Loot For Lawyers, Plus: ‘Bless Me Father …’, And Follow The Leader

How much has the city’s termination of former Personnel Director Ralph Jacobs cost taxpayers so far?

Retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez wants to know. (Me too.) Lopez has sent letters to City Attorney Mark Anastasi and Finance Director Michael Feeney requesting billing info and payments made to outside lawyers hired by Anastasi. A lawyer from the firm Berchem, Moses & Devlin armed Civil Service Commission members with the ammo to terminate Jacobs, calling Jacobs’ suggestion that a city employee seek arbitration to resolve a layoff “breach of city loyalty.” Jacobs’ lawyer former Mayor Tom Bucci calls that claim a bunch hooey.

Anastasi hired another law firm (Durant, Nichols) to make the actual claim against Jacobs and defend the city against Jacobs’ court action. That sound you just heard was the cash register of the lawyers’ billable hours. Apparently, no in-house lawyer for the city is competent enough to do the work. See Lopez letter below:

Dear Attorney Anastasi,

Chapter 7, section 4 of the City Charter states that outside legal counsel may only be retained with the approval of the City Attorney.

In reviewing the transcript of the Civil Service Commission hearing regarding Ralph Jacobs, it became apparent that two attorneys who are not members of the City Attorney’s Office participated in the hearing.

It also appears that prior to the hearing, Attorney Bayonne compiled a ‘report’ concerning Mr. Jacobs.

Pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, I am requesting copies of the following:

1. A copy of any retainer agreement, or any other type of agreement, between the City of Bridgeport and Attorney Bayonne, Attorney Lucan and the Law Firm of Durant, Nichols, Houston, Hodgson & Cortese-Costa, P.C. setting forth the scope of services to be performed by each of the attorneys, and the objectives of the representation.

2. Records of payment and billing invoices, whether paid or unpaid, made to any of the above mentioned attorneys and related to the Civil Service Commission hearing, including the investigation conducted prior to the hearing.

3. Copies of any written authorization, including notes, memoranda, e-mails or other communication by which you approved the use of outside counsel to investigate and/or prosecute the matter concerning Ralph Jacobs.

4. A copy of Attorney Bayonne’s report, which was apparently shared with the Civil Service Commission during its Executive Session. This document is not privileged in that the Civil Service Commission proceedings involving Mr. Jacobs have concluded.

5. Canceled checks or other documents indicating payment, to the above mentioned attorneys, for all work performed in connection with the Civil Service Commission case against Mr. Jacobs.

Chapter 7, section 4 of the City Charter also states that the decision to retain outside legal counsel is to be made “provided that funds are available for such purpose.”

Please provide the records, in whatever form available, setting forth the amount of funds that are available on an annual basis for the exercise of your authority concerning the retaining of outside legal counsel.

Thank you for your attention to this matter,


Carmen L. Lopez

No Kidding?

Statement from the Diocese of Bridgeport:

We are disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to extend the stay.

The content of the sealed documents soon to be released has already been extensively reported on.

For more than a decade, the Catholic Church in Bridgeport has addressed the issue of clergy sexual abuse compassionately and comprehensively.

For now, however, the serious threat to the First Amendment rights of all churches and the rightful privacy of all litigants remain in jeopardy because of the decision of the Connecticut Supreme Court. This, indeed, is regrettable.

Really? Already reported on extensively. So why not release the documents in the first place?

Let’s see now, the Diocese has shelled out $35 million in settlements for abuse that filled the confessionals of  Bishop Curtis and Bishop Egan. How much more in attorneys fees? Oh, it’s okay, the flock didn’t pay for this, it was the insurance companies and we received lots of cut-rate legal fees.

Comment by Bishop Lori to Connecticut Post:

My concern is not about the content of the documents, much of which has already been written about extensively, but it’s more a question of legal principles at stake. This ruling compromises the right of churches to govern themselves.

The right of churches? What about the rights of those kids who put their trust in the men of the cloth? Oh, it’s okay because we paid out millions. Jesus, has the Diocese hired Karl Rove to spin their confessions? You expect this stuff from pols, not from men who vowed to dedicate themselves to Christ. What would Jesus think?

Follow The Leader

Okay, the 2010 cycle has begun in earnest and that’s fine by me. Uncle Joe Biden visited the region on Monday to pay tribute to Senator Chris Dodd and Congressman Jim Himes. One of Jimmy’s Republican challengers Rob Russo didn’t waste any time launching a goof on Himes. See Russo release below followed by video:

Russo Releases “Great Followers in History” Ad

Ad Uses Humor to Emphasize How Jim Himes Follows Nancy Pelosi 95% of the Time

Fairfield – On the day Vice President Joe Biden visits the fourth congressional district to raise money for Congressman Jim Himes, congressional candidate Rob Russo launched the first advertisement of the congressional campaign with a web video titled “Great Followers in History.”

The ad uses humor to drive home a very serious point: “Jim Himes votes with Nancy Pelosi 95% of the time.”

