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Mayor: Don't Use the Courts to Play Politics

Mayor Harkins and his Town Attorney need to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on frivolous and politically-motivated lawsuits.

At the end of my term as Stratford's first mayor there was much made by partisans and some in the press of the "cashouts" upon separation of several employees that had been appointed by me.

In 2010 the Town of Stratford, at the direction of Mayor Harkins, sued some of these former members of my administration.

I have always maintained that those employees' separation payments were proper and in accordance with their contracts and similar to how other town employees benefits were calculated when they separated from town service.

My position was upheld last year after the trial against my former assistant, Eric Castater, was concluded and he won on all counts.

After the town's defeat in court, Mayor Harkins and his political appointee Town Attorney decided to spend more taxpayer dollars and appeal -- despite the well-reasoned opinion by one of Connecticut’s most prominent judges in the Eric Castater case.

Recently, the Connecticut Appellate Court held that the trial court's decision in Eric Castater's favor was correct and denied the town's appeal.

I have attached the link to the decision:http://www.jud.state.ct.us/external/supapp/Cases/AROap/AP136/136AP428.pdf

You would think this would end this long drawn out legal and political drama but the town still has other taxpayer-funded actions against former HR Director, Ned Winterbottom and Mayoral Assistant, Devron Wilson pending in the court for the identical issues in the Castater case.

Frankly, it would raise an already partisan action to new levels of gall and frivolity if they persist on taking those cases to trial.

Mayor Harkins and his Town Attorney need to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on these frivolous and politically motivated lawsuits, withdraw the remaining cases and apologize to those wrongfully accused by them of wrongdoing.

Given the initial coverage -- the press might also want to cover the story too.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

