Kenneth Moales’ church “Miraculously” gets certificate of occupancy and Board of Education votes to pay for Vallas’ legal fees.
According to the Connecticut Post, “Just hours after city officials conceded that the Rev. Kenneth Moales Jr. had been operating his East Side cathedral without a certificate of occupancy for the past four years, all the inspections and paperwork were completed –and he was given a temporary one.”
Later, at a Bridgeport Board of Education meeting this evening, Moales, who is chairman of Bridgeport’s Board of Education and served as Mayor Bill Finch’s campaign treasurer, was able to push through a resolution authorizing the Board of Education to pay for Paul Vallas’ legal fees despite the fact that the lawsuit that removed Vallas named him as an individual and the Board of Education was not a party to the lawsuit.
However rather than allow Vallas to take financial responsibility for his failure to acquire the necessary credentials to serve as Bridgeport’s superintendent, the members of the Bridgeport Board of Education members loyal to Mayor Finch and Kenneth Moales Jr. voted to allocate at least $50,000 to pay for Vallas’ mounting legal bills.
Of course, Bridgeport is the poorest school district in the state and 80% of the City’s $225 million school budget is funded with state taxpayer dollars. In addition, although Paul Vallas brags that he “balanced” Bridgeport’s school budget last year, the gap was actually filled with a last-minute $3.5 million dollar forgivable loan from the State of Connecticut.
According to the loan agreement, which was orchestrated by Governor Malloy, Bridgeport won’t have to repay the loan if the funds were used for education purposes.
Meanwhile, controversy continues to surround this year’s Bridgeport school budget because Mayor Finch has refused, to date, to allocate sufficient dollars to meet the state’s minimum expenditure requirement which requires the City to spend a minimum amount on its schools in order to qualify for state aid. Finch’s action has left the school budget about $3 million dollars short.
Despite these various financial problems, the Finch loyalists voted as a block to divert funds to pay for Vallas’ legal expenses.
As part of the evening’s festivities, it was announced that the outside attorney hired to defend Vallas would reduce his hourly fee from $425 to $275 per hour.
The Connecticut Post story on the certificate of occupancy can be found here: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Miraculously-church-get-certificate-of-occupancy-4682085.php. Links to stories related to the legal fees will be added as they become available.