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Council Upholds Mayor's Vetoes

September 27, 2005
By OSHRAT CARMIEL, Courant Staff Writer

The Hartford city council on Monday upheld the first vetoes Mayor Eddie A. Perez has ever issued.

The vetoes were a refusal of the council's request that the mayor investigate the circumstances of two cases of alleged police brutality.

By a vote of 7-1, the council declined to override the vetoes -- thereby supporting the mayor's position.

"We've been doing a lot of directing the mayor to do things, and now we hear it's not appropriate," said Councilwoman Veronica Airey- Wilson.

She was citing the mayor's written reasons for refusing to investigate the two police matters.

"Now we know," Airey-Wilson said.

The mayor had said that the council overstepped its authority when it asked him two weeks ago to study the cases of Kendall J. Williams, a homeless man who sustained multiple fractures in an altercation with police, and Ignacio Vilchel, whom police shot four times when they came to his house to arrest him on drug charges.

The issue marked the first time the mayor has flexed his new veto power under the city charter that took effect in January 2004. It was also an unusual public disagreement between the mayor and council, which is largely seen as under his control.

Still, the mayor offered the council a concession after issuing his vetoes. He sent council members a letter promising he and the police chief would appear before them for a presentation on the "process and procedures the city uses to address [police] complaints."

That offer seemed to satisfy council members -- at least enough to uphold his veto.

"We have a letter from the mayor, who wants to speak with the council," said Councilman James M. Boucher.

Boucher credited the council for bringing about that result.

"The council really is moving this issue forward," he said.

All but Councilman Kenneth H. Kennedy, who sponsored the resolution, seemed to agree.

Kennedy's was the only vote to override the mayor's veto. Before doing so, though, he criticized the mayor's written reference to his resolution as an act of someone "eager to score quick political points."
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Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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