8 thoughts on “Ethics Board Focuses Moynihan Investigation on Use of Town Resources, Letterhead

  1. Two things are clear: the members of the Ethics Board are taking their roles seriously, and we are indebted to Michael Dinan for his excellent local reporting.

  2. According to the Town of New Canaan Ethics Code (Section 17-3 E.), the Ethics Board, “shall have no authority to present matters for inquiry or investigation on its own initiative.”

    Miki Porta’s complaint alleged that (a) the First Selectman used his position to obtain the voter information used for the mailing, and (b) his description of Connecticut’s minority representation rules was incorrect. Both of these complaints seem to have been dismissed by the Ethics Board.

    How is a discussion on use of a scanner not an investigation on the Ethics Board’s own initiative?

    • We know from the proceedings so far that the investigation of our First Selectman does not violate the First Amendment, and we know that the Ethics Code has not been politically “weaponized.” Now the RTC argues that the Ethics Board is “acting on its own initiative” even though it is investigating a citizen complaint — just as the Code expressly contemplates. Chris, you’re a tireless advocate, but you’ve got me wondering: What will the RTC argue next?

    • So Chris, you are no longer arguing—as you have repeatedly in these threads—that the first selectman did not violate the Code of Ethics, is that right? What you are saying now is that in order for the Ethics Board to pursue an investigation into the improper use of town resources, someone else would need to file a complaint? I imagine that complaint would be based on the material that the Ethics Board gathered up during its investigation into the complaint that is now before it. I wonder whether the first selectman himself would agree with your strategy, which would seem to prolong a process toward finding (or not finding) that he ran afoul of New Canaan’s Code of Ethics. I would check with him, because it seems to me he may want this whole thing to wrap up as soon as possible. In fact, members of the Ethics Board said during the March 8 meeting that it would be unfair to various parties, including the respondent, to proceed in this matter for a longer period of time than necessary.

      Regarding John’s mention of the RTC, I would note here that the RTC is one of New Canaan’s best-established local organizations. However, as with any volunteer group, it can take on the tone of those who raise their hands to join it (the same absolutely goes for the DTC, which in my view made some critical mistakes in social media postings during the run-up to last year’s election, and also made a major error in nominating more Board of Ed candidates than possibly could have won election, given rules about minority party representation). Regarding the RTC as currently composed, we made a note in a separate story that a member of the RTC, without knowledge of the organization’s leadership, misused its Facebook account on Election Day. At this time, the RTC would appear to include some of the least popular Republicans in New Canaan. Cristina Ross, for example, rather awkwardly made a bid to become secretary of the Town Council during an organizational meeting last fall. She was nominated by a fellow member of the Town Council and then, after a pause, seconded the nomination herself because no one else would. Penny Young went on to win election to that role. In 2017, Ross tried to win Republican backing for first selectman at the caucus, but won only 60 votes compared to 600-plus each for Rob Mallozzi and Kevin Moynihan—meaning she won an even lower percentage of overall votes than Michael Nowacki had in the race for first selectman during the general election two years prior.

  3. I say, as a long-time Democrat, running for political office only if you EXPECT to win, is short changing the voter of choice which is essential to our Democratic process. Courage is required to put your name forward for long hours of volunteer service in this Town. Win or lose, political party is irrelevant to the process of Minority Representation in our State which values both large and small voices. In Connecticut candidates have a chance to represent many points of view which is part of choice and open government. Voting for yourself is best practice if you believe in yourself and participate in the public arena. So, let’s not throw willing candidates who do so to the dogs Mike. Shame! Not up to your usual fine reporting.

    • This is a comment thread, Terry. Here, just like on the New Canaanite’s Facebook page, I feel free—and will continue to feel free—expressing my opinion, and saying things like “in my opinion”—for example: In my opinion, your comment above is characteristically off-base, and speaks to your awkward alliance with Cristina A. Ross on what some people (like you two) choose to describe as “preservation.” I think it’s deeply disingenuous for news reporters to pretend that they don’t have opinions. Just report the news fairly and objectively. Here’s our news coverage of Ross’s announcement in 2017 that she was seeking GOP backing for first selectman, and here’s our news coverage of the 2017 caucus where she earned 4.8% of the votes. (I’m assuming she voted for herself there, too.) If you want to criticize my “usual fine reporting,” tell me what I did wrong in those two news items. Thank you for submitting your comment.

      • Mike, I speak for myself, from my own experience of running for election here in Town 5 times, winning 5 times, and voting for myself 5 times! Because one is interested in ‘preservation’ should not raise cries of ‘alliance’ with many in the community with whom I agree. A minority voice? Maybe, we will see. But surely, it is up to you to stick to what you do best, report what is important, fairly and objectively. ‘Tid bits’ of parochial politics 5 years old are not news.

        • Yet as of four months ago, based on that failed bid to win election as Town Council secretary, your friend’s popularity appears not to have risen.

          Regarding what you’re calling “tidbits”: Cristina Ross is an elected official in New Canaan, and the results of past elections — no matter how embarrassing — are relevant for as long as she sits on the Council.

          We’ve seen your friend dispatched to shill in the past, now here you are in the same role. It’s going equally well, in my opinion, though at least you’re not performing at a public meeting, advocating for a misappropriation of taxpayer funds.

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