Try These Handcuffs, Plus: Puff The Magic Legislature, and Sikorsky Clipped

Okay class, give me a show of hands. No, better yet, puke up some names.

If you could choose anyone on the planet to bond with via handcuffs whom would you pick? The woman who was arraigned in Bridgeport Superior Court for her novel approach to reconciliation–handcuffing her husband to herself while he was sleeping and then tormenting him–has me wondering about what city pols long for a cuffmate.

Can you imagine former Democratic Town Chairman John Stafstrom cuffing current party leader Mario Testa in the restaurateur’s meat freezer? I can hear Mario now, “Grimaldi, I’d rather pound veal.” Mario, of course, is an expert at pounding veal, and has a perpetually bloody apron to prove it. Just don’t be around him when he has cleaver in hand.

Let’s see now, former City Council President Lisa Parziale slaps the cuffs on current council prez Tom McCarthy:

“Honey, I want my gavel back or I’ll turn you into gravel.”

“Lisa, when you address me, please make it Sir Loin.” Big Mac’s daddy is a butcher at the Stop & Shop on Madison Avenue. Remember that scene from Hannibal when Agent Starling cuffs him to the refrigerator? “Where’s the key?” Here comes big daddy’s hatchet. Oops.

Oh my goodness, can you imagine State Rep. Auden Grogins handcuffed to the dude she defeated Bob Keeley? I can hear Auden screaming for her dog Harold to bite through the links. “Now finish the job Harold.”

And what about Mayor Bill Finch cuffed to State Rep. Chris Caruso? That would be fun if only to test the strength of a new Congress Street Bridge. They splash into the Pequonnock, dredging up all those absentee ballots Caruso claims cost him the election. A recount is done to learn Finch still wins by one vote. An examination of check-off sheets reveals Caruso never actually voted in the primary. He was too busy yelling corruption.

Okay, let me hear your cuff couple. Yahooy and Anna cuffed at Liberty Rock? Egad.

By the way, what’s your take on the city paying out $250K to a guy who was falsely arrested for robbery by city police and jailed for six months? Maybe next time the cops will check the surveillance tape at the gas station. Seems logical, right? Check the surveillance tape. Duh. The city settled the case to avoid a bigger payout at a civil trial.

Joint Agreement

What’s your take on a state legislative proposal to decriminalize possession of small amounts of pot to save law enforcement, court and prison costs? That standing ovation you just heard came from Cougar Rodgerson. Cougie wants the board of ed slot. I can see it now, first order of business from School Board President Cougie–a bong in every school bathroom. Cheech and Chong as guidance counselors.

Party Time In The City

Fun stuff in the city this week, led by SportsFest. Lots of ice block heads from Yale, Air Force, Michigan and Vermont will fill the Arena at Harbor Yard for the regional NCAA hockey championship. A bunch of downtown restaurants offering specials. Also, check out the new art exhibit Thursday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at City Lights Gallery, 37 Markle Court, with a wine tasting hosted by Épernay from 6 to 7 p.m. I’ll be there during that hour, of course!

News release from CT U.S. Attorney

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut today announced that SIKORSKY AIRCRAFT COMPANY, of Stratford, Connecticut, which manufactures helicopters for all branches of the United States military and is a division of United Technologies Corporation, has entered into a civil settlement agreement in which it will pay $2,941,000 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act arising from the failure to ballistically test armor plated inserts for Black Hawk helicopters manufactured for the U.S. Army.

The armor plated inserts, which were manufactured for SIKORSKY by a subcontractor, are installed as original equipment on Black Hawk helicopters. Black Hawks are manufactured for the U.S. Army and for other nations, and Black Hawk-derivative aircraft are manufactured for the United States Navy, Air Force and Marines. The investigation revealed that from 1992 until 2006, the ballistic panels, which are installed both to the left of the pilot and to the right of the co-pilot on Black Hawk helicopters, were not tested to ensure that they had been manufactured according to government requirements.

“It is critically important that manufacturers perform all required testing of parts for equipment being used by our military personnel,” stated John B. Hughes, Chief of the Civil Division for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Connecticut. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office takes these matters very seriously and we will do all that we can to ensure the safety of the men and women in the military.”

“This settlement sends a message that fraud, especially when it concerns the safety of our men and women in uniform, cannot and will not be tolerated in Government contracts,” said Michael F. Hertz, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “As demonstrated here, the Department, including the United States Attorneys’ offices, and investigative agencies such as the ones here, are committed to rooting out such fraud and prosecuting it.”

The Government knows of no injuries resulting from the untested plates.

In the agreement SIKORSKY specifically denied the government’s allegations and asserted that it had numerous defenses to any liability.

The investigation was conducted by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Army Criminal Investigative Division, Defense Contract Audit Agency, and Defense Contract Management Agency. The matter was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan M. Soloway.

