Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Judgment matters

On Friday I received an email from Town Hall. It included the agenda for last night's Council meeting, including:

3. Executive session re: Town Attorney opinion on Freedom of Information requests for police department issue documents.

Based on my understanding of Monday's discussion, I felt the school meeting would be more important to attend. I figured all that was going to happen at last night's Council meeting was the release of the initial ICMA report... something I tried to make happen from the outset. And by the time last night's meeting rolled around, I thought it was going to be a very straightforward discussion and release of the initial report, perhaps with a few emails.

I was wrong.

As I vaguely mentioned in this October 2009 post on the timeline of the CPD meltdown,* there was a report issued by the Police Union in May 2009. It was not necessarily a factual report - it was opinion - but it did give a good sense of the Police Union concerns.

It also touched on police business that currently falls under a court-ordered gag order. For a sense of where I'm going, see the first line in some breaking news by the NHRs Luther Turmelle:

Criticism of Police Chief Michael Cruess that led up to last October’s no confidence vote against him by the patrolman’s union includes complaints of his handling of the department in aftermath of July 2007 Petit murders, according to information obtained by the New Haven Register.

I wish so much that I was at the executive session last night. As much as I believe in transparency, I also believe in justice. And there must be a reason for a judge's gag order, right?

Regardless, I have one question that I want answered now... before this information was released, did the Judge give authorization to release this information?

Or perhaps more broadly:

1) Who asked what? And
2) When did they ask it?

Judgment matters.

Tim White

* see Memorial Day Weekend


Anonymous said...


You're a councilman, an insider. What is this pondering on a blog that what was released was somehow subject to a gag order? Everyone's an idiot but you?

Why don't you pick up a phone, talk to the town attorney, town manager, your council colleagues to gain the enlightenment you are seeking. Nothing released could be remotely subject to a gag order. It may invite hours of idle speculation over hundreds of internal dept issues but little else.

Allegations by the PD that the chief was characterized as insensitive at the scene could have no impact on the Petit trial. What else was released that could possibly compromise that trial?

Its seems the transparansy you seek is selective.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing here that would compromise the gag order. You said you weren't at the meeting so instead of flying off on your own shaft of moonlight why don't you find out what happened at the meeting you missed?
You really need to get a grip on your responsibility as a Councilman. It is not to act like a hormone-hyped adolescent mouthing off on whatever titilates your emotional fancy. You are not the smartest person in town in town
(Esty and Coburn claim that title)so calm down and think....instead of instantly yapping (blogging) about everything you trip across.

Anonymous said...

If the council is having an executive session, why would you feel that a BOE meeting is more important? The council was discussing the conflict at the PD and you didnt feel that was important enough? I hope the voters in your district understand you are more concerned with a school in the northend than public safety.

It appears that by going to the BOE meeting, you are trying to micromanage another elected committee in town government. While the school budget is important to everyone, it is not your immediate concern until the budget comes to a vote.

You should try to figure out your job. How many years has it been?

Anonymous said...

March 24, 2010 10:26 AM
March 24, 2010 12:22 PM
March 24, 2010 10:26 AM

Wow three posts by the same political attacker. You must think your another Marty Coburn and maybe you are him and you certainly don't make any sense.

I'm so glad Tim went to the union meeting that was planned to get parents all riled so that they would support the very people that are running our education system into the ground.

Hey Tim:

According to this character, you are not suppose to learn or listen to anything, your job is simply to vote for more money for the pockets of these union members, who will, if unchecked, continue to deliver an unsatisfactory education for our children.

Anonymous said...

March 24, 2010 10:26 AM
March 24, 2010 12:22 PM

I agree with you. The best part is Mr. White didn't offer anything at the Education meeting. When some town parents asked the counselors some difficult questions, Mr. White refused the microphone and threw Mr. Falvey under the bus. Mr. Falvey talked in circles for about 15 minutes, but at least he took the microphone. What happened, couldn't hide behind this blog? Tim White listens? Does he talk?

Anonymous said...

I wrote the 12:22 comment, and only that one. Appears that there is more than 1 person against Tim

So, Tim skips an executive session meeting to LISTEN to a union hearing. That is very productive. At this point, Tim should not be making ANY comments on the police dept. If he refuses to attend the meetings, he should keep his mouth shut. Tim is now uninformed and is not letting the voters of this town know what happened. Anything said by Tim now is hearsay, and you can get more reliable info at Dunkin Donuts.

