Judge Orders New Vote For City Council District–Absentee Ballot Mystery Raises Question

Noon update: Parties by agreement propose a special Democratic primary for 133rd District on Nov. 14, with district general election Dec. 5. New primary would include all four Dem candidates. Awaiting judge’s ruling.

Oh, those absentee ballots. Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis has ordered another vote for City Council in the North End 133rd District after a September Democratic primary recount between incumbent Jeanette Herron and former State Rep. Bob Keeley showed her with a one-vote victory coming from a dubious absentee ballot.

It’s unclear yet the timing of the new vote in view of the Nov. 7 general election. Following the September 12 primary Herron and Keeley were knotted at 170 votes. The recount produced a one-vote lead for Herron via a previously uncounted absentee ballot. Keeley filed a court challenge. Michael DeFilippo was the leading vote producer in the primary. The two candidates with the most votes go on to the general election. Anne Pappas Phillips ran with Keeley.

The Republican candidates in the district are Michele Minutolo and Neville De la Rosa.

More on this from CT Post reporter Dan Tepfer:

But just how many candidates and districts will be involved won’t be decided until Tuesday morning, when lawyers for the candidates and city officials come before Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis.

… The mystery regarding that ballot–which appeared during a recount–only deepened when Town Clerk Charles “Don” Clemons invoked his 5th Amendment right not to incriminate himself while on the witness stand before Bellis on Monday.

The judge ordered that the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney be notified of the circumstances of the case for a possible criminal investigation.

Full story here.



  1. I’m not one of Bob Keeley’s fans but it dies appear he was cheated on the recount. Town clerk Charles “Don” Clemons took the fifth but not before he  incriminated himself on the witness stand in the Honorable Barbara Bellis’s courtroom. (She referred the matter to the State’s Attorney’s Office for possible prosecution.)  

    The election is scheduled for 11/7/17. That will give the DTC plenty of time to prepare a few more absentee ballots… 

  2. Let’s see a tie vote, a recount and now one uncounted AB magically appears? C’mon Mario.

    C’mon Clem how do you let these fools convince you to jeopardize your honor, integrity and your character to find a magical ballot. Bruh all you are to these people is a means to an end. Nobody loves you like the DTC and they could be lying too.

  3. It is starting to look as though the Joe, Mario, et al, demand loyalty from their minions yet it is not reciprocal. Mr. Clemons has been thrown to the lions. I hope he has a good attorney.

    The state of Connecticut is fed up with the absentee ballot hijinx in Bridgeport. It has benefitted those politicians seeking statewide office but not the oeople that live here. It is a given that the upcoming ekections will be watched very closely.

  4. The judge made a fair and just decision. Good luck to the candidates. I can not remember this ever happening and I am certain it will be very interesting.

          1. This happens every Election in Bridgeport, open your eyes Stevie, when the Abs out poll the machine count you have a problem.
            Stevie you and other members of the DTC who have their heads up their ass, are suffering from what is called the Stockholm syndrome!

        1. Steve,

          Clemons was acting on orders. It looks as though he was the one that planted the unregistered absentee ballot to sway the recount in the DTC’s favor. Judge Bellis seemed to think so, referring the matter to the SEEC and the State’s Attorney’s Office for prosecution.

          As a member of the DTC you’re just a shill for Mario Testa and Joe Ganim and the district leaders. It is a crooked organization looking after the interests of a few with no thought to the well being of the rest of the people the city of Bridgeport. Now there is evidence of election fraud. If Mr. Clemons’s attorney truly represents his client’s best interests he will negotiate an immunity deal so Clemons can name names. 

          Time to tear the playhouse down.

  5. Jimfox // Sep 29, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    The Miracle Ballot sent down by the Big Guy?

    At first it was a dead heat Bob Keeley had 170 votes,Jeanette Herron had 170 votes.
    That called for an automatic recount, under 20 votes from September 12th Democratic primary for City Council in the 133rd District.

    After week of planning and waiting for the recount, it soon became obvious that something was wrong. From a Flucking tie vote on September 12th to a one vote lead a week later?!

    Ballot Busters quickly sprung into actions, with a few $20 bills in our pocket, we bribed our way into the Registrars office, “the place was a flucking mess”. ( D. Trump).
    It took us a while to get into the Registrars office, she had these Black bags full of every district Absentee Ballots, at first we couldn’t find the 133rd bag so we looked in her desk and sure as God made little green apples there it was!

    We quickly turned the lights off, ran a few blocks to the Ballot Buster office and started putting each Ballot all 341 of them under the light of the Spectrograph machine.

