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Boughton can’t be reached for comment?!?

Cross post from HatCityBLOG


Too busy running for governor to answer questions?

As residents of Danbury learn that they just coughed up a mind-blowing 450,000 dollars to settle an embarrassing lawsuit, lets go back in time and take a look at the allegations filed by the plaintiffs.

Allegations that city officials failed to follow their own rules when hiring firefighters could result in nearly 40 of the city’s fire-fighting staff — almost a third of the 118-member department — losing their jobs.

[…]

The lawsuit claims that an examination held for firefighter applicants in 2005 was invalid because the city’s rules weren’t followed. As a result, according to Maurer, all of the firefighters hired from that examination could lose their jobs.

Maurer filed the lawsuit in 2007 after several applicants complained that they were passed over for positions even though they scored better than some of the firefighters who were eventually hired.

[…]

Maurer said the test, which was held in August 2005, is invalid for several reasons, including that Mayor Mark Boughton never formally filed a “request for personnel” with the Civil Service Commission before the exam was scheduled.

There were other procedures as required by city ordinance that also weren’t followed, she said.

Maurer said the Common Council appointed firefighters at the mayor’s request in October 2005 before an official list of candidates had been approved by the commission. She added that a short list of the six top candidates, typically sent to the mayor to select appointees from, was never created.

According to city records, the commission approved of a candidate list on Oct. 19, 2005 — more than one week after the Common Council appointed six firefighters at Boughton’s request on Oct. 4, 2005.

Maurer said there were also firefighters appointed in February 2008, months after the list had expired in October 2007.

Even more damaging were these allegations…

The lawsuit also alleges that several firefighters were hired because of their relationship to people in positions of authority.

The lawsuit states that Michael Finn Jr., the son of Civil Service Commission chairman Michael Finn Sr., was hired by the department in February 2008. He was originally ranked 108th on the list of candidates, according to the filing.

The attorney for the plaintiffs added that Patrick Heron was hired by the department in March 2007 and was related by an “impending marriage” to former Fire Chief and current Common Council member Phil Curran. Heron was originally ranked 40th on the candidate list.

Here’s what the Danbury’s last honest man had to say about the allegations back in 2009.

We will continue to categorically reject the allegations made in the complaint and defend our positions,” Boughton said. “I have faith in our process and I have faith in the people we hired.

Well, that was then, and this is now…

The city has agreed to pay out $450,000 and hire two men as firefighters as part of a settlement reached in a three-year-old lawsuit.

The five men who filed the suit claimed they were passed over for positions in the city’s fire department because of mistakes that were made in the city’s civil service program when an eligibility list was created in 2005.

“In defending the litigation, the city of Danbury did discover that some administrative errors were made in compiling that list,” a statement released Wednesday on the settlement said.

Although the judge ruled back in Feb that there wasn’t enough evidence to support some of the counts in the plaintiff’s lawsuit, nonetheless, the fact that the city settled AND admitted to wrongdoing should trouble residents of Danbury who are now on the hook for the 450,000 price tab.

And what about our mayor who said that the city “categorically reject the allegations made in the complaint and defend our positions.” Unfortunately, I guess our mayor is too busy running across the state running for governor to answer any questions from the media regarding why the city decided to settle as opposed to “defend our positions.”

Mayor Mark Boughton could not be reached for comment Wednesday despite several attempts.

Someone at city hall just cost the people of Danbury 450,000 dollars and Boughton is too busy to answer Dirk Perrefort’s call to his cell phone?!?

In honor of the last honest man’s incognito status, lets go back in time and see what else Boughton said about the lawsuit when he was confronted about the case…

Someone should remind the candidate for governor that, as mayor, the buck stops with him and he and has a responsibility to answer questions regarding this lawsuit.

  • If the city admitted wrongdoing, then who in particular screwed up?
  • How is the hiring process being fix?
  • Are the same people who screwed things up, now the same ones responsible for fixing the system?
  • What about this part of the plaintiff’s complaint.

    The lawsuit states that Michael Finn Jr., the son of Civil Service Commission chairman Michael Finn Sr., was hired by the department in February 2008. He was originally ranked 108th on the list of candidates, according to the filing.

    The attorney for the plaintiffs added that Patrick Heron was hired by the department in March 2007 and was related by an “impending marriage” to former Fire Chief and current Common Council member Phil Curran. Heron was originally ranked 40th on the candidate list.

    Was there nepotism involved in the hiring of the firefighters?

  • Are the people responsible for the admitted wrongdoing still employed by the city?

Remember, WE the taxpayers are forking over 450,000 DOLLARS because someone screwed up. Boughton is the person who gave his blessing to this settlement and has a responsibility to take a moment from his fledgling gubernatorial campaign to answer questions.

…he is the mayor right?