Pescatore files petition to primary for Trumbull Town Council seat

Town Council member Robert Pescatore, Jr., R-2, filed a petition just before 12:30 p.m.  Monday for a Republican primary for his seat. Pescatore did not recieve his party’s nomination for the seat at the Republican town meeting in July.

“I think the people in the district should have a say in who their representatives are, not just a handful of people in RTC,” Pescatore said. “I represent the people of the district. A lot of people are very upset about the action that was taken against me.”

Pescatore collected 59 signatures for his petition.

The Trumbull Republican Town Committee issued the following press release later in the day. (Pescatore’s responses are at the end. Pescatore said he would release a more detailed, written response Monday night):

“At the Trumbull Republican Convention held on Tuesday, July 26th, Town Councilman Robert Pescatore failed to win the nomination for the Town Council seat in District 2. The Trumbull Republican Town Committee members felt that Mr. Pescatore Jr. no longer represented their best interests and the interests of the voters in District 2 who voted Mr. Pescatore in as a Republican member of Town Council. Some noteworthy members of the Republican Town Committee in District 2 include State Representative TR Rowe, former Board of Finance Chairman Russell Friedson and ZBA members Carl Scarpelli and David Preusch. Pescatore did not even receive a second to his nomination.

“Mr. Pescatore appears to be confused. He vigorously opposed former First Selectman Ray Baldwin, then went against First Selectman Tim Herbst, attended Mary Beth Thornton’s announcement speech supporting the Democratic ticket and is now back trying to seek the nomination of the Republican Party,” said Chairman Jack Testani. ‘The reason why Mr. Pescatore did not receive the nomination from his district is because he has demonstrated repeated behavior over the course of the last two years that shows he has a personal agenda, driven by political vendettas.’

“Testani referenced a meeting shortly after Mr. Herbst was sworn in as the First Selectman. During that meeting, Pescatore asked the First Selectman to fire employees in the Information Technology Department and make him (Pescatore) Director of Information Technology. He also demanded that the First Selectman terminate the senior and deputy fire marshals who had testified against Mr. Pescatore’s father during a termination proceeding.

“’The First Selectman refused to honor these demands and shortly thereafter, the First Selectman was in Mr. Pescatore’s disfavor,’ stated Testani.

“Mr. Pescatore thereafter embarked upon a campaign of harassment of various departments throughout the Town as Chairman of the Town Council Finance Committee. A review of 2010 minutes of the Town Council Finance Committee and full Town Council reveal that Mr. Pescatore proposed cuts to the Information Technology Department, the Fire Marshal’s office, the Police Department and the office of Emergency Management. Mr. Pescatore was an unsuccessful candidate to become a police officer in the Town of Trumbull.

‘Mr. Pescatore was very abusive with various departments and department heads during his brief tenure as Chairman of the Finance Committee,’ stated Councilman Tony Scinto. ‘He made numerous comments about having personal agendas with certain people. That agenda became obvious with the items he attempted to cut from various departments. Also, certain department heads were treated with more vitriol that others and there was a reason for that.’ Shortly thereafter, Mr. Pescatore was stripped of the Committee Chairmanship by Council Chairman Carl Massaro. ‘Mr. Pescatore is in politics for all the wrong reasons. As a new member of the Town Council, I was personally troubled by Mr. Pescatore’s personal agendas and how he seemed determined to get even with certain people. We do not need this type of person in government,’ stated Councilwoman Ann Marie Evangelista.

“After being stripped of his chairmanship, Councilman Pescatore then began aligning with Mary Beth Thornton, the Democratic nominee for First Selectman. People may recall the famous picture on the front page of the Trumbull Times showing Pescatore and Thornton staging a walk out of a Town Council meeting together.’ The Republican Town Committee also pointed to votes taken by Pescatore that show a lack of properly representing the Town and his constituents.

“’Mr. Pescatore voted against the forensic audit of the Contract 3 sewer project. This forensic audit was the basis for identifying all of the defects in Contract 3, which ultimately led to proper oversight of Contract 4. This oversight protects Mr. Pescatore’s constituents, yet he voted against it,’ said Councilwoman Suzanne Testani. ‘I wish my constituents had this type of oversight. If they did, we wouldn’t be looking at massive sewer assessments, 8.4 million in damages and an ongoing federal investigation.’

“Pescatore’s constituents offered comment regarding his lack of involvement and absence in the biggest issue to confront the residents of Nichols – – a proposed power plan on the corner of Huntington Turnpike and Primrose Drive. ‘Mr. Pescatore was virtually nowhere to be found when we were fighting a power plant from locating in our district,’ stated Richard Moore, a lifelong Nichols resident and one of the leaders of the citizen group that opposed the power plant. ‘Mr. Pescatore attended, one, maybe two meetings and then disappeared. Other Town leaders in both parties were there to help us . Mr Pescatore on the other hand, was not there to help us.’

“Mr. Moore’s father previously represented Nichols on the Town Council and his grandfather served decades on the Trumbull Parks Commission. ‘My family has served this Town for many years and I learned from my father and grandfather the importance of public service. You represent your constituents to the best of your ability. You cannot represent your constituents to the best of your ability if you are missing in action.’

“First Selectman Timothy Herbst expressed enthusiasm over the nomination of incumbent Jane Deyoe and Attorney Jeffrey Donofrio for the Trumbull Town Council. ‘Jane has represented her constituents very well. She is hard working, diligent and well respected on both sides of the aisle. She is a class act that understands that public service is a public trust. Attorney Donofrio will bring professionalism, sound judgment, integrity and character to the Town Council. He is a dedicated husband and father that has provided guidance to Trumbull before in many ways. He is a well-respected attorney who will bring honor to the Town’s legislative body. I look forward to getting out on the campaign trail to support Jane and Jeff.'”

Pescatore said he has been hearing the personal vendetta argument since he was elected, and there is no truth to it.

“The only ones with something personal are people like Tim and people who are in the RTC,” Pescatore said. ” They don’t like the fact that I work bipartisan, that I think for myself and don’t always agree with them. With the budget, we cut certain line items Tim was not happy with and as the finance chairman I took the fault. The next thing was the sewer project, and I had major disagreements with the way things were being done, and when they  came out and Tim basically threw me overboard and said everything about me was personal.”

Vinti Singh