with Urban Green Builders and its partner, Ginsberg Development Company, Friday at 1:30pm.

Urban Green Builders and Ginsberg Development Company have converted the former historic Golden Hill office complex into a modern mixed-use apartment building now available for leasing. 144 Golden Hill Street boasts 36 modern one- and two-bedroom apartments, 8 storefront retail/restaurant spaces, and 2 office spaces on the building’s 2nd floor. Bamboo flooring and energy efficient stainless steel appliances, featured in each apartment, represent a “cleaner and greener” approach to living. The building is within walking distance to Metro-North, making renting at Golden Hill an ideal choice for those looking for the ultimate downtown experience.

“Downtown Bridgeport is really becoming more and more lively all the time,” said Mayor Finch. “With new apartments, condominiums and restaurants appearing each month, downtown is very much the ‘place to be’ in Bridgeport right now. I want to thank Eric Anderson from Urban Green Builders for his vision and his determination during what have been at times difficult endeavors. These projects have been tremendously successful and we welcome all the new downtown residents to Bridgeport.”

News Release From Congressman Chris Shays

Moran, Shays Introduce Farm Animal Anti-Cruelty Act

Washington, D.C. – Representatives Jim Moran (VA-8) and Christopher Shays (CT-4) introduced legislation today to make it a federal offense to without justification, kill, mutilate, disfigure, torture or intentionally inflict pain or suffering upon an animal raised for food or to fail to provide food, water and shelter.

“Abuse and torture are wrong, regardless if it involves a pet or an animal being raised for food,” said Moran. “All sensate creatures deserve humane treatment, whether in the home or on the farm. This legislation will make those who might inflict pain and suffering on living things to think twice.”

“This bill is just one step, but an important step, in addressing how our society treats farm animals raised for food, and it reflects our core values of compassion, decency and mercy,” stated Shays, Co-Chair of the Friends of Animals Caucus.

The Farm Animal Anti-Cruelty Act, which has been endorsed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), is a common sense approach to protecting farm animals. The bill compliments state anti-cruelty statutes as well as providing national anti-cruelty standards in those states that do not currently provide standards. The threat of federal prosecution will act as strong deterrent to the mistreatment of animals.

Those who violate these standards are subject to fines ranging from $500 to $100,000 or up to a year in prison.

Conroy Case Verdict

A  Superior Court Jury has found former Mayor Joe Ganim, and United Properties owners Al Lenoci Sr. and Al Lenoci Jr. liable for more than $300,000 in developer Alex Conroy’s claim that they submarined his efforts to develop Steelpointe. Additional punitive damages are possible, but that’s a separate issue that must be weighed by the jury, or a judge in lieu of time constraints by the jury which has endured three months of evidence. Attorney Chuck Willinger and his law firm, as well as Joesph Kasper, who had owned the Kasper Group, an architectural/engineering company, were cleared. The jury has not made a final determination on city liability. It appears the jury is deadlocked on the city, also a defendant in the case. The amount awarded by the jury is dramatically lower than the plaintiff had hoped to receive. Juries have discretion in what can be awarded.



  1. Gossip Of The Rialto!

    Locke’s And Bagels! New deli to be open in downtown.

    Locke Down, But Not Out.

    Locke Me Up And Throw Away The Key!

    Locke’s A Luck!


    Locke U Mentary. New Film School to open in Phil Kuchma’s Bijou Square Theatre Project.

    Theme song to be: “Locke At Me!”

    Lockey Larry!

  2. If Charlie Carroll was mad at Fabrizi for testifying on behalf of his son’s friend, how mad is Charlie Carroll (my so-called boss) at me for revealing his little kept secret about the Marrero tape and the Fed tape of his best buddy fab. He is so mad that I was the only one in the Parks Department to be selected for layoff. Hey Charlie, who else was on the Marrero tape?

  3. Bridgeport is featured in an AOL.com home page article under: “Seaside City faces nation’s highest gas prices.”
    The legendary Sammy Larkin from Seaside Village is quoted in the article. I guess we all are going to have to go out and buy Gas Locke’s.

  4. Accidental, huh? If only… in any case, I’ll be in the house on Monday to see if any of the denizens of this blog accidentally snuck their way into this film.

  5. You guys are Jamaican me crazy.

    I’m looking forward to Chris Shays being put down in a humane manner in November. Hey Chris, will you be doing any waterboarding on Himes during your campaign?

    A paltry amount for a bunch of poultry. Maybe punitive damages for pain and taxpayer suffering will sweeten the pot for Conroy. Maybe he can donate a % of his money back to the city like John “Turn-On-Tune-In-Drop-Out” Ramos. This guy is a big turnoff.

  6. Week #2 and Transfer Station supervisor is still out on paid suspension. Only in the City of Bridgeport can you lie, cheat and steal and get a paid vacation.

  7. UOB,

    I am not a big Chris Shays fan, especially when it comes to Iraq. But, he has worked harder for Bridgeport than any other Congressman or Senator in my lifetime (which is a long time). That is why I plan to vote for him in November.