    ( A spectrograph splits light into its component wavelengths. First, light travels from a telescope through a small opening in the spectrograph to a collimating mirror that lines up all entering rays of light parallel to one another before they reach a finely scored plate of glass known as a diffraction grating. When light passes through or bounces off this glass grating, its many constituent wavelengths each change speed and direction according to their spectral color. The grating bends red light in a different way from orange light, which bends a little differently from yellow light and so on, spreading the many wavelengths into a rainbow spectrum. Rotating the diffraction grating controls which wavelengths of light reach another mirror, which in turn focuses these wavelengths onto a photodetector, such as a charge-coupled device. The detector converts photons into electrical signals that a computer interprets to measure the strength of different wavelengths. )

    After a few hours we hit pay dirt the Spectrograph came up with one Bogus Ballot, we call the
    ( Miracle Ballot)!
    The light particles from the Spectrograph on the Miracle Ballot showed micro traces of( Antimo Caputo Flour) and (Monica Vaecarella) Extra Virgin Olive Oil and some cheap Plum Tomato.

    1.When we say that the Miracle Ballot was sent down by the Big Guy. The Spectrograph indicates it’s not from a heavenly body .

    2.We could not divulge at this time who, was marked on the Miracle Ballot while this is still in litigation .

    3.Ballot Busters quickly returned the Black Bag and Ballots to the Registrars office.


  6. First thing that should happen is that Clemons resign from office and pay for his own court defense. I wonder was he collecting his full pension from the fire department while he was getting a salary for being the town jerk (clerk). I wonder did he have enough time as state rep so he received a state pension also. I cant remember seeing such a do nothing collect so much money for doing nothing.
    This is what happens when you dont nominate the most qualified.
    Hey Ernie start teaching Clemons about the jobs available in the big house

  7. I believe if Clemons is given a choice of telling authorities who had him add the ballot or go to jail Clemons will roll over without giving IT A SECOND THOUGHT.this crap keeps going on in Bridgeport, when is it going to stop. look we can blame Mario and he certainly has points in this game. we also have Joe Ganim crook specialist and then we have the 90 shitheads on the town committee who do what they are told. all 90 need to go including you Maria as you just make noise, you are like a fart in a wind tunnel.

    1. For once I agree with Andy. Given the options of prison or an aria Clemons will start singing. This could be the beginning of the end for the old guard at the DTC.


    1. the biggest joke was when you were in the same prison with him bitch!!!! you can tell Clemons about it as you hopefully will be going back. you really are a scumbag. maybe you would like to come over and talk to my son I am sure he will straighten you out


        1. Very statesmanlike, Moses. I’m sure the people will be pleased as punch to elect a thin-skinned asshole like you to represent them on a City Council that is losing its relevance day by day.

          Remember to spend that $9000.00 stipend at Testo’s.


          2. ernie again you are full of shit. the white firefighters did not try and stop the minorities from taking the promotional tests. they stopped themselves when they could not pASS an al written examination. that when wee got into oral and written tests. they could play around with the oral portion of the exam but not the written. these guys held themselves back. here is an example of what we got from judge Daly and the fire birds. One of the rookies wanted to know who filled up the hydrants after we used them. This guy ended up ass a captain

        2. Listen loser i lived off the city by being on the busieest fire company on the east coast for 14 years and put 9 years in as an arson investigator. i took a test to get my job how about you/ Oh no you were elected by people that believed your bullshit.ernie the only person you ever did anything for was yourself. bTW you played the black card every chance you got. maria never asked me to do anything other than win which we did. i am angry and I am old but that’s because leeches like you stay around. now another leech gets caught.

  9. Kid and Andy, we will see TC challenges in March that will rival the recent Council primaries. It’s the only way to replace the current leadership, and hopefully the challenge slates will be comprised of uncompromised members who will vet candidates coming before them for nomination and support. This recent primary was compromised on so many levels; after thinking I saw it all, I was wrong. When interference rears it’s ugly heads in offices such as the Town Clerk and Registrar’s, it’s time for us to get serious about staying involved. Ten Council districts were affected by this recent effort, whether it’s for the better or not, we’ll have to wait to know. If Keeley had just accepted that loss without a court challenge, this would be just another tainted outcome archived as legitimate. Lennie, can you give us a breakdown of that disastrous vote last night when some CC members again abdicated their responsibility to the residents of Bridgeport. I know quite a few members voted “no,” can you list the nays and yays.

    1. I have a feeling the Clemons Revelations will be pursued by the State’s Attorney’s Office. This is too juicy to pass on. And once the state’s prosecutor has you in this sights the fat lady will sing.

    2. Lisa..thank you for your wise words but people need to start organizing for the Spring 2018 Town Committee Elections and that needs to start NOW. IMHO,I think it’s going to be difficult enough to find 9 people in each district.

