Sunday, April 15, 2012

RECUSE EXCUSE REFUSE : Democrats Deny Former Chief Due Process

Middletown Councilman Tom Serra leads conga style walk out of  Mayor and fellow Democrats to prevent a quorum.

Former  Police Chief Patrick McMahon appeared before a special meeting of the Common Council this week, tin order to appeal his termination as Deputy Chief. The meeting was forced to be cancelled by law for lack of a quorum after every one of the attending Democratic Council members recused themselves from hearing the appeal. 

Chief McMahon was suspended by former Mayor Giuliano  after allegation arose that  McMahon was accused of drinking while in uniform. McMahon questioning lied to Giuliano.  Eric Daigle was hired by the City to investigation the situation. McMahon was on paid administrative leave for over four months. McMahon disputed the charges depsite Daigle reporting to the City that infact infractions occurred. Mayor Drew terminated on McMahon on February 23, 2012. A Laudermill public hearing was held, in name only; Mayor Drew came to the hearing prepared to fire McMahon and did so before he and his attorney could rebut the allegations.

 By law, McMahon is entitled to a public appeals hearing.  Daniel Ryan, the Attorney who serves as Corporation Counsel for the Common Council. Ryan advised the Common Council to honor McMahon's motion that four Council members also recuse themselves from hearing the appeal.

Tom Serra, Ron Klattenberg, and Mary Bartolotta,all were asked by McMahon's attorney to recuse themselves for conflicts of interest and did so. Mayor Drew voluntarily excused himself before the meeting. No word if he was in Hartford, Middletown, DC, or a foreign country again on trade matters.  In a blatantly pre-orchestrated move to stop due process all together Councilmembers Todd  Berch, Gerry Daley, and Grady Faulkner, who had NOT been requested to recuse themselves did. What this a move showing solidarity with their & reinforcing rumors of group-think mentality?  Reasons each gave for recusal were so lame we have chosen not to even regurgitate them here. Councilwoman Hope Kasper didn't even bother to show up. Reports say she was helping her illegally hired son in law, real estate agent Josh Berger pick out curtains for his BOE office; this could not be confirmed at the time of this post. Berger was hired by the BOE as Budget Administrator & Head of Nepotism Negotiations, a position which  he currently holds even after the 90 day temporary hire period has expired, after Kasper served on the Hiring Committee and choose him over 10 other applicants who scored higher. Yes master!

The Insider feels, whether or not one agrees that McMahon's appeal be honored, that EVERY accused person deserves due process, and here was a situation where elected officials did not honor the laws of the City and do what they were elected to do: hear grievances, SERVE CITIZENS, and see that due process is given to ALL.  Unlike the Democrats who took their ball and went home so no one could play, the four Republicans on Council remained seated. The Insider would like to see seat belts installed to all council chairs.or Councilmember stipends ($6,000.00) reduced each time a member misses a meeting or recuses themself!

It pointed out to the Insider by one of our readers that this is not the first time the Democratic Councilmembers did a conga line out the door of a meeting they did not want to sit through! During the Food Not Bombs litigation over a year ago, on numerous occasions Democrats walked out in refusal to hear the public speak. During a Public Safety hearing last year, Councilmember Bob Santangelo was caught on film getting angry and storming out of a meeting to prevent it from taking place. The outburst and article can be found here:

What is our point? IRONY. Imagine you are a tax paying citizen or City employee accused of something- you go to speak before the Council as is your right. They for whatever reason simply do not like you- maybe it's your shoes. They walk out and deny you due process- how does that feel? Why then do you keep voting them in?

Chief Michael McKenna is a fine officer qualified to be police chief of Middletown and the Insider wishes him well and supports him. Frankly, there is no reason not to give him a fair shot like anyone one else with a solid reputation of hard work, and the Insider doesn't mess with folks who are licensed to carry firearms openly. It was no secret McKenna was the first choice of the Democratic Councilmembers however, and McMahon was not because according to Tome Serra he "doesn't worship here" and in Serra's eyes therefore did not meet the residency requirement despite owning property. Tom Serra made a comment that along the lines of" McKenna comes from a good family."  as quoted by the Middletown Eye here.
 Should coming from a good family be the only qualification making you a good cop? Um, no. However, as the Insider would like to point out the IRONY of Tom Serra's nephew being hired as a cop less than two months after McKenna secures the position. This man could be qualified and could make a good cop, granted in a small City the odds of everyone being related to someone is high, however; the timing screams patronage especially after comments regarding family pedigree (in this case the Serra clan) & religious practices  made on record by Councilmember Tom Serra.


  1. Nice word play in your title Middletown; and another coup de graphic!

  2. Ok- this topic confuses me a little bit- Giuliano placed him on unpaid leave- he lied to guliano- Drew canned him- so a place where opposing mayors agree- why the issue?
    If he asked three people to leave- and others left too- was it because They followed Tom or because they were honestly afraid of him suing them? He is suing our town, right? I don't know enough on this topic or these people to speak- but to those of us not knowing all the details- its an odd thing to see this walk out as too much of an issue when both mayors dumped him- entitled to a fair hearing? Ok- but we as tax payers are entitled to not pay for lawsuits and personality clashes that are embarrassing from our leaders- just saying

  3. These guys don't stop until they take the entire pie do they?

  4. Stop voting these jokers in.. What's up with the Middletown Pension Fund??? Is Dan Drew and his cronies really taking out $900,000 from the top or is it 1.4 million.. ?? This is n't good!

  5. Dear ANON 12:55 P.M.

    Yes, SG canned him Yes, DD is the new mayor. The article did mention that Serra and two other were required to recuse themselves due to a lawyer's advice to recuse themselves from the hearing, but Berch and Grady and Klatenberg should have stuck it out.. The Dems have a long history of walking out on the public and denying them due process or even simple 1st Amendment rights.. Do honest homework and you will find such things are quite common in town.

  6. Tom Serra and Mckenna have something else in common. It happend in Middletown and would be up there within the ranks of the Trayvon Martin case. Since the "offender" was the son of a certain councilman, it's a 2 week crash course of anger management and the son is paid off. Guess who was the officer involved with that case? You figure it out..

  7. Has this McKenna guy already been bought and paid for or what? Is he really as great as the Serra's think he is? Something smells rotten , yes again. This city is never going to change!


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