Election Commission Rules Against Smart

The State Elections Enforcement Commission has ruled that the city clerk’s reasons for suspending his deputy clerk are unfounded.

Last May, City Clerk Michael Smart suspended his deputy, Sally Brown, after alleging that she had violated state law by preparing the absentee ballots for the 2016 presidential election, falsely certifying nominating petitions in 2014 and 2015, and certifying absentee ballots for the 2014 primary. All of which Smart claimed Brown had no authority to do. He filed a complaint with the SEEC, which agreed to investigate.

Brown maintained that she had done nothing wrong. In a Feb. 15 report, the election commission agreed with her. Read the full report, with details of the allegations and Brown’s defenses, here.

The commission wrote that Brown’s longstanding position in the Clerk’s office — serving as the part-time elected clerk in 1986, and then being made the full-time deputy clerk — rendered her authorized to complete the tasks: “[I]n the course of her service over the decades, Ms. Brown was charged with assisting in the administration of that office’s duties and responsibilities pertaining to elections based on her employment with the City of New Haven.”

The commission further concluded that Smart’s allegations were “not supported by fact,” and that Brown “did not violate Election Laws as alleged and therefor this matter is dismissed.”

“Ms. Brown as New Haven Deputy CityTown Clerk did not violate Election Laws as alleged and therefore this matter is dismissed,” SEEC Vice-Chairman Salvatore A. Bramante wrote in the decision.

“Sally’s going to get a letter to return to work,” Smart said Friday. “There will be a disciplinary hearing to answer the charges.”

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posted by: THREEFIFTHS on February 24, 2017  2:26pm

Sally’s going to get a letter to return to work,” Smart said Friday.

The smell of victory.


My bad I forgot.Get ready for the Lawsuit payout that Sally will be getting.



posted by: cedarhillresident! on February 24, 2017  3:40pm

??? please clairfy this ““There will be a disciplinary hearing to answer the charges.”
Unless I am not reading it right. Is this just a formality or is this a whole separate thing? 

Congrat’s Sally!!

posted by: southwest on February 24, 2017  7:50pm

Mike Smart should never had harassed Sally in the begin..everyone knew it was bosgus so now when she sue the city they should make him pick up the tab for being incompetent and harassing her….nothing like incompetent politicians…did he actually say he’s going to discipline her at a hearing when the state cleared her and said incident unfounded..can we just vote these missi guided people out of office…or can we have a recall..how dumb was that statement he mad..smh…

posted by: Anderson Scooper on February 24, 2017  9:55pm

Who is going to run against Smart? How soon can we send him packing?

This whole thing is so petty and stupid. Let’s hope Sally turns the other cheek and doesn’t sue the City, for a taxpayer-funded payout.

posted by: robn on February 24, 2017  10:05pm

Is Mr Smart saying that, after being completely rebuffed by the SEEC, he’ll take a second bite at the apple by conducting some sort of local star chamber to punish Ms Brown? I’ll write it again…abolish his position. It’s a complete waste of tax dollars.

posted by: citoyen on February 24, 2017  11:01pm

Yes, Cedarhill asks exactly the right question: a disciplinary hearing?  Conducted by whom?  Smart?  He wants Sally to answer against charges for something she did not commit?  Answer to whom?  Smart?  Does he have the authority even to hold a disciplinary hearing of some kind?  Who would sit on a disciplinary panel?

Or is this still about that $500 invoice she signed off on, that sticks in his craw so badly?

Indeed, please clarify, NHI.

This man has been bad news since the day he took office.

posted by: New Haven Taxpayer on February 25, 2017  11:28pm

Smart is funny he is trying to discipline Ms. Brown over absentee ballots?!

Remember this one: 

This is going to end up costing New Haven taxpayers, and unnecessarily smearing a longtime, hard working city employee.


posted by: whalley4727 on February 26, 2017  3:40pm

Sally Brown, both from what I’ve heard about her and in my personal interactions with her, is a competent, ethical, knowledgeable city employee who runs her office well. Not always a given in this town.

Smart, in contrast, is making a fool of himself by picking a prolonged fight with the most competent person in his office, and demanding to spend the city’s money to do it.

Can we just eliminate the elected position and make Sally Brown the clerk? Alternatively, can we draft her to run against him?

posted by: new haven can do better on February 26, 2017  9:32pm

Smart should be removed from office. His actions are going to cost the City lots of money. I’m hoping someone starts an online petition to have him removed.

posted by: Bill Saunders on February 27, 2017  3:38am

Whalley 4727—

I second Sally Brown’s nomination to the position of City Clerk.
All those in favor…...?

posted by: southwest on February 27, 2017  6:57am

Will someone please tell me what our board of alders are doing about this? Are they in cohoots with Mike Smarts…what is the union doing about this that represents Brown?  Next what is the Mayor and Cooperative Counsel doing to keep the taxpayers from paying out law suit after lawsuit for incompetent decisions making..well my guess is nothing..there really should be some competent test before anyone run for office no matter how much money they have ( Trump)  is a true example of that…as well as inner cities and state wide politics…just because a pilot, is qualified to fly a 747 does not make him qualified to be a heart surgeon or a Yale Graduate who major in science doesn’t qualify him or her to be a navy seal..just saying how anybody without any knowledge of the arena they want to fight in can just walk in and say I got this except for politics….and we the people are dumb enough to get hoodwinked every time…sad part some are extremely educated,clever,sharp,intelligence, opinnated and think they no it all when it comes to politics ....we the people go out and lobby on their behalf kind of like a Beyoncé Concert and push her albums up to the number 10 chart and she walks away with all the glory and cash..saying another group of suckers just got sucker in…when will people be able to see the trees Thur the forest !! Just saying…for some reason people seems to like dumb down politicians!!!

posted by: Webblog1 on February 27, 2017  6:17pm

Reading the tea leaves…

Whether City Clerk Michael Smart be allowed to transfer $15,000 from his department’s “Other Contractual Services” account to his department’s “Legal Services” account. This money would be used to retain outside legal counsel in case his department should find itself in court over an ongoing dispute with former Deputy City Clerk Sally Brown, whom Smart put on indefinite paid leave last July for alleged insubordination.

On Jan 10 2017 True vote poll asked Should the city pay outside legal fees for department heads who decline city lawyers’ advice?

True Vote Results

  Yes 2.99% 4 of 134
  No 76.12% 102 of 134
  Depends on case 18.66% 25 of 134
  Don’t know 2.24% 3 of 134

The alders supported Smart, Corp Counsel did not.


posted by: JayC on March 1, 2017  4:54pm

City Clerk Smart…. is Not