At Shaw’s Supermarket;
Mayor Screams In Checkout Line
And Flips The Bird In Front Of Children
As He Threatens Witness
In Political Corruption Probe
By ANDY THIBAULT and JIM BREWER
The Cool Justice Report
May 28, 2007
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story is available for reprint courtesy of The Cool Justice Report, http://cooljustice.blogspot.com
Patrick Tallarita -- the Enfield mayor and state Labor Department official who is among the subjects of a political corruption investigation by the Chief State’s Attorney -- went on a checkout-line rampage at Shaw’s Supermarket Memorial Day, threatening a witness and scaring young children as he screamed and made an obscene gesture.
The manager on duty at the Hazard Avenue store, Rick Lombardi, said he would preserve surveillance tapes and inform the store director of the incident.
“Why did you have to call in the FBI – why did you have to do that?” a store clerk quoted Tallarita as shouting to Jack Mancuso, a former Democratic Town Committee chairman who has filed criminal complaints against Tallarita with state and federal law enforcement authorities.
“His face was red and he was yelling,” the clerk said. “He stormed out.”
Mancuso has been identified in media reports as a witness against Tallarita in an ongoing criminal investigation. The holiday incident poses additional criminal issues for Tallarita.
In this case, the threats and abuse by Tallarita toward Mancuso could constitute a criminal act in itself:
Sec. 53a-151a. Intimidating a witness: Class C felony. (a) A person is guilty of intimidating a witness when, believing that an official proceeding is pending or about to be instituted, such person uses, attempts to use or threatens the use of physical force against a witness or another person with intent to (1) influence, delay or prevent the testimony of the witness in the official proceeding, or (2) induce the witness to testify falsely, withhold testimony, elude legal process summoning the witness to testify or absent himself or herself from the official proceeding.
(b) Intimidating a witness is a class C felony.
Another clerk confirmed that Tallarita “flipped the bird” at Mancuso and his young children, ages five and eight.
“He said we should meet someplace and settle this,” Mancuso told The Cool Justice Report. “He was very bizarre. I was worried for the safety of my children.”
A clerk reported hearing Tallarita spew more fighting words to Mancuso: “If you’re so big and bad, why don’t you take me on?”
After the incident, co-workers and customers asked clerks what the fuss was all about.
“People get angry [waiting] in line,” a clerk said. “But, that’s not what this was about. It was weird. He [Mancuso] had his two kids. That was bad.”
Mancuso was very calm and tried to ignore Tallarita, according to workers at Shaw’s.
Tallarita, also a Democrat, has been the subject of much speculation in recent weeks. Since news of the state criminal probe broke, a surplus of candidates for town council has emerged. Tallarita might have difficulty getting on the slate of party-endorsed candidates, should he choose to run again. He has told associates he is moving on.
Tallarita served as treasurer for the campaign of U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, and activists among Democrats and Republicans report rumblings that Tallarita is in line for a job with the congressman.
Areas of inquiry in the criminal investigation include but are not limited to:
* Alleged sale of government services including votes for personal gain.
* Alleged manipulation or alteration of land records.
* Alleged steering of a lease to a crony.
* Work allegedly done by a state contractor at a private residence.
* Alleged acceptance of gratuities including vacation trips and merchandise.
* Alleged falsification of time records by town employees working less than full shifts.
Mancuso said he has consulted with an attorney and intends to report the incident to the Chief State’s Attorney’s office. Enfield police are widely believed to be controlled by Tallarita and the town attorney, Christopher Bromson, who also holds the job title of public safety director.
Tallarita has declined to respond to inquiries from The Cool Justice Report since last November. His wife, Jeannette Tallarita -- a nurse and a partner in a controversial real estate development behind the Enfield Montessori School -- had police call The Cool Justice Report to say our inquiries were not welcome.
“If you call again, you will be arrested,” an Enfield police officer said last fall.
See prior posts in archives of www.cooljustice.blogspot.com
[Chief State’s Attorney’s Office
Public Integrity and Political Corruption Bureau
300 Corporate Place
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
* Required Reading
For Criminal Defense Lawyers In Enfield
Sec. 53a-151a. Intimidating awitness: Class C felony. (a) A person is guilty of intimidating a witness when,believing that an official proceeding is pending or about to be instituted,such person uses, attempts to use or threatens the use of physical forceagainst a witness or another person with intent to (1) influence, delay orprevent the testimony of the witness in the official proceeding, or (2) inducethe witness to testify falsely, withhold testimony, elude legal processsummoning the witness to testify or absent himself or herself from the officialproceeding.(b) Intimidating a witness is a classC felony.
Sec. 53a-151. Tampering with a witness: Class D felony. (a) A person is guilty of tampering with a witness if, believing that an official proceeding is pending or about to be instituted, he induces or attempts to induce a witness to testify falsely, withhold testimony, elude legal process summoning him to testify or absent himself from any official proceeding.
(b) Tampering with a witness is a class D felony.
Sec. 53a-165. Hindering prosecution defined. As used in sections 53a-166 and 53a-167,a person "renders criminal assistance" when, with intent to prevent,hinder or delay the discovery or apprehension of, or the lodging of a criminalcharge against, a person whom he knows or believes has committed a felony or isbeing sought by law enforcement officials for the commission of a felony, orwith intent to assist a person in profiting or benefiting from the commissionof a felony, he: (1) Harbors or conceals such person; or (2) warns such personof impending discovery or apprehension; or (3) provides such person with money,transportation, weapon, disguise or other means of avoiding discovery orapprehension; or (4 ) prevents or obstructs, by means of force, intimidation or deception, anyonefrom performing an act which might aid in the discovery or apprehension of suchperson or in the lodging of a criminal charge against him; or (5) suppresses, by an act ofconcealment, alteration or destruction, any physical evidence which might aidin the discovery or apprehension of such person or in the lodging of a criminalcharge against him; or (6) aids such person to protect or expeditiously profitfrom an advantage derived from such crime.