Mack Allen Resigns From Ethics Commission And South End NRZ

Mack Allen
Mack Allen, right, speaks during interview with CT Post. CT Post photo.

Saying he cares too much about the city to be a distraction, Mack Henry Allen resigned on Thursday from membership on the Ethics Commission and South End Neighborhood Revitalization Zone, following disclosure he’s listed on a Texas sex offender registry. Allen, who has spoken openly about his drug past, told the Connecticut Post he should not be listed as a sex offender. “I never committed an act against anyone that is sexual in nature.”

From Linda Conner Lambeck, CT Post:

A former Dunbar School aide who says he is wrongly listed on a Texas registry as a low-level sex offender nonetheless resigned Thursday from positions on both the city’s Ethics Commission and South End Neighborhood Revitalization Zone.

“I care too much about the city and the great things that are happening to unjustly serve as a distraction,” Mack Henry Allen Jr., 49, said Thursday, his wife, Kesha, and pastor, Bishop Derrick Calhoun, at his side.

Allen became caught up in a widening state and local probe into how his former employer, Family Urban Schools of Excellence, went about staffing Dunbar when his past felony drug convictions and the Texas registry listing were shared this week.

Full story here.



  1. I am pleased to see Mr. Allen did the right thing and stepped down. Thank you, Mr. Allen.
    Now let’s see if the city of Bridgeport will do the right thing and provide the public with their own independent investigation as to what went wrong and what needs to change so public confidence is restored in the background check process and the vetting of candidates for boards and commissions.
    Let’s see if the Board of Education will do what’s right and terminate the contract with FUSE immediately for serious violations of the MOU.
    And let’s see if the state of Connecticut does what’s right and impose strict requirements of all charter schools regarding employees and begin a thorough review of the entire charter system and philosophy in the state.

  2. I appreciate Mr. Allen stepping down from the South End NRZ and Ethics Commission.

    Personally, I am sure he has changed his life in the right direction. I think his life reflects the many challenges our children face and I give him credit with getting this far.

    Where I have had a serious problem is the South End NRZ has been plagued with irregularities, unethical practices, conflicts of interest, expired term limits and illegal practices that should not be condoned by any Board member. Every single Board member on the NRZ is aware of this and nothing has been done, and the NRZs receive state funding. These irregularities have been repeatedly been pointed out by the community but they continue to this day and nothing has been done despite repeated requests to address these. For anyone on the South End NRZ Board to then be appointed to an Ethics Commission would be unacceptable despite their best intentions because frankly actions speak louder than words.

    To say this is a ‘distraction’ puts it lightly. People have pointed out the irregularities on the South End NRZ for years but NOTHING has been done. Ironically he steps down now, and not when the citizens brought these issues for years. Sadly, his stepping down also indirectly allows the dysfunction of the South End NRZ to continue and does not address the fundamental issues. It only removes his having responsibility from now (how convenient). So in the end, leaving the South End NRZ is not really for the citizens of Bridgeport, it is more about his own convenience and the inconvenience of remaining on the NRZ Board, which has been caused by his own behaviors of condoning these irregularities.

  3. Steve, here is your answer–so the answer is yes if these irregularities are acceptable.

    Here are some details many people do not realize about this so-called “vote.”

    – Two individuals who voted are not even on the South End NRZ Board.

    – Another five people who voted have expired term limits.

    – State law requires at least 51% of the Board consist of community residents and the South End NRZ is below this requirement.

    – Individuals did not abstain from voting despite conflicts of interest.

    – The South End NRZ does not have approved bylaws.

    1. Thank you, Andmar. Very very very sad. I may just walk the City and ask Bridgeporters if they think this will stimulate downtown development and be a magnet for downtown business. If they think this is a mistake, please sign this petition and remember when you cast your next vote.

    2. The South End NRZ needs to get rid of Carl McCluster. Oops, make that Reverend Carl McCluster of Shiloh Baptist Church. A pastor to a small flock who have, based on their belief in redemption, kept him on. He has no moral center, goes to the highest bidder and sells out the South End to anyone who might throw a nickel his way. He is also political mentor to Rev. Calhoun of New Vision, employer of Mr. Allen. Get rid of McCluster, who loves to lecture Bridgeport residents on what they should do–though he doesn’t even live in the city–and you will see increased South End involvement. McCluster, as president of the NRZ, has violated all of the by-laws and trampled over almost every member in moving his and the Finch agenda forward. He needs to go.