MCAT’s New Gig

OIB friend Michele Mount (MCAT), an attorney, has been appointed by House Speaker Chris Donovan to the State Law Revision Commission. The body works with the Connecticut Legislature and National Law Commission to review the constitutionality of law, revise current law and make suggestions for new laws. Here’s your chance to tell MCAT about all those screwy laws you hate. See a full description of the commission’s duties below:

The commission shall be composed of the president pro tempore of the Senate, the minority leader of the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives and the minority leader of the House of Representatives, or their designees, the cochairpersons and ranking members of the joint standing committee on judiciary or their designees chosen from among the members of the committee, and nine members appointed as follows: The president pro tempore shall appoint two members and the speaker of the House shall appoint two members; and the Governor shall appoint five members, three of whom shall be members of the bar of this state, one of whom shall be a judge of the Superior or Supreme Court of the state, and one of whom may or may not be a member of the bar of this state but shall be a member of a law faculty of an accredited law school within the state. The commission shall elect one of its members to serve as chairman.  The Duties of the Commission are as follows:

(1) Receive, consider and prepare comments and recommendations on proposed changes in the law recommended by the American Law Institute, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, bar associations, judges, lawyers, public officials, or other learned bodies or qualified individuals;

(2) Recommend, from time to time, such changes in the law as it deems necessary to modify or eliminate antiquated and inequitable rules of law, and to bring the law of this state, civil and criminal, into harmony with modern conditions;

(3) Recommend the express repeal of all statutes repealed by implication or held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the state or the Supreme Court of the United States;

(4) Assist the joint standing committee on judiciary and other commissions and groups appointed by the Governor or General Assembly to study law within the state;

(5) Educate the public as to the need for law revision through public hearings, giving the public an opportunity to be heard;

(6) Organize and conduct meetings within the state for scholarly discussion of current problems in state law, bringing together representatives of the legislature, practicing attorneys, members of the bench and bar, and representatives of the law teaching profession;

(7) Submit an annual report to the General Assembly. The report shall include proposed legislative drafts, a description of the research and projects initiated, pending, or completed during the preceding year with recommendations and comments, and an itemized list of expenditures made by the commission during the preceding year. The commission may also whenever it considers it appropriate submit other recommendations and legislative proposals to the General Assembly and its committees.



  1. Ok Lennie, I will tell you my favorite cuff mate. I don’t think I’ll go the route that woman did, I am not into biting. I don’t want someone who could strangle me either. That doesn’t leave too many. I love politics, entertainment and law. I think I’d need someone who’s smart with a sense of humor. My choice of cuff mate would be Jon Stewart of the Daily Show.

  2. Has anyone heard from Anna? The last time I saw her she was handcuffed to the phone pole outside the Liberty Rock after having been cited by the Milford Police for area blight.

  3. As for Lennie’s handcuff bonding question, I’ll again have to quote the great Delman Mangrove who wrote in his essential “The Layman’s Guide To Perspicacity”, “You never really know a man until you’re handcuffed to him on a cross-country Greyhound bus ride. Also, being forced to bathe together in a tiny tub is a fine way to make one’s acquaintance.”
    –from the essay “You’re Four Times As Alone With A Quadruped”.

    So for choosing a handcuff partner, I’d choose myself. I’ve really been meaning to get to know myself better, and handcuffs would provide the perfect opportunity.
    Either me, or Houdini … he’d probably be able to get us out of the handcuffs.

    Mr. Barnum’s Bridgeport To Nowhere

  4. The articles in today’s CT Post and on this blog do not scratch the surface as to how horribly the Bridgeport Police Department mishandled this illegal imprisonment case.
    For Mayor Finch to make the statements that he did as to how the city should not be held liable for the actions of the members of the force are sophomoric at the least but more moronic than anything else.
    I would need to blog for a week to disclose sufficient information that was revealed to us for people to understand how mishandled the case was. But suffice it to say we were told that if the individual involved did not have the criminal record that he does (arrests both before and after this one), we would be probably looking at a seven-figure lawsuit and probable settlement.
    The investigating officers had at their disposal the video surveillance tape that they used to create still photos of the suspect but apparently never viewed the tape itself which would have clearly shown the lack of tattoos on the individual. The gas-station clerk, although he made a positive photo ID, never mentioned the fact that the man had tattoos in his statement as an identifying characteristic. The tattoos were so prevalent on the man and the tape subsequently showed his bare arms with no tattoos that any statements made by the clerk should have been considered suspect. And police reports from an arrest over a year prior detailed the tattoos so there should never have been any question as to how recently he got those tattoos. There were gross improprieties in the officers’ statements concerning how long the witness was under interrogation versus actual police records.
    Mayor Finch just wants to whine about how the taxpayers are the victims here and that individual police officers should be held liable and the city should be allowed to escape any and all involvement in the civil penalties.
    But more so the Mayor does not mention that none of the investigating officers or their supervisors or superiors received any type of disciplinary action in the case. The attorneys representing the city urged the council to accept the settlement but in nearly the same sentence continued to make excuses for the lack of any disciplinary action by the Police Department or by the Board of Police Commissioners.
    And furthermore the Second District US Appeals Court ruled over two years ago that the city was at fault and the United States Supreme Court refused to hear evidence on the matter a year later even at the urging of an attorney from the law firm of Pullman and Comley who was representing the city under appeal to the Supreme Court.
    So why is the mayor now talking about changing procedures? Why wasn’t that done a year ago after the Supreme Court said no? Two years ago when the Court of Appeals found the city in the wrong? Or even earlier when the gravity of the matter became apparent to member of the BPD?
    There is a bunker mentality in the city, spearheaded by the City Attorney’s office that we shouldn’t take corrective action because that might be seen by some as an admission of guilt. So instead they continue to roll the dice, hope that nothing else goes wrong and put the taxpayers at further risk in order to settle for a quarter of a million dollars.
    Grow up Mr. Mayor. Take control of the city and quit acting like the professional victim here.