  8. Lennie: Thanks for the update on the Conroy case. Let’s hope that the jury has mercy when it comes to damages from the City, i.e. if it finds the City liable. Sounds like a sensitive and sensible jury.

  9. haha I saw Joel G today when I was on the bus…so Joel do you live at the house with the Russo sign that I saw you at today…and are you gonna put a McCain sign too later on lol.

  10. donj were you on a private bus? The City bus doesn’t come by my house. Well according to Yahooy I live in Derby, I doubt there are Russo signs in Derby. If you were driven by on Maplewood Avenue in a private bus or maybe the Kennedy Center Bus, then yes that’s were I live. McCain signs will be coming soon and not just on my house. donj feel free to stop by and if you are ever harrassed in the neighborhood tell them that the finger guy is your friend and you best be left alone. Did you drive by when Chico Rivera came by? Savino, Monique Gonzalez and Colson signed his petition and I gave him some tips on where to go to maximize his chances of getting the required signature. No one was given a fair chance to be considered by Mitch and his puppets, I can only treat others as fair as I’d like to be treated. Chico has class and for a man his age I can only admire his persistence.

  11. In The know:

    I won’t reveal others who were on the Marrero tape, I don’t wanna be held “Liable” like Ganim is; but keep in mind that Fabrizi gave sort of a hint when he said that he got high with Attorneys, associates or something to that extent during his statements to reporters. There were a lot of leaks of information during the federal probes. A judge and court personnel are believed to have leaked the fact that there was a federal probe going on targeting Bridgeport officals. This leak led the Feds to stop for a while and pick up the suspects they felt they had enough evidence on. Had it not been for that leak I dare say that Finch and Pat Crossin would have been charged in a conspiracy. I say this because Bill Finch was the Chairman of The Contracts and Appointments Committee and he turned a blind eye to the obvious irregularities taking place and Pat Crossin being the Chairman of Budget and Appropriations, controlled the Citys’ money and allowed (without questions) funds to be used to facilitate Ganim’s hidden agenda. For example, the $800,000 insurance scam contract was sneaked through the City Council. There would had to be further actions taken by Ganim to finish that scam and he would have had to pay for the policy and I wonder how he would had done this without Pat Crossin spotting that payment. Pat could spot a five-cent difference in the budget, he was that good. When news of the Federal probe broke out, Bill Finch and Pat Crossin were the most visibly nervous councilmen and it didn’t help having me around constantly saying out loud when near them, “the feds are coming for City Council members next.”

  12. I am not the least surprised regarding the Conroy verdict. He deserves to be compensated for the damages caused by Ganim and all those involved. The City should be held liable and I don’t understand why it hasn’t been, considering that the City is liable for paying for Ganim’s defense. If Ganim was declared Liable, why not the City?
    I am disgusted by the comments to the post by Charles Willinger (the unindicted co-conspirator) in which he states that Conroy is using the city when it is down and out. The fact is that Willinger and his so-called law firm used the City when it was Up and In and as a result it’s down and out. Christian Young dares to ridicule the damage award which he describes as equal to $1. He is so “STUPID” that he can’t see the big picture. It’s the principle that counts! He doesn’t care about the long-term effects this verdict will have on the City. Developers everywhere are following this case. Which one of them in their right mind would consider coming here to do business? Lennie, could you go to see Bill Finch and ask him about the verdict and if he will for once stand up and take resposibility, considering the fact that all this happened while he was chairman of the Council’s Contracts and Appointments Committee and he totally ignored constant request from me, Bob Walsh and Lisa Parziale to look into the activities of Joe Ganim’s contracting practices.

  13. I am begining to feel we the tax payers should petition to reinstitute the two year term for the mayor, but in the case of Moonbeam I think seven months of nothing and out would make for a fair proposal.

  14. aboost:

    There was a very revealing part in Pinto’s testimony.
    When Pinto testified, there was a part in which he was being asked about a conversation with Willinger.
    I don’t remember the exact words or topic of the discussion. However, there was a part in which Pinto was asked who knew or something to that extent.
    Paul said that he responded by saying, “You don’t need to know that.” He further stated that Willinger (I’m not 100% sure if it was Willinger in this converstion) wrote the word “mayor” on a piece of paper and showed it to him and I believe this is when he said you don’t need to know that. This is very revealing testimony in the sense that it revealed how these criminals stay below the radar and avoid being taped by the feds. These scum are operating like Al Qaeda by avoiding the use of electronic technology and communicating the old-fashioned way. Hey Charles Willinger, try using smoke signals.

  15. Mr. Gonzalez,

    I agree with the insightful and enlightened remarks of Yahooy with regard to you.

    You seem to consider yourself as all knowing on absolutely every topic offered in this blog.

    I have carefully read much of what you spew forth and think like many others that you are a complete waste of time.

  16. And on top of all that, Joel has a foul mouth. No way would I even respond to him about his comments about me or anybody else. How could anyone even think about voting for him is beyond me.


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