George E. Mulligan July 03, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Jimmy, pray tell, who were the originators of the Defined Benefit Pension? How is it the Department Heads & Department Managers get over 100% of their Base Pay, calling themselves union, when they're managment? Jimmy - Where in the Budget or CAFR are the Attorney settlements? Jimmy - Where in the Budget or CAFR are the Attorney Fees explained and specifically authorized as legitimate? Who audited Burturla's/Kelly's /Florek's firms to make sure bills submitted were legit & not over billing? Jimmy - Where in the Budget or CAFR are the BOND PILES of MONEY explained? Jimmy - before I explain deceptive, would you counter my about points? Would you define DECEPTIVE, A F T E R you countered the above points? Incidently, please give my best wishes to Brook & her family, as well as Christian, & your mom. While I disagree with your politics & that of Dicks Miron & Burturla among others (including MRCC ReTHUGlians), I wish no one ill. My contentions are meant in a POLITICAL ISSUES venue, which unfortunately can be construed as an attack on personal integrity. Get most people in politics, where they are coerced (multiple pressures) to political decisions, & as personal people, many are normal & decent. Further, Jim, I thank you for your military service. I wish all readers a nice July 4th.
David July 03, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Jim, your creditability as someone who the people can trust is the question, not to change the subject. You opened this discussion trying to defuse the questions about your actions by calling the subject political. You are the one who used deceptive practices which all the residents of Stratford can form their own opinion if your actions were fair to them. If I were in your shoes, I too would try to use a contract to the advantage of my friends. It is actually a good business practice. Though your actions and design of those contracts should sound like they are unfair to the residents of Stratford. The fact that many in Stratford are pursuing your actions in court truly says others agree with my opinion. Each of us are entitled to our opinion and that's it our opinion - hardly questionable as creditable. Admit what you did was a good business practice, you'll gain some trust.
George E. Mulligan July 04, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Private business practice nepotism and ole boy networks. When it carries over to public sector, there are statutory limits as to what is good business practice. I have experience dealing with other states, municipalities, and boards of education, where they don't go near any potential conflicts of interest, especially in bid process and in change orders. Jim what are your views/positions on BID PROCESS & CHANGE ORDERS?
George E. Mulligan July 04, 2012 at 02:43 AM
Jim, aren't the courts complete a political venue, with everyone involved in the candidacy, nomination, appointment, and approval process being lawyers? Sometimes a MD or Business person who isn't a lawyer gets elected. My point? Would the title of this blog string be: oxymoronic? specious? disingenuous? spurious
Shirley B. Backus July 04, 2012 at 04:22 AM
The fact is that the contracts were negotiated and agreed upon by both parties. If they hadn't been honored, the employees would have sued, and won, making things much worse for Stratford than simply honoring the agreements. The time to protest the contracts was when they were being negotiated. All this discussion now is pointless. The if milk was spilled, it was spilled a long time ago. Stop crying.
CuriousOrange July 04, 2012 at 01:12 PM
How about "apocryphal?"
George E. Mulligan July 05, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Esq Miron promptly replied to others, Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon, Tues (12:26 pm), Esq Miron has not replied to my posts Tues starting @ (2:38 pm) Can anyone name 10 accomplishments for people/businesses of Stratford by? 1) Mayor Miron 2) Mayor Harkins 3) Democratic party since 1987 4) Republican party since 1987 5) Town Council since 1987 6) Town Attorneys since 1987 7) Town Board of Education since 1987 HINT: I don't included these as accomplishments for the people / businesses of Stratford: > Reversal of Taxation was 76% paid by Business, now over 76% paid by residents > Increase in home taxes 400 % to 600 % > Increase of Attoney fess by 1500% > Increase in Pension Obligation by over 1000% > closing 4 schools, with lower student population while budget up 400% > keeping AVCO & SHAKESPEARE closed > keeping RAYMARK POISONS in place since 2001 ceased work. > economic exodus of not thousands, but 10s of thousands of jobs > turnover of home ownership by over 50 % > Firehouse was supposed to cost under $ 2 million. Likely cost over $ 10 m > Fire Trucks may be over priced, but definitely BID PROCESS appears to be Circumvented > Redevelopment & development license to steal? - ONLY DECENT THING I can consider an achievement is WW II Memorial, which Dick Miron helped create. I don't care Dick got contract to sell the Stone, since so much work was done by his friends & political allies. He deserves eveery penny paid! Instead of where's Waldo > Jim?