      1. Frank, it won’t be. There are so many people who would serve, but there’re never asked. In fact, they’re deliberately shut out by the feeble-minded incumbents. I served with one of the nicest guys, Freddino, but he’s a City employee, and never once voted against any administration. Add to his fear, when Joey G. took office the second time, Freddino was laid off. Now he must really be going in his pants. I also served with another member of the same slate who’s a State Marshall and gets serves from the City. She follows the yellow-brick road also. I finally broke from them, and believe me Frank, there’s no problem will willing people; not in the 132nd.

    3. The Amazon facility will be much more beneficial to the local economy than a fucking casino full of tourists bussed in from Podunk. 50,000 jobs versus the 6000 or so MGM is promising.

      Time for a charter revision, time to put the mayor on a shorter leash.

  10. Andy, ya boy BFD chief Rooney and BPD chief Gaudett were both allowed to retire and sign lucrative contacts with the City and collect both pension and salary in access of over 200 hundred thousand per year. BFD chief Thode was allowed to retire with his best three years and sign a contract that pays him in access of two hundred thousand per year, but Clemons is doing something wrong with a little $40,000 a year pension and salary. Gimme me a break.

    Derek, don’t worry about the people of the 139th and who they elect whether it be Ernie or someone else. There’s no Black politician in the history of Bridgeport that has done anything they haven’t seen a white politician do on numerous occasions. Nothing new here. The only thing Clemons did wrong was to listen to the white political leaders in Bridgeport and to believe that they had his back and was looking out for him. Clem has been in politics long enough to know that you can’t trust Bridgeport’s white political leadership because they only look out for themselves and you see that with respect to other whites and if they’ll do that to another white person what makes you think they won’t do it to your Black ass.

    I’ve known Clem for over 45 years and he’s a decent and honorable man and this episode is so very far from the man of character that I’ve known for all these years. I can only imagine the undo pressure that must have been applied to get him to be a part of this unseemly mess.

    1. You Donald Day are 100% full of shit. Its always the white guy that screws the black guy. yeah right. Clemons has been screwing the pooch since day 1 on the FD. tell me why Rooney could not collect hi pension/? if we hired the retired chief of the Stamford FD he would still collect his Stamford pension. You see Day your mad because you are not smart enough to be chief

    2. Don, a few things, first I’m truly don’t understand how this could happen.

      Don, I agree with your point about Clem when you said, “I’ve known Clem for over 45 years and he’s a decent and honorable man and this episode is so very far from the man of character that I’ve known for all these years. I can only imagine the undo pressure that must have been applied to get him to be a part of this unseemly mess.” Clem and Bob Keeley have a very good and long relationship going to their time at Notre Dame High School, playing basketball together, they both serve as State Representatives for Bridgeport in Hartford and they have been friends for a long time. All of this makes hard for me to believe that Clem would something underhanded for Bob or against Bob and that Clem would what’s right. There must be something else going on here.

    3. Donald,

      I’m not seeing color here but a shill for the DTC leadership that got caught. Corruption is not ethnospecific. Greed crosses color, gender and class lines.

      I agree with your opinion of Bridgeport’s ruling honky elite. Political events at Testo’s sounds like a flock of geese landed in the yard. Joe Ganim made a big effort appealing to the black community, having a Jimmy Swaggert moment of pseudo penitence at Reverend Stallworth’s church, mending the fence at Trumbull Gardens sfter the mass shooting there last year, opening an unauthorized police “substation” in his campaign office, paying twenty bucks a vote on election day…

      I believe you speak knowledgably of Don Clemons’ character abd morals. He got caught up in the machinations of a corrupt party machine that is hanging him out to dry. I hope he has the snarts to hire an attorney out of his own pocket.

  11. Does Bob Keeley and Anne Pappas Phillips needs some help canvassing in the 133rd district. Mayne “brother and sister” Bob and Anne need some help from others in Bridgeport.

  12. Remember who wrote this Post article-Trefz- his purpose in life is to besmirch good people. Let’s not jump to conclusions

    So on the bright side-I’m very happy for Bob Keeley. Keep fighting-we’re behind you and ready to work with you!

  13. Everything on this blog is pure made up Bullshit! Accusing Clemmons and Mario and G-d knows who else.. Let the investigation prevail. Meanwhile I am sure Jeanette and Bob are working on their votes.

    1. Get over it, Steven. Many of the regulars here know enough to connect the dots. The town clerk bone is connected to the DTC bone, the DTC bone is connected to the Testa bone…

    2. The Honorable Barbara Bellis has an extremely low regard for the political status quo in Bridgeport. This investigation is going to move forward. State’s Attorney John C. Smriga, who shares that view, is not susceptible to political pressure. 

      The Fairfield County employment rate for attorneys is about to go up.

    3. Steven,

      You spout A LOT of bullshit on the blog, most of it the propaganda you’re spoon fed at DTC meetings. You gas off that “Oh my heavens a casino will be FABULOUS for Bridgeport!!!” while saying I cast a shadow over the city because I criticize Joe “I have sinned” Ganim for neglecting the socioeconomic injustices in Bridgeport.

