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News-Times gives Mayor Boughton a free school pass

cross post from HatCityBLOG

In Danbury, I know the whole board of education trip to Arizona fiasco has people worked up a bit BUT, this astonishing piece of reporting from The News-Times’ Dirk Perrefort left me shaking my head.

Boughton, who was a social studies teacher at the high school for nearly 14 years before entering politics, said he knows for a fact there were “internal candidates who were discouraged from applying” for the job. “That’s a problem,” he said. “I know these individuals and I know they are capable of leading that school.”

Ah…WHAT!?!

Perrefort allows Boughton to spew out a charge like this without asking a follow-up? Any reporter worth their paycheck would peppered the last honest man in Danbury with a series of questions after making such a remark.

For example:

  • As a former school teacher, if “internal candidates” were “discouraged from applying” for the job,” what did you do to address the situation?
  • Did you talk to anyone of the board about these charges you heard?
  • Did candidates come and complain to you directly about the situation or did you receive this information from second-hand sources?
  • Since you threw this charge out there, can you provide the names of the people who were discouraged from applying? If you refuse to provide that information, than isn’t what you said nothing more than hearsay?
  • If “internal candidates” were “discouraged from applying” was a concern for you, why are you bringing up the topic now as opposed to making this disturbing development known to the public when it first happened…by the way, when DID YOU first learn about this?

You see where I’m getting at here?

There is NO WAY a mayor (or any elected official) would be able to get away with making a statement like the one Mayor Boughton made without a series of follow-up questions if we lived in Hartford, Stamford, New Haven or areas where a real media presence would have held this mayor’s feet to the fire.

Trust me, writers such as CT Posts’ Ken Dixon, former Hartford Courant reporter Mark Pazniokas, or New London Day’s Ted Mann, would have peppered Boughton with follow-up quesitons after uttering such an incredible remark…as well as allowed people such as board of education chairwoman Susan Podhajski and School Superintendent Sal Pascarella an oppurtunity to respond to Boughton’s claim.

…hell, this charge from Boughton demands an entire side-bar article.

The Danbury News-Times has an obligation to hold public officials accountable for their remarks to the press. For comments like this to go unquestioned is complete disservice to the public.