6 thoughts on “‘Courtesy Is a Two Way Street’: Emails Reveal New Details in Ethics Investigation

  1. Would you clarify the word “part” in this sentence? “One major function of the RTC, like its counterpart Democratic committee in town, is to put forward part members’ names for appointment to municipal boards and commissions.”. Part of the RTC?

  2. Another day, another cheap shot at 203Action, only this time by the highest elected official in New Canaan. Really disappointing. Since my New Years resolution is to no longer let such unfounded statements go unanswered, I’ll say here what I wrote to Mr. Moynihan directly. As a member of 203Action, I can tell you that the description of 203Action as “anti-Republican” is categorically false. 203Action not only counts Republicans as members, but also its members, myself included, have supported and voted for Republicans in local elections over the last several years (including in this past election!). Furthermore, many of us, again myself included, have been highly complementary of Mr. Moynihan’s leadership during the pandemic and in other areas — and it’s been well deserved.

    If he truly cares about a return to civility in New Canaan politics, perhaps as the highest elected official in our town, he could set the best example by refraining from such unfounded and unnecessary attacks on a group that had nothing to do with this complaint. That would be a good start.

  3. It is difficult to interpret the Ethics Panel’s approach to this complaint as anything other than political. The original complaint alleged the First Selectman used his position to access voter information. This was unsupported by any evidence and is provably false. The RTC made an immediate statement to that effect when the investigation was launched. Given the RTC’s role, you would think that the Ethics Panel investigation would start by contacting the RTC to understand details of the mailing process, including the source of the mailing list. They have not.

    Making public materials accumulated during their investigation is quite unusual, especially when some of these materials do not actually relate to the original complaint. What would be the investigatory purpose collecting comments posted by random residents on “New Canaan Moms”? Facebook comments are not evidence, especially when they are inaccurate (Kevin did not actually make a robocall in advance of the November election). I look forward to our local press asking tough questions of everyone involved, including the Ethics Panel members who are conducting this investigation.

    • Chris I’m trying to understand how you are concluding that the Ethics Board’s approach is political. I would note here that the Ethics Board has made no finding other than to resolve that further investigation is warranted. Given what the resolution cites, can you be specific about what RTC members might have testified to that, in your view, would’ve altered that rather limited finding? I also would note here that since reference was made to “electronic communications” in the Ethics Board’s resolution, that makes the correspondence public, at least in my view. So I put in a public records request for that correspondence (which I withdrew after finding it all in a folder in the Town Clerk’s office). As you must know, the Ethics Board itself is bipartisan (I believe it’s composed of two Republicans, two Democrats and one unaffiliated person). I also note here, just by way of disclosure, that you yourself are a member of the RTC, according to the organization’s website. As far as putting questions to public officials, you yourself are free to do that not only at (some) public meetings but directly to the Ethics Board members themselves (their emails are on the town website, like anyone who volunteers for these town bodies). It’s not the role of the press to take up the position of a political organization, in my opinion. It is our job to report what is said and done at public meetings and provide relevant context. No one except me attended the Ethics Board meeting when the resolution was drafted, approved and made public. The Ethics Board’s next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 8, though that is subject to change and might move around depending on when the first selectman responds. If you go to the town website under “Government” in the main navigation bar and then “Agendas & Minutes,” you will land on a page that allows you to sign up for email notifications when there are new meetings scheduled for various town bodies, among other triggers (such as the filing of agendas and minutes).

  4. Thank you, Michael Dinan, for paying careful attention to our town’s government. We all benefit from your diligent reporting.

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