      This is REAL news, Steven. The corrupt Democratic party machine has been exposed. Mr. Clemons realised he was incriminating himself on the witness stand. He is not going to take the fall for anyone else.

      This revelation is proof nothing is beneath the DTC’s leadership. Mr. Clemons was used.

  14. Steve, you cannot step into a Trump costume or role. They will not fit. And as far as “fake news” or made-up BS, etc, usually the real news is even more absurd than what is fiction. That’s why we get a laugh, a sense of relief from much of what is posted here.

    As for Dan Tepfer, he has covered real crime in the City for 30 years or more. As such,does he really need to try to hurt reputations when he reports the facts of a situation? Or have people already gone too far which is what has them in the crime news aleady? I first encountered him when he was reporting on clergy sexual abuse of youth. Never happen you say? And so did many in 2002 when the Boston Globe was focusing on that Archdiocese. That story grew and continues to grow on the international scene today. Why did it happen? How could it, you say? Time will tell.

  15. So, I regret I am not on the same page as everyone. I am a new member of the Town Committee which has absolutely nothing to do with what is happening. I will imagine that Jeanette Herron and Mike Defillipo will reignite their campaign and win by more than a single vote. Bob Keely is a great campaigner and Bullshit artist extoidinaire. He is very engaging with every singl person at the polls. If his opposition is blind to this than I say good for him. Bob Keely has been around for a very very very very long time. He has been part of the machine for a very very very very long time. Lisa Parziale has been part of the machine for a very very very very very long time. Listening to them attack “the machine” is funny. Bridgeport kid, because I am on the DTC doesn’t mean I condone bad behavior. JML anything Trump is vomitous to me. The people will decide in 4 weeks. I think Bob Keely is an excellent candidate. His running mate not at all. Jeanette Herron was a very hard working councilwoman that is out there with her constituents. I believe she deserves another term . I would expect Tom McCarthy to be supporting her and her running mate made a nice showing. He is a nice guy and represents new blood. Mario Testo, Good, bad or otherwise is a mentor to all of these politicians. Like Ganim , there is a lot to be said about experience. I live in the North End for now. However, Lyons and Pannicia are my council people. I have promised to stay out of other districts battles. I will. I preferto be amicable to all candidtes and when I visit most schools I am just that and when I work the polls, I have a blast. When th elections are over we have to be respectfu and keep the attitude in check.

    It has nothing to do with drinking the koolaide. I don’t drink Koolaide. I thought they took the poison off the market years ago.

    Good luck to all of the candidates!

    1. Steve, you are so drunk from drinking that Kool Aid that you can’t think right. Tom McCarthy has been around for a very very very very long time. He has been part of the machine for a very very very very long time. Steve, just look at he has been on the DTC. Look at how long he been on the City Council. Look at how long he has been the City Council President. Look at how long he has been a City employee and serving on the City Council which violates the City Charter. Good ole Tom while being the President of City Council was also the number two person working in the City’s Labor Relation Office that over looks City union contracts and discipline at the same time a number of City Council members and DTC members were working for the City good ole Tom had the power and influence over these members careers and their vote. But Steve you are too drunk from the Kool Aid to see any of this power. Lisa and Keeley together didn’t have that type of power and control like good ole Tom.

      1. Kid that was actually funny—You can attack McCarthy all you want. Who will be able to replace him? If Tom had to replace Mayor Ganim he would be a knowledgeable and respectable person to assume the role. I can think of maybe 3 candidates that could possibly fill the roll. This is when you realize what you had when they are no longer there.

        Ron Mackey, You are correct- Tom has been there a very very very very long time and in 2 months he will be gone- No what??

  16. I was a district leader in Fairfield for 10 years, I never heard of another district leader sending DTC members off district from the 134th like Steven Auerbach to campaign against fellow Dem’s in Black Rock (130th).
    Well, those Black Rock Dem’s won! ( Smith and Spain)
    No thanks to the 134th. hopefully they will be sitting on the City Council this November.
    This is why we have to replace the incompetent, amateurish members like Steven Auerbach from the DTC by next March, if not sooner!

    1. Jim Fox- I did not campaign for anyone in any of the races to be clear. Not one call, No door knocking. No handing out any literature nothing- So we have the record straight. There is not one candidate I worked for , walked for and called for. You now stand corrected, The fact that I was at 10 schools is simply because I am friends with all of the candidates. I taleked to them and left after I got Poll numbers for my own edification. I think we are clear now. Jim Fox- dream on! I’d get more votes than the Mayor- No disrespect.

  17. Now that Little Stevie Auerbach loaded up his pitty pot and lit out for the provinces there’s only one pain in the ass remaining. We ought to start a Gofundme account to help Maria Pereira with moving costs.


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