  4. With all of your living, get learning. I respect Mack Allen personally for stepping out of the circles at this time and humbly sharing history with the community. Lots of info provided in the three days of discussion. My personal takeaways are:
    1) What questions are asked of applicants for work or Board appointments? Are the questions specific enough to uncover all issues of personal history that may be of concern, assuming the questions are answered honestly and fully?
    2) Please confirm the process used in the City today to review above applications, an applicant authorization to pursue background info, fingerprint data and the time it takes Police Office of Internal Affairs to process such a request routinely. If OIA is limited to only CT state records, is that limited standard true for all searches?
    3) What guidelines, if any, have been used by Miscellaneous Matters to review applications (assuming the info is correct and complete) that show sex, drug, or violent activities in a person’s background? What outside resources, if any, are available to them in coming to an answer other than that of the City Attorney’s office?
    4) I operate under the assumption limited training has been offered to members of City Boards and Commissions in the past, perhaps limited to Ethics. I have been led to assume formal and regular evaluations of member behavior is a missing part of City process. If this is our current state of affairs, why do Council members allow this to continue?
    5) What standards of behavior and personal history does the community (and the following parties) expect the City, the Board of Education and service programs of all types to uphold relative to people working or volunteering with Bridgeport preschool youth, K-8 youth, and high school age attendees? Maybe each will talk about where they are today and reasonable discussion can get us closer to being where we need to be. Time will tell.

    1. “Humbly sharing history?”

      The 2/14/14 minutes (posted on OIB today), if complete and accurate, reflect 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.”

      How about an “honest sharing,” JML?

      For crying out loud, Bridgeport won’t ever improve if its citizens keep settling for substandard governance and governance practices.

      1. Peter,
        That’s my opinion based on his latest disclosures. Since Bob has served on Miscellaneous Matters as part of his Council experience, I would observe “minutes” only suggest what was covered, especially around matters that might normally be discussed in closed session of one type or another. Yesterday, I was the first to suggest looking at those minutes, but they do not tell all. So Peter, I continue with the sense Mack Allen is a man who has learned from life, and is humbly accepting that which he cannot change at this time. Perhaps you have seen others in this community who have acted differently as I have?
        And Bob, maybe the City Council will continue to act in ways that do not advance the “low” standard of behavior that has become a norm, but there are three open spots at the lectern for public speaking on the first and third Monday of most months. You have the experience and perspective to place an alternative way of acting for the newer and non-conflicted. It is not that long until we are face-to-face with municipal campaign 2015. Inform the Council and the public will gain info and understanding as well. Could happen? And those in power dare not engage for fear they would have to explain even more. I say, let the troll roll!!! Time will tell.

        1. John,
          You think a citizen put in by Finch for the city’s Ethics Commission could go before this committee for a review and vote, and disclose to the committee he is a registered sex offender, and this fact would escape the official meeting minutes, and this committee would then unanimously vote to recommend the citizen for the Ethics Commission?

  5. As an NRZ participant from the initial planning process through the implementation phase in Black Rock where we have incorporated (as well as applied for and received non-profit status), I’d like to comment it is unusual in Bridgeport for such a group to actually receive State money or Federal money.
    The City Office of Planning and Economic Development has staff to work with each NRZ and there is a Mayoral Aide who is assigned to representation as well. As the HUD-CDBG funds are applied for, some find their way to local projects in the poorest census tracks. There are other grants from the State or funds from the City that are used as well but the City handles the money.

    Finally there is a City Wide NRZ ad hoc group that meets monthly, usually on the fourth Thursday of each month, to keep track of progress, programs and problems across the NRZ spectrum. Representatives to that body are executive officers of each local to share info, ask questions and raise new issues. If a vote is necessary on a matter, each NRZ gets only one vote. Currently several of the NRZs, including South End, have documentation and materials under review by the City. The situation is less than perfect, but the NRZ process is intended to allow local stakeholders to participate in local planning and execution of actions. If the South End group has failed to meet standards or expectations in one or more areas, there is wide support for reformation and new activity by the Citywide body. Time will tell.

    1. NOT!!!
      This is a project supported by the city. A developer supported by the city. The city doesn’t really care what the local NRZ says or thinks. This fait est accompli.

      1. Not is so frequent a word used by you. What is your specific reference in this post?

        The City is “stuck” in a way with NRZs that came on the scene under Fabrizi. The local groups understand what you are saying, but the Federal, and now State funds through Senator Ayala and Rep Grogins needs to move through the system in an organized manner that has more folks monitoring.

        Participation according to their by-laws and requirements, is just another way of staying informed and active as a volunteer, otherwise unconflicted. If that has not happened in the South End, it is important for that to get fixed promptly.

        Time will tell, as it always does.

  6. Please, another friend of a friend slotted into a position except this one had more skeletons than Fabrizi and got the whisper in the ear, remember we told you if it got public you fall on your sword.
    No wonder same old shit gets elected here, the voters are plain stupid and can’t see the forest through the trees.

  7. I would like to share some relevant information if I may.

    When the state Board of Education held its public hearing on the four new proposed charter schools in early April, including the one in New Haven that would be managed by FUSE; quite a few Bridgeport “religious leaders” showed up to testify in support of all four charter schools. All of them are aligned with Kenneth Moales Jr.

