Last week, after nearly 12 hours of meetings in 9 sessions from November 9, 2021, to May 12, 2022, the Ethics Board of the Town of New Canaan voted 4 to 1 to issue a Report and Determination on a Complaint filed against me last November 1st by Ms. Micaela Porta.
Ms. Porta was then President of the League of Women Voters of New Canaan but she was also known to be active in Democratic politics and progressive causes. Ms. Porta has admitted that she was approached by Democratic party operatives about the Letter and Ms. Porta herself enlisted the support of two prominent leaders of the Democratic Party (current Selectman Kathleen Corbett and former Selectman Beth Jones) in making the argument that there was something wrong with the Letter in regard to how I described CT minority representation law as it applied to the 2021 municipal election ballot. Accordingly, I believe that the Complaint was politically motivated and that the Ethics Board was weaponized for political purposes.
The Complaint involved a single campaign endorsement letter (the “Letter”) that I wrote last October at the request of the Republican Town Committee (“RTC”) recommending the Republican slate of candidates to new voters, including the Republican slate of four Board of Education candidates. As First Selectman, I was a candidate for re-election, and, as such, I had a duty to communicate my views to the New Canaan electorate. It is also my right pursuant to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to do so. In her Complaint, Ms. Porta alleged that I violated several sections of the Ethics Code claiming:
First, that I “used [my] position and access to resident names and addresses to give preferential treatment to one slate of candidates,” and
Second, that the Letter was “misleading to voters,” “erroneous” in its description of Connecticut election law and that Town citizens were “confused” by it.