Jim Miron July 05, 2012 at 04:58 PM
George, It would take a book to write it all and that is not that this blog post is about. However, if you are interested in some of the successes of my term as mayor I will post some information at my blog: www.jimmironblog.com later this afternoon. Stay cool in this hot weather!
George E. Mulligan July 05, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Hi Jim, Perhaps your retort is legit? Perhaps it's evasive rationalization? I give you props that any citizen could talk to you 3 times a week @ 10 minutes per time, compare to the invisible man. > The only time I met Mayor Harkins was March 18, 2010. - When I came home my front door was unlocked & ajar. - Only thing missing was Town Attorney Rich Burturla opinions - Later I found someone created a "LOG ME IN" - They wiped out files related to POLICE CORRUPTION, FBI, COURT CASES (this blog subject) PENSION ABUSES (mostly POLICE / FIRE Managment) Because JOHN BURTURLA, (brother of RICH BURTURLA) was POLICE CHIEF I suspect EVEN YOU would conceed going to the POLICE .... well considering what Stratford Police do to POLICE REPORTS .... Jim your 30 minutes/week also compares VERY FAVORABLY to the TOWN COUNCILS / CHAIRMEN who allow 5 to 3 minutes per month to speak, unless your last name is COSTELLO. MALLOY gave 9 minutes to blast KIM MEUSE about JUDITH TERRACE. Jim - I view creatures who control political parties to be more like KANAMIDS, MORLOCKS, Cannibals & Ghouls, than REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT. At least under your administration, some money was spent on Black people, older people, & veterans. Maybe it's politically self serving? Who cares, why? But how many rolls royce, bmw, & japanese sports cars do SUNSHINE PATRIOTS & MIDAS MANSTERS need while jackbooting innocent & trusting people who actually believe poli-science fiction & sophistry
George E. Mulligan July 06, 2012 at 02:32 PM
curiousorange word apocraphal also seems to fit. Shirley Backus write letters to editor with which, I often agree. I disagree with the union contracts being legal. I believe they are fraudulent and conspiratorial with their cousins, allies, & patrons in the political parties. David Galanti wrote a post where I mostly agree with his positions. I agree with Jezebel and believe Mr. Mirons arguments to be spurious. How so? 1. Ethics Commission: The Town Councils changed the qualifications & conditions for applying, being appointed to, and serving the Ethics Commisson The Town Councils appointed the Ethic Commission including Dick Miron's HS Teacher, Member of Chamber, Employer of Rich Burturla's daughter, a long time social friend of Burturla/berch, an assistant states attorney who subsequent to appointment was transferred from Norwalk to Bridgeport, a person who'd been employed by GBRBC+Library+Sterling House+ Chamber. Town Attorney Burturla advised the writing of the Ethics code ..... (choke) Harkins was paid $ 21,000 Cash out over his $ 90,000 Mayor Base Pay. Where is his incentive to defeat cash out. Town Attorneys are appointed by Mayors/Political Parties Are they actually going to try to cut the income of their patrons & allies, who if they (the police) became enemies affecting their CASH OUT ..? Jim, I do my homework. I've read the contracts. I know signatores, ratifiers, negotiators, etc DEFINE: "COLOR of the LAW" "FRAUD"
George E. Mulligan July 06, 2012 at 02:41 PM
LORDSHIPRES = I agree DIGITAL SHARK = too correct Mike = accurate Robert Chambers, Earl & Loren = sarcastic. Many agree they have cause. Jim, I have given you credit when I believe you deserve it. Mostly I agree with your detractors. I respect shirley backus who often writes intelligent letters to the editor, and maybe you've done good things in her experience. I simply believe you actively work with the "other" side, much the same way the "voccola" faction worked with opposing factions. I'm not against bipartisanism. I am against BUY PARTISANS, I could not fit all comments / counter points into one, whereas several of the posts above are out of sequences
George E. Mulligan July 06, 2012 at 05:19 PM
