Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Not a Whisper...

Maybe it's more of a shout. Ever since announcing his bid to become the first Republican to be elected Mayor of Waterbury since Giordano, Mike Jarjura has repeatedly stated that there has not been "a whisper of impropriety" about his administration. I guess he has selective memory.

Remember how he gave Ken Skov a sweetheart pension deal in which Skov earned 2 years of benefits for every 1 year he worked? Turns out that was nothing compared to what he did for his friend Joe Davino (who is his near-constant companion on the campaign trail).

After Davino lost his job at the Waterbury Housing Authority, Jarjura put him in charge of cleaning up blight in Waterbury. Davino chose to resign from that job shortly before he was arrested for defrauding the city of Waterbury and committing second degree larceny. He was found using city workers on city time for his own personal activities on more than 80 occasions. He never had to make restitution to the city, and he never had to serve any time--because Jarjura spoke before the judge and asked for leniency. If that's not improper, I don't know what is.

Today the other shoe dropped. The Republican-American published a stunning article. Jarjura actually admitted to reporter Penny Overton that he personally made sure that Davino would be able to collect unemployment benefits, even though Davino chose to resign from his job. You don't qualify for unemployment if you quit. No wonder Jarjura has refused to replace him, even though the city is drowning in blight, and we desperately need someone to take charge and get it under control. Since Davino quit his job, Jarjura has been decreasing the size of the department. I haven't understood that, but I get it now. Jarjura lied to the Department of Labor. The only way he could cover up the lie was to start eliminating positions in the blight department.

Ironically, Jarjura's latest print advertisement boldly declares that "It Was Corruption That Raised Your Taxes." Okay, let's talk corruption. The Mayor gave his friend a city job. When the Mayor found out his friend stole from the city, he protected him as much as he could, and defended him before the judge. Meanwhile, the Mayor lied to the State Department of Labor to guarantee that his friend could claim unemployment benefits. To cover up the lie, the Mayor eliminated his friend's job from the city budget. Never mind that it's a vital job for the health of the city. The Mayor decided that covering up his lie and shielding his friend from justice was more important. He abused his power as Mayor to aid a criminal.

Jarjura wants to talk about corruption. Okay, let's talk. This is a clear case of cronyism, which is political corruption. Davino stole from the taxpayers while he had the blight job, now he's stealing from the taxpayers even though he quit the job. And Jarjura made it all happen.

This is the same Mayor who spent his first four or five years in office making money off a whorehouse later connected to human trafficking. The same Mayor who is currently making money bringing economic development to Middlebury, not Waterbury. If he or his friends can profit, he doesn't care about laws or the taxpayers he is supposed to represent. It's no wonder he was willing to defend someone who stole from the city and then was willing to lie to the state and cover up the lie by eliminating a vital position so that same criminal could collect unemployment.

Do we really want two more years of this?

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