While Pereira Talks About Ethics, Bridgeport BOE Continues to Violate FOIA

“Can you name someone Principled, Transparent, Ethical?”

This was a question posed by Only in Bridgeport’s Lennie Grimaldi earlier this week in a blog post dedicated to a comment made by former board member Maria Pereira. Her original comment was a jab at the lack of ethics and transparency in Bridgeport politics.

I find it funny criticism of principles, ethics and transparency would come from Pereira, of all people. Because, you know, plotting to get central office staff demoted and threatening the jobs of people who don’t agree with you is completely ethical.

That aside, what I find most interesting is this: while she’s pointing fingers all over Bridgeport and shamelessly promoting her mentor, former Judge Carmen Lopez, she fails to mention her buddies who now control the Board of Education.

Have they been transparent or ethical?

Hardly. In fact, since they took over, there’s been a decided lack of both qualities.

For one, meeting minutes are missing from the board’s website going all the way back to May 27th. This isn’t just a lacking transparency; it’s a violation of the state law.

According to Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Act, minutes for public meeting must be available for public inspection and posted on the agency’s website no later than seven days after the meeting.

The Board of Education has apparently disregarded this fact completely, as the only meeting minutes available between May and September are from the Sept 8 and August 25 regular board meetings. Essentially, if parents missed summer meetings–which I’m sure many do–at this point, there is no way for them to know what happened.

What makes this worse is the board is well aware of the problem. PAC president Tammy Boyle and others have brought this issue up during meetings.

This isn’t the only thing the board has been less-than-transparent about either.

As readers know, Board Chair Sauda Baraka was responsible for cancelling public forums on the New Harding High School Construction project, only to call the city out for their “lack of transparency.” In other words, she orchestrated the supposed “lack of transparency.”

I wonder if Pereira would call this behavior ethical? I guess anything goes as long as you believe your cause is righteous.

The “cause,” of course, being getting rid of Mayor Bill Finch at all costs.

And let’s not forget it was Baraka who asked the superintendent to remove the School Building Committee meeting minutes from the board’s website, denying parents easy access to this information.

Also don’t forget board member John Bagley refused to support the School Building Committee’s plans to host a website to make construction information accessible to the public.

Now they’re trying to make us all believe the School Building Committee was intentionally shrouded in mystery by the city.



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