Jim, Are you discontent that I & others won't let you control/frame the issue(s), to be limited to what you want to discuss, which you can do as a lawyer in a court of law? Jim - in the Mayoral debates, I thought you dominated .... as long as no one did a fact check. I spoke to a business man who attended the Stratford HS Mayor debate. He went there expecting Harkins to win or at least for Harkins to show cause for people to vote for him. He told me he thought you won that debate. You had your talking points memorized. You delivered YOUR FACTS, with authority & promptness You knew your topics. Your jabs against Harkins' Hartford record were effective He felt I was second most effective in the debate. I did the most damage to your points and others with my knowledge and command of the facts. However ... I don't look the part. I had to take the offensive. Being the hachet man or truth teller ... cost me. Harkins was ineffectual. You & I had superior knowledge of Town issues. Harkins scored mild damage to you with his attacks, ignoring Dom & I, thus looking above the fray, but offering NOTHING of SUBSTANCE. > A PORTEND? < Dominic was Dominic. He wasn't as pathetic as Bill O'Brien was in the prior Mayoral race, whereas a super nice Bill O'Brien is beloved, but Bill didn't know issues or have ideas. In the prior Mayoral, even Tom Carroll had superior points to Mr. O'Brien's ability to represent his Mayoral positions. U smoke n mirrors!
George E. Mulligan July 08, 2012 at 04:22 AM
Mayor Miron/Harkins, DEFINE: "COLOR of the LAW" "FRAUD" "EMBEZZLEMENT"
George E. Mulligan July 09, 2012 at 05:39 AM
What a CROCK=Jim Miron'S blog. IF it was created in a SMOKE FILLED ROOM, I would wonder if the SMOKE was LEGAL?
George E. Mulligan July 09, 2012 at 05:40 AM
HARKINS is WORSE, if possible!
George E. Mulligan July 09, 2012 at 02:03 PM
COURTS are wholly POLITICAL!
Lamont Sanford July 09, 2012 at 07:58 PM
Contaminated until the right investor comes along and moves it to some hidden place with a truck or something -- then it will be clean and ready for some Avolonion bee-hive living projects with thinking pools and shops on the bottom. What a joke. The only people being hurt by all of this garbage are the tax payers in the towns.
Lamont Sanford July 09, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Time for the good guys and gals to start filling the seats people. The people who aren't looking for hooks and jobs for family members.
Lamont Sanford July 09, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Crony Civil Service/s -- at one time in this country it was a "calling" to serve ALL of your neighbors. Now, it is a hustle. Stop voting for a party and replace the seats with people who are free to vote for what is right for the Town and not to repay a debt.
George E. Mulligan July 09, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Amen Lamont
George E. Mulligan July 13, 2012 at 10:57 AM
Miron & T. Masters in GROUNDHOG WARREN? "Harkins Heroes" = Orwellian = Goebels-esq? HOMELAND (Fatherland) SECURITY PATRIOT "ACT" = Increase STATE POWERS SCHUTZSTAFFEL (NAZI=Protective Squadron) comparable to RR PINKERTONS = FBI = POLICE? Politically appointed - U.S. JUSTICES, FBI, & JUDGES - STATE Criminal PRO-SE-CUTORS, POLICE, & JUDGES - TOWN Police & Attorneys. Are Miron / Harkins the best & the brightest? Has any political parties done anything for the American people or for their political allies as they steal everything they can get their hands on and state: "IT'S LEGAL!" Jim Crow was Legal Nazis killing Jews, Gypsies. Poles, Russians, Brits, French was Legal Colonials and US Government stealing the US from Indians was Legal Oppressing immigrants from Europe was Legal. Oppressing Hispanic immigrants. LAWYERS & their FRONTS / ALLIES are the DREGS of HUMANITY. LAWYERS & RANK MILITARY are SOULLESS MINIONS like their ROYAL MASTERS.
Bob Cerani July 18, 2012 at 03:50 AM
Hey mr "former" mayor and I am so glad that is the case. How much did you spend on your office? $300,000. You raped the good citizens of stratford. So stop your winning and be the average person that you are now. Democrats are always spending our money and wasting it on programs that do nothing to help the people of our state or country. We need this one party rule to end and come november it will end. You can pump yourself up all you want and say you did this or you did that. we all know what you are about.
George E. Mulligan July 18, 2012 at 01:19 PM
COURTS' JUDGES make one SWEAR to tell the TRUTH, the whole truth, & nothing but the TRUTH. COURTS' JUDGES allow LAWYERS to FRAME YES or NO or other questions in such a way that: 1 - YES lays foundation for PERJURY 2 - NO lays foundation for PERJURY 3 - REFUSE to answer lays foundation for CONTEMPT of COURT 4 - USING 5th Amendment Right against SELF INCRIMINATION lays foundation for JUDGE or JURY to view the TESTIFIER as being EVASIVE / HIDING SOMETHING 5 - I don't know OR attempt to explain lays foundation for PERJURY or CONTEMPT of COURT. Without malice, but as a counterpoint, I believe this blog's title is specious
