East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo, in the wake of the indictment of four town police officers accused of racial profiling and intimidation among other things, had this to say when asked by a reporter what he would he do for the Latino community. Warning: This is painful to watch and is now being reported and picked up across the nation (USA Today, ABC, CNN, Atlantic Wire and others).
Today, Gov. Dannel Malloy and Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra got their licks in. Both released statements condemning Maturo’s flippant remark. Malloy’s was out before 9 a.m. and said, ““The comments by East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo are repugnant. They represent either a horrible lack of judgment or worse, an underlying insensitivity to our Latino community that is unacceptable. Being tired is no excuse. He owes an apology to the community, and more importantly, he needs to show what he’s going to do to repair the damage he’s done. And he needs to do it today.”
Before 11 a.m., Segarra was in the mixed saying he is doubly offended. “As both a Latino and as Chief Elected Official of Connecticut’s Capital City, I am disgusted by Mayor Maturo’s comment. As Mayor, I stand strongly behind the men and women who protect and serve our City and encourage our residents to work as partners toward the best interests of our communities,” Segarra said. “That cannot happen if accusations of discrimination are dismissed and disregarded. Many have worked diligently to correct the painful history of racism in this country, and Mayor Maturo’s comments are a disappointing example of how far we still have to go to.” Ouch!
I’ve met Mayor Maturo on a couple of occasions. He seems to be a nice man. However in this case, not only did the wheels come off, the car rolled over, down an embankment before bursting into flames. Then he made worse trying to walk it back (how did he wander into spaghetti and his Italian heritage?)
I’ve also had my share of crises control situations when working for the state legislature. In this case, I would have advised Maturo to simply fake a heart attack and be wheeled out of the place before the hole got bigger. Unbelievable.