Aldermen Disclose Potential Conflicts

Two work for the Board of Education. Another works for the New Haven Parking Authority. Three have relatives in the police department.

Those potential conflicts of interest are spelled out in aldermanic disclosure forms, on file in City Hall. Every year, aldermen are required to list any and all family, work, or organizational connections that might interfere with their work in city government. The forms were due on April 16 this year.

As of this week, more than a month after the due date, three aldermen still had not submitted disclosure forms.

West River Alderman Yusuf Shah and Dwight Alderwoman Gina Calder said they plan to turn theirs in soon. Shah said he’s been busy moving. Calder said she keeps forgetting.

East Shore Alderwoman Arlene DePino said she had turned hers in but it must have gotten lost. She promised to re-submit.

Here are some of the connections listed on the disclosure forms by aldermen who felt they had something to declare:

Newhallville Aldermen Katrina Jones and Charles Blango work for the Board of Education. Jones listed herself as a “parent liaison worker.” Blango didn’t specify his job title. (He works on truancy.) Both aldermen regularly recuse themselves from aldermanic votes concerning the Board of Ed.

Fair Haven Alderwoman Migdalia Castro works for the New Haven Parking Authority. She is also a regular recuser.

East Shore Alderman Alphonse Paolillo, Jr. noted that his father, Alphonse Paolillo, Sr. (a former alderman himself), is a state marshal.

Aldermen DePino, Claudette Robinson Thorpe, and Jorge Perez all have relatives in the police department. DePino said her daughter works as a 911 dispatch officer. Robinson-Thorpe wrote that she has a sister who is a clerk with the police department. Perez listed a niece and a former brother-in-law who are police officers.

Perez, a vice president for commercial lending at the Bank of Southern Connecticut, had one of the more thoroughly completed forms. He listed another niece who is a youth worker in the city’s Community Service Department. He also attached a note explaining that his bank has in the past bid for city Certificate of Deposit accounts. Those accounts are handled by a department Perez doesn’t work in, he said.

Perez’s note also explained that his wife is a secretary at the law firm Wiggin and Dana, which currently has no contracts with the city, he wrote.

Hill Alderwoman Andrea Jackson-Brooks, who works for the state comptroller’s office, also had a comprehensive note attached to her disclosure form. It lists three pages of awards she has won and current and former board memberships and community association positions, including serving as president of the Hill Health Corporation and a board member at the Hill Development Corporation.

Hill Alderwoman Jackie James-Evans also works for the state, as an “investigator/SW” (social worker).

Paolillo works for the John Hancock insurance company. He wrote on his form that the company is “a participating provider in the city of New Haven’s deferred compensation program for individual employees.” John Hancock also insures retirement and long-term care for Board of Ed employees, Paolillo wrote.

Other aldermen disclosed their involvement with local organizations. Fair Haven Alderman Joey Rodriguez works for the Hill Development Corporation. Downtown Alderwoman Bitsie Clark is a board member at the Shubert theater.

When asked this week why he hadn’t yet turned in his disclosure form, Shah promised to turn it in “as soon as possible.”

Shah said he plans to disclose only that his son works for the department of traffic and parking. Shah said he has divorced his wife, who works for the Board of Education.

“I did turn in a form,” DePino said. “A long time ago. It must have gotten lost.”

She said she plans to turn in the form soon.

“I keep forgetting to turn it in,” said Calder. “I have no disclosures.”

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posted by: Ned on May 27, 2010  8:41am

[url=“http://www.yaleherald.com/archive/xxvi/9.4.98/news/scandals.html”]On Jun. 10, the New Haven Advocate revealed that DeStefano had approved a loan to Executive Assistant Andrea Jackson-Brooks that violated federal policies. The terms of the $58,750, interest-free loan required no payments for 10 years and forgave half the sum at the time of payment. The money belonged to New Haven’s federally-sponsored Livable City Initiative (LCI), a program organized by DeStefano to assist low-income families.

According to Paul Bass, the Advocate Associate Editor who uncovered the Jackson-Brooks fiasco, this misuse of federal money took funds away from needy citizens, sabotaged one of the mayor’s best programs, and confirmed the notion that with politicians,“patronage is often placed above policy.[/url] I wonder if Jackson-Brooks included this information in her list of awards?

posted by: Jeffrey Kerekes on May 27, 2010  8:43am

And interesting follow-up to this article would be how long have those relationships with the City been in place. For example, have any of those affiliations taken place after they were elected?  I am glad to see additional members have turned in their forms since I last checked just a week ago or so.  Thanks for the NHI for following up on this important issue.

There are past disclosure forms available on our website at http://www.nhcan.org/docs/boa/boa-accountability.html

posted by: Don't forget on May 27, 2010  10:16am

Don’t forget, Mike Jones, along with a number of other aldermen, is a student at Yale. It would be interesting to see if he blindly follows the Yale (Michael Morand) line when voting, or has the guts to stand up to his school.

posted by: Tribe on May 27, 2010  10:23am

What about employees?

posted by: what????? on May 27, 2010  12:43pm

Is Alderman Shah new??? Did he not know that he had to submit this form? ... And this guy is on the finance board???!!!...

posted by: Cedarhillresident on May 27, 2010  1:01pm

I have a question…is Shah still living in his district?? That’s what should be an important question.

Shah I know you read this please respond

It is not who works where it is who will give a vote for one thing to protect another that seems to play in this