We don’t need no stinkin Certificate of Occupancy…. Laws don’t apply to Rev. Moales

The strange twisted tale of Reverend Kenneth Moales, Jr. the Paul Vallas defender, Mayor Bill Finch campaign treasurer and Chairman of the Bridgeport Board of Education took another strange turn yesterday when the Connecticut Post reported that Moales’ 1500-seat church, the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, never acquired a certificate of occupancy when it opened in 2009 and still doesn’t have one today.

Not only is Moales’ Cathedral of the Holy Spirit one of the properties facing foreclosure due to Moales’ failure to pay an $8 million loan, but the Connecticut Post is reporting the property houses the religious school that is operated by Moales and his church.

Connecticut state law requires that every building have a certificate of occupancy before it can be used.  Certificates of occupancy are provided by the local building inspector, on behalf of the state, after it has been determined that all fire and building codes have been met.  The law reads that, “Any person who violates any provision of the State Building Code shall be fined not less than two hundred dollars or more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.”

In this case, it is the responsibility of the Bridgeport building inspector, a position appointed by Mayor Finch, to conduct all inspections and issue certificates of occupancy.

According to the Connecticut Post article, when confronted with the news, Kenneth Moales Jr. said, “We have one. We have a temporary one.”  And when he was told that there was no certificate of occupancy issued for the building, Moales said, “It’s not a problem.”

The Connecticut Post goes on to report that a Bridgeport building official “acknowledged it would be a violation of state law to occupy a building without a certificate of occupancy” but then explained that “he is not in a position to determine whether the church and Moales are operating illegally.”

The Connecticut Post story added, “When it was pointed out that the building has been used for the past four years as both a house of worship, drawing hundreds from around the area every Sunday, and a kindergarten-through-grade-six school, [the building official] said he was not aware of that.”

Meanwhile, Mayor Finch’s spokesperson told the Connecticut Post, “Mayor Finch was aware that the building was being utilized, having attended events at that site; however, he had no reason to suspect that an appropriate CO had not been issued.” The spokeswoman added, “A local chief elected official or chief executive officer exercises no jurisdiction or authority in such matters.”

What makes the story even more disturbing is that while the Connecticut Post is reporting that the building that lacks a certificate of occupancy houses a kindergarten-through-grade-six religious schools, documents show that the Love Christian Academy, a school that is registered to be kindergarten-through-grade-eight was supposed to be located at 1065 Central Avenue, another property owned by the church.

Furthermore, licensure documents filed with the Connecticut Department of Public Health show that Moales’ mother and sister presently have a “pending application” to expand their Kingdom’s Little Ones Academy to service 45 children and house it in the building the lacks the necessary occupancy certificate.

Other state licensure documents report that the Little One’s Daycare center (with 62 children) is presently located at 1277 Stafford Avenue and the Kingdom’s Little Ones Academy (with 15 children) is located at 1243 Stratford Avenue.  Both buildings are owned by the church and like the building that is supposed to be housing the religious school, these properties are also facing the same foreclosure proceedings.

At this point, it is not known whether the two daycare facilities are in buildings that have been properly inspected or have valid certificates of occupancy.

The complete Connecticut Post article can be found here:  http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/State-Church-must-close-without-paperwork-4680439.php

  • Linda174

    That’s a frequent theme here in CT and I suppose it’s also just a piece of paper.

    Laws don’t apply to Vallas, Pryor, Malloy, Finch, Jepsen, Adamowkski…until they need them to work in their favor.

    Who do I forget?

  • Linda174

    Interesting quote:

    Meanwhile, Mayor Finch’s spokesperson told the Connecticut Post, “Mayor Finch was aware that the building was being utilized, having attended events at that site; however, he had no reason to suspect that an appropriate CO had not been issued.” The spokeswoman added, “A local chief elected official or chief executive officer exercises no jurisdiction or authority in such matters.”

    Finch has no jurisdiction or authority about the certificate of occupancy of a building in his town where children and families pray and learn, HOWEVER he does have the authority to spout, judge and support a traveling out of state “reformer” who has NOT earned proper certification?

    Finch wields his authority to selfishly suit his personal agenda.

  • 1987tsd

    Moales said, “It’s not a problem.”

    That’s because it’s not a problem for Finch and Co. to just issue one, laws be damned. There is organized crime in Bridgeport and it’s face is Finch. But we all know he is not the puppet master.

    Brideport…where the circus never left town.

  • Pete Spain

    Note Ms. Ficarra’s reflexive robotic legalese — “… Mayor Finch … had no reason to suspect that a … CO had not been issued….”

    Why not speak with the mayor, the relevant city personnel, and then provide a statement to address the matter honestly … and offer corrective steps/options taken or that will be taken?

    Speaking of which, re Mr. Moutinho’s $400,000 driveway (a CT Post 7/17 article excerpted below***) — a story first reported on 6/2 by Daniel Tepfer and Brian Lockhart of the CT Post —
    is there any information forthcoming from that Mayor-initiated investigation?

