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Corbin Talk at Council

By Jeffrey B. Cohen

April 13, 2009

The city council got an earful Monday from some members of the public and a union leader about the recent firing of Public Works Director Clarence Corbin.

During the public hearing portion of the council's meeting, Donna Thompson-Daniel, president of the Blue Hills Civic Association, said that Corbin was a capable director. "When you called Mr. Corbin, things were taken care of," she said.

Thompson-Daniel then took it a step further, drawing a line straight to the recently-arrested Mayor Eddie A. Perez, and saying Corbin's treatment was unfair. Either Corbin gets his job back, or the council should work to remove Perez, she said. Afterward, Thompson-Daniel said she spoke for the Blue Hills Civic Association as a whole.

Perez fired Corbin earlier this month in part because he disobeyed directives and hired lobbyists to represent the city as it worked for state and federal funding for flood control.

Corbin has said he did nothing wrong.

After Thompson-Daniel was done speaking, Councilman Kenneth Kennedy spoke.

"I think the dismissal was inappropriate," Kennedy said. But, he added, the council doesn't have any power to rehire Corbin.

Municipal union leader Clarke King also spoke out on the issue, saying that "Corbin deserves his day in court."

After a few on the council said they were frustrated that they didn't know much about Corbin's firing other than what they've read in the newspaper and in press releases, council President Calixto Torres agreed to ask the mayor for an update.

Reprinted with permission of the CityLine blog of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the CityLine at http://blogs.courant.com/cityline/ and the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
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