Mayor Finch criticized judge in Vallas case for what?!?!?!

Pull your hair out in frustration over the court rulings (here and here) ending Paul Vallas’ controversial tenure as superintendent of Bridgeport’s public schools.

Call it a miscarriage of justice. Accuse state Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis, who presided over the case in which Vallas’ critics challenged his qualifications under state law, of overreaching.

Heck, say she obtained her law degree from the inside of a Cracker Jack box if you want.


Don’t do what Mayor Bill Finch did and imply that perhaps if the judge had children in city schools she might have ruled differently.

Here’s what Finch – one of Vallas’ biggest boosters – had to say in a prepared statement yesterday after Bellis, having decided last week Vallas was not qualified for the Bridgeport job, ruled he should immediately vacate his office: “What could this judge, whose children do not attend Bridgeport schools, be possibly thinking?”

The problem with such a statement is that Kenneth Moales, a close ally of Finch’s who in April became chairman of the city’s school board, sends his own kids to a private school.

“I have the financial means to give my children the best. Why would I not give my children the best? … The best for my sons is at Fairfield Country Day,” said Moales said in an April interview.

Moales and his backers will argue his wife teaches in a Bridgeport school and, as minister of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, he has the families of 400 children who do receive a public education to think about.

But the fact remains his own kids don’t.

And really, did the mayor need to open up that can of worms with Bellis?

As a colleague of mine here at the Connecticut Post noted, why not claim judges who don’t know any murder victims are not qualified to preside over homicide trials?

And if Bellis did have kids in city schools, might that perhaps have been a conflict-of-interest? Would she have had to recuse herself from the Vallas affair?




Brian Lockhart