The Ad can be viewed here: www.russoforcongress.com

After highlighting three followers with their leaders, the ad culminates with Jim Himes as the greatest follower in history. The ad cites a Washington Post study of the percentage each member of Congress votes with his or her party’s leadership. The Washington Post study found Jim Himes votes with Nancy Pelosi 95% of the time.

“Jim Himes is a rubber stamp for liberal Nancy Pelosi on the economy, on health care, on taxes and spending,” Rob Russo said. “We need independent leadership who will vote to put taxpayers first and vote against mortgaging our future with hundreds of billions of dollars in new debt and spending.”

On the visit of Vice President Biden to fundraise for Jim Himes, Russo added, “It is clear Vice President Biden is here to raise money for Jim Himes as a reward for his loyal support for Nancy Pelosi’s liberal agenda.”

Rob Russo, a former State Senator and Deputy Chief of Staff for Congressman Christopher Shays, is a Republican candidate for Congress in Connecticut’s fourth congressional district.

News release from Auden Grogins


Representative Auden Grogins (D-Bridgeport) announced that Bridgeport will receive more than $22 million in state funds to build more classroom space at Longfellow School.

“Longfellow School students and teachers deserve these long-awaited improvements, which include plans to enlarge classrooms, so the educational environment is enhanced and one that is conducive to learning,” Rep. Grogins said.

Rep. Grogins, Bridgeport’s only member of the legislature’s Education Committee, announced that the State General Assembly approved more than $22 million in school construction funds to be used for improvements to classroom space at Longfellow School. The funding was part of a school construction package passed by the General Assembly last week.

Grogins has been a long-time advocate for these much needed funds to update and expand the school built in 1958. The school has not had any substantial renovations for over 20 years, she said. The proposed project adds over 24,500 square feet for classroom space, special education, and expansion of the computer and science labs.

Rep. Grogins represents the 129th district and serves on the Education, Government Administration and Elections, and Public Health Committees.

News release from Mayor Finch

City, ABCD reach agreement on Little Liberia and other properties

The City and ABCD have reached an agreement which will settle all current pending foreclosure claims between these two parties. The terms of the settlement agreement resolve legal disputes concerning three separate property sites, provide for substantial monetary consideration to be paid to the City for back taxes, and authorize the City to sell 354 and 360 Main Street (the Little Liberia houses) to a nonprofit entity to be selected by the City for historic preservation purposes.

354 and 360 Main Street Property (Little Liberia Homes)

Title to 354 and 360 Main Street will be granted to the City of Bridgeport as part of this comprehensive settlement. These two Main Street properties will then be sold for the sum of $1,000 to a third-party non-profit or historical society selected by the City. The purchaser will have 36 months from the date of conveyance, but not later than December 31, 2012 to rehabilitate the properties to the City’s reasonable satisfaction while preserving their historic significance.

These two homes were built by Mary and Eliza Freeman in the mid-1800s, and are said to be among the earliest homes built by black families in Connecticut. These small houses, which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, became the foundation for a thriving community of free black people known as “Little Liberia.”

816 Fairfield Avenue Property

ABCD, Inc. will pay the City $35,000 dollars to clear outstanding taxes on the 816 Fairfield Avenue site, and the City will withdraw its pending foreclosure action on the property.

460 Lafayette Street Property

The City will convey title to 460 Lafayette Street to ABCD, Inc., for $1,000. The property is currently in use as a child day care and development entity, and ABCD, Inc. has committed to continuing to use it solely for that purpose. If the property is no longer used for that purpose, then title will revert to the City.

“Preserving the history of all Bridgeport people is vitally important to my Administration. I am happy to be in the position to help identify a nonprofit which can, and will, save these two pre-Civil War historic landmarks from destruction. Properties such as Little Liberia that recall the thriving community of free black people in the City are unique treasures. ABCD has contributed greatly to the Bridgeport community over the years, and has been a major provider of affordable day care options for our citizens. I believe this agreement is a fair, just, and equitable solution for ABCD, the City, and most importantly for the people of Bridgeport,” said Mayor Bill Finch.

“On behalf of ABCD, I want to personally thank Mayor Finch for his efforts to help the Bridgeport community rescue these historic homes, and for his Administration’s unfailing commitment to helping us to provide much-needed preschool education in the City of Bridgeport by ensuring that ABCD is able to keep its facilities open. This compromise is a good solution for all parties involved,” said Charles Tisdale, Executive Director of ABCD, Inc.



  1. “Where are the community leaders to follow?”

    The leadership count for the November 3 library referendum is now officially opened to all our African-American community leaders, elected and self-appointed, to head up the effort for the East End Library branch and overall BPL system.

    Current Count:

    Latinos: Yes vote – Mojo; No vote – Joel Gonzalez; On the fence – many

    African-Americans: Yes vote – zero; No vote – zero; On the fence – many

    Filipinos/Asians: Yes vote – Sylvester L. Salcedo; No vote – Bob Walsh; On the fence – less than 2 or so …

    E-Day (election) minus 28 days (all numbers subject to adjustment and vote changes as notice is received.)