    ***Asked to comment, Finch spokesman Elaine Ficarra gave the same non-answer the administration has provided since state Superior Court Judge Dale Radcliffe declared Moutinho’s driveway illegal: “When the city has information that it determines to make public regarding its legal strategy or filings it will issue appropriate press statements.”

    • msavage

      “Why not speak with the mayor, the relevant city personnel, and then provide a statement to address the matter honestly … and offer corrective steps/options taken or that will be taken?”

      What a concept! To have a normal, human conversation about an issue, and get back to the public with a normal, human response! Leave the legalese behind! Is this what happens when we have a sociopathic lawyer for our governor–he surrounds himself with other sociopathic lawyers and everyone starts hiding behind legalese and stops behaving/speaking like normal human beings? And look–we have a lawyer for a president as well! And he’s doing exactly the same thing. Imagine that.

  • buygoldandprosper

    Rev. MoneyBags is a millionaire, or so he claims. Rules do not apply.
    The building department does not know?
    The mayor is not accountable?
    The state is too busy to address another “distraction”.
    Bridgeport. The pay toilet of Connecticut.

  • Sad In Bridgeport

    For anyone who thinks we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel here, let me just say this: Moales had 4 years to get this addressed. Had there been a flood or fire insurance would have given him the finger. The building may or may not be safe. It most likely is, but there is no confirmation of it. This irresponsibility for a very basic chore of running a building is an example of how sloppy he is. And he’s chairman of the board of education. The fact that he would risk ruin for his church because he didn’t bother to have the building inspected reflects his ability to run important organizations.

  • Apartheid First

    It’s not about whether the building “seems” to be safe! That is why there are inspections! A lay person cannot see the potential safety issues–which include whether there are contingencies in place in the event of an emergency. It seems to be cowboy country out there in Bridgeport–an uncertified, unlicensed, unqualified Superintendent, giving charter school contracts to a member of the BoE whose uncertified, uninspected facilities may or may not be safe (and these arrangements may or may not be legal!).
    It is clear that in some districts Charter School operators look for nearly condemned buildings and landlords are happy to oblige. The costs of cleaning up such buildings for use may be more than the landlord “bargained” for, and even though in this country a greedy landlord is always deemed worthy of cash, bailouts, incentives, etc,, sometimes even these things are not possible.
    Look at the crumbling school in Hartford, where a ceiling collapsed on staff and students (I will try to get the link soon)–another example of Adamowski’s band-aids and of his policy of scooping up as much money as possible for himself and cronies, while allowing schools to languish dangerously.

    • Apartheid First

      Recently, Adamowski, the little Vallas of the East, brokered the sale in Willimantic of the long-languishing and deteriorating YMCA building between a prominent landowning family and Our Piece of the Pie, Adamowski’s hand-picked operators of the future Cash-cow Charter School for more alternative high school students than the district has (except that Adamowski deems 85% of Windham residents contemptuous and sub-normal)–perhaps they will have virtual students to go with their virtual online staff.
      Anyway, the YMCA was slated to be demolished, but “selling” it (for a dollar? along with all its “issues”?) to OPP takes it off the landowner’s hands. Who cares if the stench of urine is perceptible in nearby buildings (reportedly). This is for “alternative” students and they will doubtless secure an “alternative” certificate of occupancy that allows vermin, roaches, smells, and students to be there. Meanwhile, Adamowski has deemed Windham High School too big and wants to lop a wing off of it–do you see an inconsistency here? why not put an alternative program in the current High School? And why give the program to the uncertified OPP people?

      • msavage

        Did they decide against the old cinema building, then? Probably more cash to be scooped up via the YMCA deal. Or the involved parties paid a bigger bribe. Or whatever…

      • kaesar

        adamosky is another genius of illegality I think even superior to st.paul vallas

  • kaesar

    kingdom of heaven …. amen ! Sorry occupied w/out occupancy !

  • kaesar

    Adamosky , saint Paul Vallas and kishimoto are the geniuses of Illegalities in the state of Con (artist) – necticut. a real Circ du soleil !

  • kaesar

    a ticket to see one , two or all the 3 I action costs the taxpayers community millions of dollars ! and we are paying big time , big money ! moales will chant: Allelluia !

  • kaesar

    we just need the liquidator and senior attorney for the city of Detroit (Mr. Cavenoor ) to tell us: By the way….you know guys, you all there , the taxpayers , you are responsible for what happened here as you have done nothing to stop these crooks from robbing you…. so now since the city /state is banckrupt and we do not have any money
    we are going to take your pensions! NEXT !

  • kaesar

    NEXT !

  • buyoldandprosper

    I would suggest that COLTSVILLE become a Charter School. An homage to Newtown and a GREAT way to remediate a toxic site with federal money. Malloy could spin the proposal to his advantage.

    There is no reason to turn it into a National Park, “like Yellowstone” when it can be put to good use by the Knowledge Industry.

    IN FACT!! After they do that, pick a site off this list and make a school or daycare center! The local pols and the property owners will get jizzy over this idea! as the “education governor” Dan will be on board!


  • kaesar

    WHEN IN DOUBT , MAKE SH*T UP…. indeed and tell the taxpayers to shut up !