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Steve Goode

March 19, 2010

If you recall, earlier this month Hartford Corporation Counsel John Rose filed an appeal to the state Supreme Court over Judge Susan Peck's decision to remove a slate of candidates, including Democratic Registrar of Voters Olga Vazquez, from the ballot in the 5th district Democratic town committee primary.

But Peck also wisely granted Rose's motion for a stay of the decision so that the slate could essentially have its day at the polls the very next day. Well, as a former Dallas Cowboys lineman once said, "they" as in the Vazquez slate, "got blowed out."

The result essentially rendered Rose's appeal of Peck's decision moot because they weren't denied their opportunity to let the voters choose But that didn't prompt him to pull the appeal.

So the plaintiffs attorney did it for him, filing a motion to dismiss the appeal. And what did Rose do? He filed an objection to the motion to dismiss, of course.

In the end, and that means earlier today, the plaintiffs were notified by the state Supreme Court that their motion to dismiss a meaningless appeal that should have been withdrawn in the first place, was granted.

This presents another in a long, costly string of losses lately for Rose. Tax payers are out $200,000 for unsuccesful FOI appeals by Rose's office in the last 18 months, and the FOI commission recently called for him to pay a $1,000 fine out of his own pocket in an attempt to get him to realize it's time tto start playing by the rules. The city is also out more than $500,000 in the Robert Murtha case and it could be a lot more by the time it's all over.,

Some members of the city council have finally taken notice though. There are two items of interest regarding Rose on Monday's agenda. The first is a resolution urging Mayor Eddie A. Perez to no longer authorize Rose to appeal any FOI decisions unless the council approves them, and if they do any fines or sanctions fall on Rose and not the taxpayers.

The second asks the council to consider a vote of no confidence in Rose due to his office's recent involvement in election contests -see above - and his Detroit Lions-like losing streak with the FOI commission.

There's a good chance these items will get pulled or won't get the support needed for a vote, but if they do Rose better hope his winning percentage improves dramatically.

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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