Sunday, May 06, 2007

HBJ Blows Lid Off Enfield Corruption Probe

The investigation
appears to be
in its infancy

Chief State’s Attorney’s Office
Public Integrity and Political Corruption Bureau

300 Corporate Place
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
Phone: 860-258-5805
Fax: 860-258-5804

Hartford Business Journal

15 Lewis Street
Suite 400
Hartford, CT 06103
Phone: 860-236-9998
Fax: 860-0570-2493

State's Attorney Launches Probe Of Enfield Mayor
Land deal, retailer discount may be at crux

By Laura Schreier
Hartford Business Journal Staff Writer

The Chief State’s Attorney’s office has quietly launched an investigation of Enfield Mayor Patrick Tallarita, the Hartford Business Journal has learned.

Rumors of political corruption and conspiracy have been quietly buzzing around Enfield for months — years, some residents say — but now the state prosecutor has launched an investigation, putting its weight behind what some have dismissed as town gossip.

The investigation appears to be in its infancy. Janice Kmetz is a police inspector assigned to the Public Integrity and Political Corruption Bureau at the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney. She opened an investigation of Tallarita in early March.

  • Complete Article
  • 1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    This story is heavy on innuendo and extremely light on facts, which is the standard concerning Enfield-related articles posted on this blog.

    What constitutes an investigation? Perhaps the state's attorney is simply responding to some angry people's unfounded complaints but hasn't launched a true investigation.

    How do we know the "investigation" involves the local "rumors" concerning the Felician Sister case and the Bernie's discounts? The writer links the two without explaining how she got there. This is irresponsible journalism. If you don't know what's being investigated, then you shouldn't speculate.

    More questions: Why is it wrong for the mayor's wife to develop property? There is no law barring the mayor's wife from building houses. The PZC unanimously approved the project after a substantial public hearing. The developer changed the project's scope to gainm approval. Is Tallarita so influential that he can force even Republican PZC members to do his bidding? Not likely.

    Mr. Thibault has never presented any hard evidence, much less proof, of a conspiracy to shut down the Felician Sisters' school and force the sisters off their land. A conspiracy doesn't exist simply because Mr. Thibault hopes one does. He needs to show a direct connection -- instead he speculates -- which, again, isn't responsible journalism.

    The Bernie's tax abatement was unanimously approved. At worst, Tallarita took advantage of an offer made available to many town officials for a discount that was intended as a "thank you." Retailers routinely provide these sort of discounts to all sorts of people as part of their marketing strategy. In this case, offering the discount would have been unwise and possibly unethical, but it isn't blatant corruption. Proving a quid pro quo arrangement would be tremendously difficult. Bernie's was going to get that abatement with or without the "alleged" discounts.

    Here's a question for everyone to consider: What's worse: getting a good deal on a stove or recklessly ruining somebody's reputation with innuendo and conjecture?

    If Tallarita is corrupt, then I hope the state's attorney prosecutes him to the fullest extent of the law. If that happens, then good for Mr. Thibault. If the state's attorney determines no corruption has occured, then I look forward to reading Mr. Thibault's apology on this blog.