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Veronica Airey-Wilson To Retire From Hartford City Council

Will Retire Effective Dec. 31; Vacancies Will Be Filled Quickly, Winch Says

Jenna Carlesso

December 01, 2010

The city council will move quickly to fill two vacancies left by the departure of Matthew Ritter and Veronica Airey-Wilson, council President rJo Winch said.

Airey-Wilson, a Republican, will retire effective Dec. 31, Winch said. The council's Dec. 13 meeting its only meeting this month will be her last. She has served on the council since 1993.

"We will sadly miss her expertise and the guidance she has given us throughout her many years of service," Winch said. "We hope she will remain a resource should we need to call upon her."

Airey-Wilson did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday.

Airey-Wilson submitted paperwork to be considered for the city's voluntary retirement incentive program on Monday, which was the deadline for applications. She is one of about 30 city employees to apply for the program.

Ritter, a Democrat, was elected state representative for the 1st House District in November. He will resign from his council post on Jan. 3, and be sworn in as a state legislator two days later.

Winch said she hopes to select two new council members by the December meeting.

Airey-Wilson, 57, has served on the council for 17 years, including two as deputy mayor when the city operated under a city manager form of government.

She was charged last year in connection with a city hall corruption investigation that ensnared former Mayor Eddie Perez. Airey-Wilson was accused of fabricating evidence to show she paid for the installation of a granite countertop at her home, even though prosecutors asserted that the work was done for free. She was granted accelerated rehabilitation, a special form of probation, in October that will allow her criminal record to be expunged if successfully completed.

Under the voluntary retirement incentive program, Airey-Wilson would get lifetime medical coverage and four additional years of pension credit, according to city officials. The terms must be approved by the city's pension board.

Ritter, 28, was elected to the city council in 2007. He served as chairman of the panel's planning and economic development and legislative affairs committees.

The council must select a Democrat to fill Ritter's seat and a Republican to take Airey-Wilson's seat, according to city charter rules.

The Hartford Republican Town Committee has called a special meeting Tuesday at city hall to interview potential candidates for Airey-Wilson's seat.

Republican Town Chairman Michael McGarry said the town committee will either forward all candidates' resumes to the city council or make recommendations about who should fill the Republican seat.

Several people have already expressed interest in the position, McGarry said, including Corey Brinson, a Bloomfield lawyer who unsuccessfully challenged Jerry Farrell Jr. for the Republican nomination for secretary of the state this year; Steven Bonafonte, a former member of the Hartford Parking Authority; Gerald Pleasent, a former member of the Hartford Police Department; ; and Sweets Wilson, a Hartford resident who is not related to Airey-Wilson.

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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