Sunday, November 04, 2012

Guest Blog: Giuliano Speaks Out

Hush and Rush! Why fill position so fast?
 Former Middletown Mayor Seb Giuliano speaks out.
When I took office, we had 3 attorneys in the legal department.  It had been my intention to assign each of them two related areas of concentration: labor and personnel matters to Adrienne DeLuca, land use and contractual matters (other than labor) to Tim Lynch and public safety and municipal liability to City Attorney Trina Solecki. Outside counsel would continue to be retained for complex litigation.

Deluca left to take a private sector job with a labor law firm (specialty in representing management) and, within a few more months, Solecki retired. This left only Lynch, who was named Acting City Attorney, which position he continues to occupy. In the meantime, the legal department was reduced from 3 to 2 lawyers and the qualifications for the City Attorney position had been made more - and subsequently less - stringent. Obviously, any concept of a three lawyer office, with each of them being responsible for specific areas of legal expertise, was shelved. Also, a logical consequence of having only one lawyer in the office was more reliance on outside counsel, with its attendant costs.

At one point, I felt it helpful and logical to send Geen Thazhampallath, my Administrative Assistant (not "Chief of Staff"), who is a lawyer, to the legal department as an acting deputy city attorney.  Council Democrats objected that, under the Charter, nobody could hold a city job and, at the same time, be the mayoral AA. I thought their argument was misplaced, but it was not an argument worth getting into, so I brought Thazhampallath back to my office and left Tim Lynch by himself.

There are those who have suggested that we eliminate the legal department altogether and use outside counsel for everything. This is not a position I support. I believe that it is more cost effective to keep ordinary municipal functions "in house", and only outsource for those needs that arise infrequently. For a small, “general practice” law firm, which the City’s legal department essentially is (even though it has only one client), litigation is something that should be handled by outside counsel. Most small law offices would be brought to a standstill by litigation, especially federal litigation. This detracts from the City Attorney’s ability to advise the municipal departments (e.g., planning, conservation, municipal development, personnel, finance, tax assessor, tax collector, health, public works, parks, recreation, human relations, purchasing, sanitation, et c.), to negotiate and review contracts, to advise and assist the City’s enforcement officials in the exercise of their respective duties, or to issue legal opinions when requested or authorized by the Mayor.

Clearly, I have no quarrel with the concept of a three-lawyer legal department along the lines I previously described. That, however, does not completely describe what is being proposed. The Mayor - and his "blue ribbon" commission (just who awarded them this blue ribbon and what they did to earn it still to be explained) are proposing that the legal department take operational control of a city department, i.e., personnel, an idea that is rife with potential - if not actual - conflicts of interest. The client of the City Attorney is the corporate entity known as the City of Middletown, which includes all of its departments, boards and commissions, and its ethical responsibility is to represent that entity fully, To place municipal management functions within that office is to compromise the ability of the office to exercise its true function, to be the City’s lawyers.

Sebastian Giuliano,
Middletown, CT


  1. Seb, maybe the City Attorney's office wouldn't have to take over the Personnel Dept if you hadn't let the director run wild and overstep their bounds.

  2. Not interested in what your opinion is. If you had been a halfway decent mayor we wouldn't be stuck with the loser boy toy right now.

  3. Anon Maybe if you didn't vote the same way every time hoping for a different outcome, none of this would have happened. Yet Middletown continues to put the same party in charge and then complains about it.

    If you want a different outcome then do something about it, rather than complain about Seb and what he did while he was mayor.

  4. God Bless Seb! His administration was so transparent compared to the current one. At least he took a stance on issues and wasn't afraid to speak his mind.

    Remember when John Hall wanted to let the killer David Messenger roam free? Seb mad a public point to voice his concerns about this. Drew, did the opposite, he forgot to show up for the hearing.

    Remember when the BOE was out of control ? Actually the BOE is still out of control, but when Guiliano was mayor he forced a forensic audit. Hey, BOe where's the MILLION DOLLARS.

    Remember Drew outspent him by approximately $55,000 and beat him by 450 votes.. Do the math.

  5. again, the former mayor has to blabber mouth his opinion. It was never called the blue ribbon anything officially. I believe the report was titled Mayors Taskforce on Efficency in Government.Hes a lawyer, why did he not check facts before arguing a position

  6. Seb please go away and leave us alone
    Isn't that what defeated politicians do?

  7. If this guy didn't agree with the new office structure why did he apply for the city atrorney job?


  8. Seb, run again, but this time support the people who supported you; and who spoke up like you did, instead of sticking your pit bull personnel director on them and try to reunion their lives. Karma is a bitch isn't it?
    I think you can win, and hopefully learn from your mistakes. I think you are a good guy, but you where in my opinion, severely misguided by leeches.
    Drew has shades of Jermerly Singleton and a much bigger ego that seems to grow by the minute. I get it, your 32 and a mayor. It's a big deal. But he needs a big piece of humble pie. Good Luck!

  9. It appears CVH has issued him the day pass.

  10. Sadly, Seb allowed himself to be led around by the likes of the basement blonde and troll. He didn't demonstrate good judgement then or now.

  11. Uh oh...looks like Seb opened mouth inserted foot again. This time he inadvertently ratted out his inside source (aka personnel director) who gave him the names of his competition for the city attorney job and he spilled the beans.

    Yet another reason why:
    1. That disaster of a Personnel Director should be fired
    2. Seb and his bad judgement should just go away.

  12. hall is a mess. Giving away the farm...8% pay hikes for the chief ......the city cried how they could not afford to pay the cops more then Tom's CPI ..and the cops took 0% rasies....but for Toms boys 8%! They are really rubbing it the face of the little guys. Shame on them all!


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