The state law Governor Malloy pushed through allowing his Commissioner of Education to waive the certification requirements for Paul Vallas had two simple provisions. To become Bridgeport’s permanent superintendent Vallas would have to complete his “probationary period” as Acting Superintendent and pass an Education Leadership Program at a Connecticut institution of higher education.
In early March, the members of the Bridgeport Board of Education loyal to Mayor Finch voted 5-3 to grant Vallas a three-year contract despite the fact that Vallas had not completed his probationary period or even begun his education leadership program.
The move was illegal and former Connecticut Judge Carmen Lopez brought a lawsuit to have the decision ruled illegal and to prevent Stefan Pryor, Malloy’s Commissioner of Education, from waiving Vallas’ certification requirements.
Instead of debating the merits of the case, lawyers working for Attorney General George Jepson and for the City of Bridgeport tried to have the case dismissed, based on the fact that the state marshal hired to deliver the lawsuit had failed to serve the papers correctly.
The individual hired to serve those papers was State Marshal Charles Valentino, a long-time Bridgeport political operative who served as one of Mayor Finch’s representatives on the Bridgeport Charter Revision Commission that had recommended that the democratically elected Board of Education be eliminated and replaced with one appointed by Finch.
Well, to make a long story short, State Marshal Valentino told the lawyer and the judge that he had served the defendants as required by the law.
The only problem; Marshal Valentino’s statement was a complete and utter lie. He had never delivered the paperwork in the way the law requires.
And now, as the CT Post is reporting, Finch’s Marshall is, “facing possible arrest for statements he made on the witness stand Wednesday in a civil case involving city Superintendent of Schools Paul Vallas.”
The CT Post article explains, “’I have never had this happen in a case I have been involved with,’ said Norman Pattis, attorney for the plaintiffs, after Valentino, on Pattis’ advice, asked to consult with a lawyer before testifying further. Pattis then urged state Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis to notify the state’s attorney for possible criminal action against Valentino.”
Since Valentino failed to serve Stefan Pryor correctly, the judge was required to dismiss the portion of the case against Commissioner of Education Stefan Pryor and the case was continued to June 3, 2013 to give the plaintiff’s time to serve Pryor correctly.
The Marshall’s failure to do his job properly allows Vallas, Pryor and the majority on the Bridgeport Board of Education another month before they will have to face a judge on the Board’s illegal move to grant Vallas a long-term contract.
You can read more at the CT Post: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Marshal-faces-possible-perjury-charge-4461065.php