Anonymous said...

Also, Tim can now stop complaining that the town is keeping info from him. He has refused to attend the meeting, he refused to work on the problem. Tim is as helpful/useful as the town manager. Replace one, replace both!

This much negativity against Tim, I would guarentee he will not comment in this section and keep quiet on the police matter.

Tim White said...

9:45 I didn't call anyone an idiot. As for asking for input from those you mentioned, I routinely seek input. But with regard to the PD situation, I opposed hiring the consultant. I opposed the executive sessions to discuss the ICMA report. I opposed the whitewashing of the report. And I tried to address these issues two years ago. I'm comfortable that I'm on the right track. Nonetheless, I did speak with some people I trust.

As for the purpose of a gag order, I understand it to be at least partly intended to ensure the existence of a fair / impartial jury. And with today's headlines, I don't see how that helps ensure a fair jury.

As for your claim that I'm selective about transparency, everything else is a political question... but not the trial. I simply want to ensure there is nothing that hurts the trial. And when the Council releases information (opinion) that "classified information" was released... yeah... I think that the gag order judge should have been consulted prior to the release of that particular piece of information. I think that's quite rational and reasonable. Failure to reach out to the judge prior to releasing the information seems foolhearty to me. And maybe the judge says NBD. But I think the judge is better than a bunch of politicians at making that assessment.

Tim White said...

If the council is having an executive session, why would you feel that a BOE meeting is more important?

I thought the ES related to the ICMA report, not to the May 2009 Police Union report. Furthermore, I said I was wrong. Nonetheless, I stand by my assertion that the collective judgment of those involved has been poor in recent months and years (my votes and actions seem to have been vindicated at Monday's meeting). So I still think it would've been best to consult the gag order judge.

Tim White said...

As for attending the FOI session, I didn't get out of work and return to Cheshire until after 7pm. The Council meeting began at 6:30pm. The school meeting began at 7pm. I got to Dodd around 7:15pm or 7:20pm. I figured the executive session would've been over by the time I got there. That's a reality of have an all-volunteer Council.

And as for my ability to opine on this situation, the only thing I missed was a discussion on FOI. And since everything was released, what's the big deal? Everything is finally public. And I asked a followup question - was the judge consulted? I don't see how that's inappropriate. I find it rational, reasonable and appropriate.

Anonymous said...

"I think that the gag order judge should have been consulted prior to the release of that particular piece of information."

"So I still think it would've been best to consult the gag order judge."

"And I asked a followup question - was the judge consulted?"

We got the point, you are hung up on a single question. All the reporter said was there was a complaint about Cruess's handling of the Petit murder. That does not ruin the trial. The police did their jobs. They approached the house, spotted the suspects and took them into custody. Once the suspects were arrested, the Connecticut State Police handled the investigation. This was all common knowladge from the moment the news broke. IF you read the papers, the police issue with the murders is Cruess sending officers back to patrol, taking tires from a wrecked cruiser for another car, and comments he should have not made infront of officers.

Stop trying to defend your failure to represent the citizens of Cheshire. As I said before, you have lost all right to comment on the police dept issues as you do not feel they are important enough to attend to.

Tim White said...

"All the reporter said was there was a complaint about Cruess's handling of the Petit murder."

That's an interesting spin on the NHRs reporting: he “jeopardized (the) investigation by releasing classified information” about the crime.

Anonymous said...

Tim really has a limited and immature view of the world
He has the Council yet not much else in life
he has never been through an adult experience kind of like having a little kid on council
It is weird and funny at the same time
He makes up his mind then kind of goes around and finds evidence
He is responsible for about 70% of the anonymous comments here
Too bad

Anonymous said...

Petit murders...never forget that there were three wonderful women who lost their lives that day. Do not minimize by saying only murder.

Additionally, Tim, you once visited my home and I said to you, "be careful who you choose for your mentor,". Too bad, you haven't.

Anonymous said...

Now I know what all the dems are doing since they lost their positions last November, they are wasting time here.

Give it up!

Anonymous said...

Im not a Dem. I want things fixed and even a Republican majority is not doing anything different than a year ago Like Tim said, we need to change all levels of government. Council members just happen to be "free". Managers cost us pensions