Bob Cerani July 18, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Give Me A Break.The People of Stratford Threw the bum out.
Jim Miron July 18, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Mr. Cerani in every election a candidate wins and a candidate loses. That is at the core of democracy. However, one cannot simply say that by losing an election one is a bum. I do not know you and I wonder if we did meet would you actually be up to a constructive conversation? Would you call me a bum to my face? Or are you one of these people that does not actually contribute to society but enjoys lobbing bombshells online? Obviously you do not care for my job performance as the first ever mayor of Stratford and you are entitled to your opinion however ignorant and ill advised it is. Given the challenges and obstacles I faced I believe I did a pretty good job. Not perfect. Not without error. But pretty good. By comparison, what has the current mayor accomplished? Do you consider him a bum too? Finally, the subject of this blog was completley ignored by your posts - a fact that I think says a lot of what your agenda is.
George E. Mulligan July 18, 2012 at 04:40 PM
I agree with Mr Miron's 1st 7 lines of rebutting Mr. Cerani. I further conceed Mr. Miron had challenges & obstacles. Yet, I believe some were self or party created for political reasons & significant parts of Stratford's 1987-2012 are BUY PARTISAN FRAUD & EMBEZZLEMENT - just my opinion, which BUDGETS & TAXES seem to reinforce. Harkins accomplishments so far are counter productive & the pending surprizes will be hailed by some at the expense of others. I get ignored alot in blogs. Like Jim I get my share of attacks. Jim has his supporters. At least every third store I shop, someone, ususally a Senior Citizen tells me they see me on channel # 79 or read my letters to the Editor. Most, not all, thank me and support me. I thank them and ask them to speak at Town council or write. They are timid and afraid. I don't blame them. Ranking police are worthless to us/them except the ordinary stuff. People in the system are willing to murder, hurt, & ruin people if you dare to try to protect yourself & others. I can relate to Dredd Scott, American Indians, Ann Frank, people in the Collusseum .... and there should not be Wars or the vast Crimes. RIGHT NOW: All WARS & most TERRORISM could be ended All HUNGER could be eliminated & diets / nutrition improved Everyone could have decent clothing Everyone could own a home with low utility costs Everyone could own a Vehicle Health care can be affordable Excellent wages & benefits can be EARNED
Bob Cerani July 18, 2012 at 06:02 PM
Mr Miron, I am an Independent just sitting on the sidelines and taking notes on this upcoming election. I do not like the spending and taxing in this state and what the democrats have become,for I used to be a democrat. and will forevermore choose not to go that route ever again. We need a change in Connecticut. "We can not have one party rule". That is not what the constitution was meant for. Oh and by the way I am a very upfront person and yes I would call you a bum to your face.No offense. But that's the way I am. I like what the present mayor is doing right now, but we will see in the future.
Jim Ravis July 18, 2012 at 06:13 PM
@Bob - Would you please explain "I like what the present mayor is doing right now". (what is he doing?) As far as I can see he is planning to sell the Water Treatment Facility and "Recycling Center".
George E. Mulligan July 18, 2012 at 07:25 PM
This mayor eliminated EMS $ 650k annual surplus, Increased Sewer Fees $ 95 (30%) & over 100 % more than actual cost Caused OVER BONDING (slush funds?) $ 103 million May 2011 alone Circumvented BID PROCESS twice for 3 FIRE TRUCKS Posts unfathomable BUDGETS Throws money at Attorneys, Police & Fire, like Mr. MIRON Throws money at Judith Terrace while actively foreclosing Created byzantine & punitive Tax assessment Blew a MAY 17 Shakespeare production for both HS Delayed Shakespeare, like Mr. MIRON Done nothing with RAYMARK CLEANUP, like Mr. MIRON Lays foundation for selling / steering assets, which transfers tax Blew 1 acre land to the airport facilitating expansion Allowed Route 113 to be rerouted Allowed Keating to be too dense CREATED EMINENT DOMAIN Created Zoning Ordinance changes for proliferation of Apratments/Condos in North & west Stratford Sits on plans to DISNEY Long Beach West = sell to Bridgeport Plans exist for DOCKS along ALL LORDSHIP & HOUSATONIC RIVER Steers Stratford towards debilitation... more
RDE August 18, 2012 at 11:10 PM
I agree with you, Shirley. "Our" Mayor is invisible and the Town and the Tax Payer is going to be paying for this for years.

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