When City Lawyers Must Buy Time, They Do This …

historic meeting
When lawyers buy time.

… Reschedule a meeting because they’d be facing retired Superior Court Judge Carmen Lopez–questioning the veracity of a city commission–backed by a state official who notified commissioners to do their job … so a notice is posted at the front door of City Hall. Lopez and a number of other city activists showed up to City Hall in anticipation of the meeting. They were greeted by the above cancellation notice.

This story centers on the Washington Park area turned into a gated community without proper oversight. For details see here.

Municipal lawyers were concerned about Lopez’s intervention on behalf of former City Councilman Bob Halstead so they bought some time to figure out a legal strategy.

Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Mary Dunne has notified the chair of the Bridgeport Historic District Commission that it cannot pass the buck in the enforcement of its regulations. Someone in the city, by state law, must step up such as the zoning office.

Dunne sent this recent letter to Stuart Sachs, the district commission chair, following a review of the commission’s work by Lopez.

I am writing regarding an email correspondence I received from Attorney Carmen Lopez regarding an issue that recently came before the Bridgeport Historic District Commission. While addressing the commission to report a violation of the local historic district ordinance, Robert Halstead was informed that the Bridgeport Zoning Official, does not enforce any Historic District regulations because his job description exempts him from this responsibility.

Please be aware that CGS section 7-147h (a) states: “regulations and orders of the commission issued pursuant to said sections, or to any regulation or ordinance adopted said sections, shall be enforced by the zoning enforcement official or building inspector or by such other person as may be designated by ordinance, who may be authorized to inspect and examine any building, structure, place or premises, and to require in writing the remedying of any condition found to exist therein or thereon in violation of any provision of the regulations or orders made under the authority of said sections or of any regulation or ordinance adopted under said sections.”

If the Zoning Official is exempt from this responsibility, someone must be designated in his stead. As a Certified Local Governent, Bridgeport needs to be mindful of its commitment and responsibilities regarding support of the Historic District Commission.

While our office does not have the authority to direct municipal actions under the statutes, please let me know if our office can assist in any way to ensure that an appropriate enforcement officer is designated.



  1. *** Side-step one meeting in hopes that the other so-called special meeting has less people in attendance & maybe just maybe, no ex-judge Lopez @ the meeting, no? ***

  2. This meeting was canceled just 20 minutes before it was supposed to begin. There were already 10 of us there and the transcriber was in the room when Paul Boucher from Zoning posted the sign and spoke with the transcriber.

    I asked what the basis was for canceling this meeting,,especially just 20 minutes before it was scheduled to begin.

    Paul Boucher stated that as the Clerk of the Historic Commission, he had failed to file the Meeting Notice with the City Clerk at least 24 hours prior to the meeting. I asked when did he file it. He stated he tried to file it yesterday which is illegal. I asked him how long had he been the Clerk for the Historic Commission. He stated about six months.

    In 6 months you haven’t come to understand that you must file a meeting notice at least 24 hours beforw a meeting is held. He stated that the City Clerk notified him it could not be done. Mark Anastasi directed them to cancel the meeting.

    What was of particular interest is that there were onky to specific items on the agenda. One was a historic home which wanted approval to install solar panels. The second was the Kossuth St.home Halstead and Judge Lopez have been working on.

    The home owner with the solar panels showed up. The Kossuth St. home owners did not show up. If the meeting was suddenly canceled just 20 minutes before it was supposed to begin, how did the Kossuth St. owners know that they need not show up.

    This cancelation was purposeful and intentional because they new ww were filling that room to protest. Judge Lopez is so effective they just canceled the meeting. There were over 20 of us in attendance last night.

    Now they are claiming it will ve rescheduled for Thursday night.

    1. Paul Boucher the Clerk of the Historic Commission, would NEVER make a mistake like that, it’s not in him to work that way. Paul was told what to do by Hamilton Burger and Paul now must be the good loyal soldier that he signed up for with Joe and Mario, bad move Paul and you know better.

    2. Purposeful and intentional!!! You hit the nail on the head Maria!! Same thing zoning does and certain lawyers representing certain clients do when the “opposition” has a strong showing. (Willinger &Defilippo). At least we can rest assured that with the Honorable Judge Lopez watching over issues she lends a hand on, the people affected are in good hands!! I urge the people not to get worn down and keep attending no matter how many times the use the “delay tactics”.

  3. Off topic, however I felt compelled to post this.

    One of my neighbors lives right next door to Thomas Hooker School on a dead end. He had repeatedly seen a man enter the woods in front of his house over the last month.

    Yesterday, he saw this man again and decided to go into the woods behind him to see what he was doing. He came upon the man he followed performing oral sex on another man. They were directly adjacent to the fence bordering Thomas Hooker School.

    He calls the police to report it and was told that the BPD has more important issues to deal with.

    He called about activity in a car parked outside his house and the BPD showed up the next day and simply took the license plate information he had recorded.

    He called me to help him..

    What is going on with the management of the BPD?

  4. This is just so much bullshit, the City of Bridgeport manipulating events and procedures to shut out the voices of the people. God blessed us with Judge Lopez. She makes City Hall quake.


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