Monday, August 6, 2018

Council Member Blocks Release of Investigation Into Mayor's Office

Mayor Dan Drew and Corporation Counsel
Daniel Ryan
A meeting is a meeting, unless it's not.

That's what Common Council members found out as a council member, Gerry Daley, effectively blocked the release of an investigation into gender bias and discrimination in the mayor's and the city attorney's office.

After the regular Common Council meeting adjourned in record time (29 minutes), the Council gathered for a special meeting to release the investigation into the mayor's office that the Common Council had commissioned in January.

But before the meeting could begin, Council member Gerry Daley raised a point of order asking "Is the call a legal call, and is this a legal meeting?"

He cited three reasons why the meeting would not be considered legal.  He indicated that despite charter requirements there was no "public session" (allowing the public to comment) at the scheduled special meeting despite the fact the Common Council has conducted several special meetings in the past with no public session.  He also said that no "questions to directors" was scheduled, and that the meeting did not meet the legal requirements for an executive session.

Corporation counsel Daniel Ryan, who seemed ready to rule, agreed.  He said the call of the meeting was "fatally flawed."

"This call is not a legal call," Ryan stated.  "And is not a legal meeting"

Despite the ruling, members of the Common Council spent more than an hour debating whether the meeting was, indeed, legal, and whether, the investigative report on the mayor's office, and the city attorney's office could be released.
Council member Mary Bartolotta
argues her point.

"The only reasonable explanation as to why the executive session would be called as a meeting of the whole would be to exclude the mayor," Daley said.

Daley insisted that he was as anxious as every other Council member to have the report released.

Council member Mary Bartolotta countered Daley's contention saying that the meeting was "legal and appropriate and was our right to do so."  She indicated that it did not make sense to have the mayor sit as chair in a meeting in which he was the subject of investigation.

Council member Gerry Daley
Arguments and counter-arguments flew back and forth, while the Corporation Counsel continued to try to bring the meeting to an end indicating that it was not an official meeting.  Ryan indicated, however, that Council members could receive the report of the investigation at the "illegal" meeting.

Republican minority leader Seb Giuliano indicated that he wasn't concerned about whether the meeting would move forward, but stated that the investigative report should be released to council members and the public.

"If the report is available, I'm not leaving the meeting without it," Giuliano said.

In the end, despite confronting the investigating attorney, Margaret Mason, outside of Council chambers, Giuliano and the rest of the council members left without the report.  The investigating attorney said she would only release the report at a proper meeting.

Council members agreed to accept the report of the investigating attorney at a special meeting to be called within  "the next couple of days."

After the meeting Daley expressed fears that the release of the report, which has generated controversy in the past week, might lead to lawsuits against the Council and the city.


Alex Rose said...

Ah the calm, rational government action of ambushing a lawyer outside the ladies room. Page two of Roberts Rules of Order I believe

Anonymous said...

The battle lines have been drawn!

Christopher Sugar said...

Because it was an "illegal" meeting, I'm sure Attorney Mason and Attorney Ryan will gladly write off the time they charged the City to attend said illegal meeting since they are both on record stating they had no legitimate reason to be at City Hall last night.

Ironious Bosch said...

A group of city councilmen who say they are investigating alleged sex discrimination ambush a female investigator with a camera as she exits a bathroom... irony is dead.

Anonymous said...

On the video, around the 2:25 mark, we hear that the meetjng was called off because the agenda was missing a line for public hearing AND that there was ample time to have corrected it if ANY of the council could have been bothered to pick up the phone or email Bartolotta by Thursday or Friday of last week. Instead, we got councilmen whining about how they didn't check their email (I call BS on that, btw- unless in a coma, they get their messages.)

What the tax payer got: Contentious behavior toward a female council member, the weird ambush of the female investigator by men surrounding the women's room door (like in high school? Really, guys?) And let's not forget the planting of an article by the mayor in the Hartford Courant just prior to the meeting.

That video!!! Seriously, Middletown Gov, if you don't want to look like a pack of men who can't work with women, then stop acting like a pack of men who can't work with women.

john milardo said...

The Mayor has accomplished what he set out to do with his email instill confusion and delay and stop public from getting the report - for now. Glad Attorney Mason did not buckle in to those Council members who circled around her after the meeting/non-meeting.
Apparently, the Mayor must have gotten his "pack" together to find out what they talked about during Attorney Mason's investigation interviews. How else would he have known what was asked of them. Seems like Mayor Drew and maybe some of the legal division is running scared and don't want the report made public. The delay will give Drew time to get his followers to storm the next meeting to demand the report be tabled and not disclosed during the public speaking session.
Middletown voters better wake up!

Anonymous said...

There must be something in this report. Why else would dan drew be pushing so hard to discredit it and keep it secret. Here is a cheer for female councilWOMAN Mary Bartolotta. She did herself proud on behalf of us professional women. She was the only one to act and talk well. Gerry Daley, Gene Nocera, Bob Santangelo are old glass ceiling males. Don’t they have daughters or wives or Dan Drew take care of them too with city jobs? Yes he did! All part of the patronage of city hall and dan drew corruption.

Anonymous said...

The Mayor doesn't even call on Council woman Kleckowski, Bartolotta & Salafia sometimes. Terrible sexist behavior.

Anonymous said...

I shutter when I read accusations that the Mayor is corrupt. He certainly didn’t start that way but, surrounded by the good old goons of City Hall, he’d need a flea bath to keep himself clean. All those that stood in the way of the investigative attorney making her presentation and releasing the report as planned - Daley, Santangelo, Nocera, the Corporate Counsel that sounded like a court jester amusing everyone by robotically repeating that the meeting was illegal - they were so protective of the report that we almost have to assume there’s guilt. The Corporate Counselor and Daley were responsible for wasting everyone’s time by allowing all those people to convene if they believed the meeting to be illegal. Who did Daley think he was yelling at when scolding Bartolotta? A naught grandson? Let’s say there was a measure of discrimination. The obstructionists were more focused on fiscal responsibilities that guilt would create than making corrections where there might have been mistakes. Pessina was the only person whose primary concern was integrity. Bravo Phil Pessina!

Anonymous said...

U R right. If Drew is not worried about what this report contains, he and his people would not be working so hard to stifle it

Anonymous said...

I'm disgusted by the whole thing...watching Giuliano chase down and confront that poor attorney was absurd. Him and Pessina. What a joke. And with Gerry Daley leering in the background. Only real hero here is Mary Bartolatta. Kudos to her. Someone earlier said she stood up for professional women...I'm a dem and I'm disgusted by the Mayor and the Dem Councilmans War on Women....I'm willing to vote for the best and these had my vote before but not anymore. Warning to all Dem Male councilmen....either you're with the Mayor and against us or with the women he has treated so badly...which is it?

Anonymous said...

It's funny when you can smell fear through video. Wtg Mary for standing up to these sorry excuses for councilmen. I'm glad someone recorded this.

Anonymous said...

The only stench of fear is from Drew and his council cronies trying to protect him. His fays are numbered because of his disregard for rules.