  2. It is 3:44 am … this is what the college nights are about!!!!!!!!! Have not been on in a week; been real busy. Sly why are there no votes in the African American votes for yes … I will be voting yes!!! Jim Himes wins easily; I support Himes.

  3. Salcedo: When did this become a racial vote? When did Bob Walsh become a Filipino? Believe it or not there are whites that live on the east side and we vote.

  4. Sylvester L. Salcedo lives in a quota-driven world.

    If someone told you City Councilman Bob Walsh was a Filipino, would you follow them into battle?

    I wouldn’t.


    Reject a tax increase
    Reject special treatment
    Reject The Alpha Plan and
    Vote NO on Nov 3rd.

    Libraries are expensive. The internet is almost FREE.

    1. Local Eyes lives in a world insulated from the realities of life in Bridgeport.

      If someone told you Local Eyes was a philistine would you follow him into battle?

      I wouldn’t; fools rush in where angels fear to tread.


      Ignore all remarks concerning the one-mil tax increase for library funds. Mr. Eyes does not live in Bridgeport, will not be affected by the tax increase, and should start his own ‘blog.

      Vote YES on 11/3. Libraries are an investment in the community’s future.

      1. *** Whether L/Eyes lives in Bpt or not, he still has a right to blog his opinions on this topic just like anyone else. Only difference is, he’s not full of himself unlike B/K & a few other bloggers & he does it without being disrespectful to those that may disagree! Also, he shows up @ the OIB gatherings; again, unlike those that hide behind their website masks making rude remarks but do not have the backbone to show & wear a OIB name tag! ***

        1. I’ll agree with you that Local Eyes and everyone else is entitled to voice their opinions pursuant to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. That’s where the agreement ends, however. If anyone is full of him/herself, it is you. It is you that has been disrespectful, adopting a rather mocking tone if someone expresses an opinion or a point of view that you disagree with (or have difficulty comprehending because of emotional and intellectual immaturity).

          The last time Mr. Eyes showed up at an OIB function he was drunk as a lord and just as rude; so obnoxious that I was close to punching his lights out. Since it was Matty’s Corner I probably would’ve gotten away with it. But he wasn’t wearing a name tag. Come to think of it, neither was I, but if anyone asked I told them my screen name. So where have you been the last few OIB soirées, Mr. Mojohowitz? Hiding under the bed, perhaps?

          1. *** Tough guy, punching the lights out on a guy that has a disability! Plus you were as quiet as a church mouse @ Marty’s staying in the shadows & very few knew who you were! Also @ that time you were not blogging negative B/S @ me so there was no need for me to “BITCH SLAP” you in public either! However, the next OIB gathering may have a different outcome, time will tell. ***

  5. A mandate requiring the library to receive funds that aren’t available unless the money is taken from other programs such as safety and education perhaps? I think not.

    As a member of the Italian faction, the collective vote is no.

  6. Russo and Pelosi to be in face-off at Sound Tigers game in early 2010. Nancy Pants’ face is starting to crack under the pressure. The problem is that Russo is portraying himself as skating on the right wing. If he thinks using a Defenseman, like Beck or Coulter, is going to work, he is skating on thin ice.

    Rob has a nice right hook, but needs to work on his left jab, to be in the center of the ring, and not get caught on the ropes.

  7. Thank you, Sylvester.
    It has often been suggested that I should be an honorary member of the council’s Black and Hispanic Caucus due to my support of many of their initiatives.
    I will consider your appointment as an honorary member of the Filipino/Asian community with the same high level of respect.

  8. Supporters of the library better lock Mr. Salcedo in the Seaside Park bathhouse for the next month. Gratuitous ethnic pandering has a tendency of exploding like an Al-Qaeda terrorist with a bomb up his ass.

    1. “… an FOI debate between Carmen Lopez and Mark Anastasi.”

      Forget the debate! An OIB Mud Wrestling Match:
      Mark Anastasi vs. Carmen Lopez
      Live, at The ARENA on Harbor Yard
      Tickets on sale ONLY at onlyinbridgeport.com

  9. The preliminary bout could be between Mayor Moon Beam and Mary-Jane Foster in Cult Friction debate.

    Richie Havens opens the show with FREEDOM!

    They should have it at the Downtown Cabaret where you can bring your own Dim Sum.

    My money’s on the women in this fracas.

  10. *** Ten years from now, the properties will still be blighted with the property titles gone back to the city as well as the responsibility to clean up the properties once again. *** “Politics” in Bpt. as usual, no loss, no gain, just the same! *** However in reality there’s no one to blame but the voters that continue to vote for their favorite political party instead of individuals that may be able to do a better job. ***

    1. It would be a few steps up to have a REAL judge representing the interests of the people of the city of Bridgeport, instead of a self-interested wannabe judge …

  11. In response to my harshest critic:

    Local Eyes lives in a world that resembles the realities of life in Bridgeport.

    Angels fear nothing–that’s what makes them angels.

    Repeat: I’m trying to influence a referendum in a city I don’t live in.

    The last time I was at an OIB function I offered you a job–sight unseen–based exclusively on your posts. Yet your credibility has suffered from your repeated mentions of my supposed drunkenness.


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