Bromson to step down as town attorney
at urging of council but will keep public safety job
By Karine Abalyan
ENFIELD - At the urging of Republican Town Council members, longtime Town Attorney Christopher Bromson is leaving Enfield's top legal post, which officials hope to fill by January.
His appointment expires Dec. 31.
Bromson, who also oversees the Police Department as director of public safety, chose to step down as town attorney when he was asked to keep only one of the two positions.
Republicans said they were uncomfortable with Bromson holding both jobs because his work as town attorney might interfere with his responsibilities overseeing the Police Department.
"It's a very gray area, and at this point we feel it's better to remove the possibility for conflict," Republican Mayor Scott Kaupin said.
But Democrats, who lost control of the Town Council in last month's election, said the change is unnecessary.
"We believe that Christopher Bromson was doing a fine job," Democratic Councilwoman Cynthia Mangini said. "I just think we're losing a good person."
William Edgar Jr., a fellow Democrat on the council, said he didn't want to see Bromson go.
"I think he's done an excellent job," Edgar said. "If it's not broke, why fix it?"
Bromson, a criminal defense lawyer, runs a private firm in Windsor Locks. He became town attorney 18 years ago, and earns $50,000 annually for the job.
In 2005, while serving as interim town manager, Bromson took on the role of public safety director.
The council formally named him to the post of public safety director in May 2006, adding another $52,500 to his yearly income.
Bromson said he hadn't accepted cases involving the Enfield Police Department and saw no conflict in his double role.
But he said he had discussed his options with town officials prior to the election, and decided to give up his town attorney duties because "I think the public safety position offers a new challenge."
"I'm comfortable with it," he said of the switch. "It was a mutual decision."
Now officials are looking for a new town attorney. A search committee met this week to discuss the hiring process.
Kaupin, who sits on the committee, said candidates are being asked to indicate salary requirements. The committee has not decided whether the new town attorney will be a full-time or part-time employee.
Councilmen Edgar and William Lee, a Republican, are also on the committee. Other members include Bromson, Town Manager Matthew Coppler, and Enfield-based lawyer Joseph Fallon.
Kaupin said he hopes to have a new person onboard by the end of December or early January. "I'm excited to assist in the search," Bromson said. "I think it's going to be a seamless transition."
Applications should be sent to the town manager by Dec. 14, Kaupin said. For information, call 253-6350.