    1. *** Well as you well know Bob, the city’s legal dept. loves to sit & wait on many city lawsuits hoping that the victims become impatient about time and money, therefore deciding on a 1-time quick fix “$” settlement without any medical backup in the future. After paying your medical bills, court & legal fees & taxes on the “$” you’ve been awarded in the settlement, financially you’re nearly right back where you started! *** Forget about it! ***

  5. If every time Finch and his cohorts had to go into their pockets for every time they screwed up they would be broke. C’mon Bill, give me a fucking break or my $600.00 tax break.

  6. yahooy and Anna weren’t into handcuffs. Anna used to like to use yahooy’s Vineyard Vines for a little autoerotic asphyxiation. That way yahooy wouldn’t know if he was checking in or out of the Liberty Rock.

  7. Bob The detectives in this case should be demoted as should their supervisor. Policework 101: take what an eyewitness tells you with some skeptisim. Eyewitnesses are notoriously wrong in the information they provide.
    Not looking at video is the height of laziness.
    Finch is right we the taxpayers are the victims here. We are paying for this award but more importantly it could have been another taxpayer that gets arrested for bullshit.
    It’s time to take a look at the entire police department from the top down. Is there a lack of training? Is there poor supervision? Are the training manuals outdated? I do know that the assignment of patrol cars to certain areas of the city is outdated. Is the police commission doing their job? It’s time.

  8. 1) as a former rock and roll promoter in Connecticut for many years I strongly urge all not to attend the 50 Cent concert coming to Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT on 3/09!

    2) a so-called Christian university ought to be ashamed of themselves for allowing this filth on campus!

    3) 50 Cent promotes alcohol/drugs/perverted sex/obscenities/death/murder/violence/etc. in his lyrics and stage show!

    4) since the show is general admission and since the show promotes 50 Cent–riot conditions exist on campus the night of the show!

    5) I can assure you drugs and alcohol will be widespread at the concert and on campus the night of the show!

    6) also gangs and/or rappers will be carrying guns plus other weapons the night of the show!

    7) for the facts on 50 Cent and other gangsta rappers–go to www and click on music button! see what filth they all promote!

    1. If no one were reacting to the outrageousness of these ghetto clowns, no one else would be purchasing their compact discs. You’re an asshole. Talking about how 50 Cent “promotes alcohol/drugs/perverted sex/obscenities/death/murder/violence/etc.” in his lyrics and performances only enhances his image as forbidden fruit. You’re obviously an intelligent individual, so ignorance is not available to you as a defense. That leaves stupidity. And do you know what that means? It means you are a stupid asshole.

    2. Don’t Chu be pickin’ on Fiddy!
      The fact that the half-a-buck man is reduced to appearing on college campuses shows a career in steep decline, so have a heart on the guy! His house burned down, he’s got crazy bitches on his ass, babies he hasn’t even been sued for making yet, and to make matters worse, that piece of crap movie Righteous Kill was a bomb! And don’t even get me started on the whole “no talent” issue.
      However, I should point out to all that Fiddy will be on the Sacred Heart campus on March 27th.
      And, I somehow suspect that ticket sales are in the toilet and No Cents is a student intern at SHU–or just one of Fiddy’s lackeys trying to drum up sales or images of white coeds being attacked by Bridgeport gangbangers let loose on campus. We have porn sites for that kind of nonsense, No Cents.
      Still, drugs, guns, booze, crazed horny rappers, and riot conditions? Damn, I wanted that on my college campus! All we got back in the mid-70s at Northwestern was a little then-unknown guy from New Jersey and his band. Bruce Springstein or something like that. Wonder what ever happened to him?