    This included the following:
    Bishop Calhoun–Featured in the photo above

    Reverend McCluster–Federal conviction for embezzlement of over $170,000 in taxpayer funds and a member of the Board of Directors of Dr. Perry’s new upcoming charter school in Bpt.

    Reverend McCullough–He did everything in his power to encourage a new Bridgeport Commissioner’s Network school to engage FUSE as a partner and he has also been designated as a member of the Board of Directors for Dr. Perry’s new upcoming charter school in Bpt.

    Bishop Griffith–Wife is an employee of FUSE at Dunbar School.

    In my opinion, Mr. Allen was in need of employment and a deal was made with Mr. Sharpe. Mr. Sharpe probably agreed to hire some of their parishioners, friends and family in exchange for their support of charter schools, specifically any charter school associated with FUSE. After all, Mr. Sharpe served on the Board of Directors for Northeast Charter Schools. Their only mission is to advocate for the expansion of charter schools in CT, NY, MA etc.

      1. From a recollection of Abner Mikva, a future congressman and judge from Chicago:

        “… one night in 1948, I stopped by the ward headquarters in the ward where I lived. There was a street-front, and the name Timothy O’Sullivan, Ward Committeeman, was painted on the front window. I walked in and I said “I’d like to volunteer to work for [Adlai] Stevenson and [Paul] Douglas.” This quintessential Chicago ward committeeman took the cigar out of his mouth and glared at me and said, “Who sent you?” I said, “Nobody sent me.” He put the cigar back in his mouth and he said, “We don’t want nobody that nobody sent.” This was the beginning of my political career in Chicago.”

        Sound familiar?

    1. Is my medication giving me side effects? Is this a post from Maria Pereira? Welcome to OIB, Maria. I hope you make this (posting on OIB) part of your regular activity. Regardless of how others feel about you, I’m sure you have valid points and information that can serve the public good.

  8. “Humbly sharing history,” allow me for a moment to change the subject because there is no topic on the 4th of July. I’ve always made this post on this day because it’s American History.

    “The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro”

    During the 1850s, Frederick Douglass typically spent about six months of the year traveling extensively, giving lectures. During one winter–the winter of 1855-1856–he gave about 70 lectures during a tour that covered four to five thousand miles. And his speaking engagements did not halt at the end of a tour. From his home in Rochester, New York, he took part in local abolition-related events.

    On July 5, 1852, Douglass gave a speech at an event commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, held at Rochester’s Corinthian Hall. It was biting oratory, in which the speaker told his audience, “This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.” And he asked them, “Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day?”

    Within the now-famous address is what historian Philip S. Foner has called “probably the most moving passage in all of Douglass’ speeches.”

    What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sound of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants brass fronted impudence; your shout of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanks-givings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are to him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy–a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.

    1. Ron, I wrote a paper on Frederick Douglass in elementary school, however I do not remember reading this information. Thank you for sharing it. It is very powerful and truthful.

    2. So just for my understanding Ron Mackey, you should not celebrate July 4th? Was that day set aside to mock the injustices to Negroes? 100 years after slavery, Negroes in the ’60s were still mocked and treated terribly; you however, Ron, were raised in a different world and should now and always celebrate the 4th of July. Those who marched with King in the ’60s knew first-hand the humility and cruelty of a world that used religion and laws to justify their inhumane treatment. Today we have a black President and at last here in the northeast, we have integrated in every aspect of society. I am glad I was a child in the ’60s. If I were an adult I would have been a freedom rider and marched. Frederick Douglas was a beacon of hope and a major contributor to the betterment of our society. Thank G-d time have changed.

      1. I made this post the other day about the 4th of July.

        “City Pays Tribute To Mr. Barnum”
        Ron Mackey // Jun 30, 2014 at 6:48 pm
        The Barnum Festival does a good job with The Annual Barnum Festival Great Street Parade and other events but I do have a big issue, the City and The Barnum Festival does NOTHING on this country’s birthday, July 4th, no parade, celebrating nothing. The biggest city in the state has nothing on the 4th of July. Yes, there were flaws in the beginning with the constitution but this is the greatest nation ever and our City does nothing to celebrate the founding of this country, sad, sad, sad.

        1. We have fireworks. That is what people do on the 4th of July because John Adams wanted us to. Before the Declaration of Independence was even signed, he envisioned fireworks as a part of the festivities. In a letter to Abigail Adams on July 3, 1776, he wrote the occasion should be commemorated “with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more.”

          1. BOE SPY, Bridgeport Connecticut does NOT have fireworks on the 4th of July but the Barnum Festival does in June.

          2. That was June 27th. Maybe BPT was killing two birds with one stone. It is also possible the city is in more trouble than we know.

  9. Lennie, when did the Barnum Festival’s “Great Street” Parade begin with that title and when did the parade STOP being held on July 4th?


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