      Lennie–I think you need to organize an OIB field trip to see Fiddy at SHU! Gather your posse, dog! Meet me at noon on Tuesday at Jimmy’s on Main Street. We’ll buy bling.

      And in the words of that great rock ‘n’ roll philosopher, Mick Jagger: “Fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke”.

      Mr. Barnum’s Bridgeport To Nowhere

  9. How ’bout Auden Grogins and Anthony Musto handcuffed together? Bob Keeley and Chris Caruso handcuffed together? Tag-team mud wrestling to get the key. All proceeds from ticket sales could go to fill the city’s budget gap with fresh green loam. It could be an annual event …

  10. Well the idiots in Hartford are at it again. They are coming up with a new way to tax us. They are looking to add a 5-cent charge per plastic bag you get from your local supermarket or clothing store. This will also include paper bags.
    They claim that these items clog up the landfills. Well we don’t utilize a landfill for these items here in Fairfield county.
    I have to wonder which one of these legislators is tied in with the company that makes the cloth bags that are sold for 99 cents at most supermarkets.
    I wonder is this part of the stimulus package for new jobs? The stores will have to hire people to take the returns on these bags and to dole out your refund. Just a thought.

  11. In all reality the lawmakers in Hartford are trying to come up with ways to balance a budget in a time of recession. But then again, some people will bitch about everything.

    1. LMAO!!! Well said, S.O.B. Lawmakers are considering any- and everything to balance the budget. Raising taxes and/or cutting services could prove to be very difficult to explain to the voters back home come election time. That said, the legislature has been looking at some very practical solutions to the budget crisis. Fr’instance, how many of those Poland Spring bottles have you seen overflowing from an outdoor wastebasket? How many have you seen anonymously tossed out a car window to clutter the road shoulder? How much bottled water do we really need to drink? Those goddamned plastic water bottles (and their poorer relations, the glass Snapple bottle) are everywhere, and the state is not making a dime on them. The scavengers don’t collect ’em because the plastic doesn’t fetch a nickel. Well, now those bottles will fetch a nickel apiece. How ’bout that …

      And the legislature is giving serious consideration toward repealing Connecticut’s last “blue” law, the prohibition of alcohol sales on Sunday. 47 other states allow Sunday alcohol sales, including Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. There’s more than a 6% sales tax at stake here. Sales taxes account for only a portion of the revenues going across our borders into other states. The so-called sin taxes levied on alcohol (and tobacco) add up. The last time I was in a liquor store I saw cigarettes available for purchase. The booze bone is connected to the smoke bone. That could add up to an additional $15 million in tax revenue. This is a no-brainer, but for those of you hung up on the morality of your friends and neighbors stopping at the package store on the way home from church next Sunday, there is a constitutional issue to consider: Blue laws were designed to enforce the Protestant Church’s rather pious views of morality. This last remaining blue law can be declared unconstitutional on the grounds that it violates the first amendment’s separation of church and state. Ask any first-year law student; they’ll tell you it’s true.

      Make mine two bottles of Old Overcoat Southern Bourbon, please. And could you toss a couple packs of Ol’ Weezer unfiltered cigarettes in there?

  12. So this poor schmuck spends 6 months in jail because the cops neglected to check the security tapes, the city pays out $250,000 and the Police Commission just lets it go? Un-friggin’-believable.

    There are employees in other depts who get disciplined for taking too long to pee. John Gomes got written up for asking Charlie’s main squeeze Lisa to put paper in the copy machine. Apparently Lisa didn’t appreciate his tone of voice! People get written up when they are 5 minutes late even when their babysitter was late or the kid missed the bus. In this administration, people get written up for every friggin’ thing. Hell, Feeney wrote up the mail lady because she left the window 1/2-way open in her car.

    There is no justice and no consistency in this city. I don’t know why we even bother to complain …

    Not to change the subject, but the budget meetings will start soon. I sincerely hope Wondering or Town Committee or someone attends those meetings and reports back to OIB. In these financial times, any position which is not justified 100% should be eliminated. But watch what happens when the non-performers happen to be politically favored. Not one council person will say a word. Watch and see.

  13. Changing the subject, did anyone read the article in Rolling Stone about the financial crisis? If you didn’t, check it out. I have to say, while the article is a bit colorful, it lays it all out better than anything else I have seen. It was Lennie-esque.

  14. *** Seems it’s all about just getting a collar on any tattooed ex-con to close out the case for the quarter statistics! It’s not about actually catching the “guilty” party anymore, so it seems. Sometimes you really wonder, protect & serve who? But more than likely, the shields involved in this case will get a slap on the wrist-type ass-chewing & a written warning to be removed in 1yr. if they behave. All with a lawsuit to follow later & be added to the long list of suits against the city of Bpt. due to another level-headed employee “just doing their job”??? *** Forget about it! ***


Leave a Reply