Trueworthy Only Apologizes
In a written statement spoken at the end of Wednesday night’s Common Council meeting, Republican Alderman Don Naples asked Democratic Alderman Michael Trueworthy to resign or he will seek a removal of office according to City Charter.
This follows a July 22 drunken outburst by Trueworthy in which he called Mayor Erin Stewart vulgar names and caused a raucous in her office. Later that night he entered the West Side Tavern and made anti-gay remarks.
“I rise to advise you of a pending action regarding a matter of significant importance to the Council. I am referring to the status of Alderman Trueworthy to this Council,” said Naples. “Both sides of the aisle have asked for Alderman Trueworthy to resign not only as Mayor Pro Tem, but as a Councilman as well. Mr. Trueworthy has resigned as Mayor Pro Tem and he remains on the Council.”
Naples said that after several days of looking at both sides of the issue, he is calling for Alderman Trueworthy to resign from Council as soon as possible.
“Our main emphasis must be placed on the conduct rather than the person,” said Naples. “Elected officials are presumed to have a higher behavioral standard than those who are not in public office. In this case Mr.Trueworthy’s conduct reflected poorly on himself, the Common Council and the City of New Britain.”
Naples cited section 4-10 of the City Charter that listed several reasons for removal of an elected official from the Common Council including incapacity and malfeasance in office.
“If Mr. Trueworthy’s behavior did not cross the line of incapacity and malfeasance, I have to ask what would?” said Naples. “I believe this is a first for New Britain and not a desirable one.”
Naples said he hoped that by presenting the statement Trueworthy would step down.
He did not. Instead Trueworthy again apologized for his behavior.
“I’ve apologized to the Mayor and Mr. (John) Healey and I would like to do again in public and ask for their forgiveness,” said Trueworthy. “I would like to apologize to those who weren’t here that day and supported me for many years.”
Trueworthy said it came to a shock to many who had never seen him drink.
“In 15 years that I’ve been an elected official, never once have I had any interaction,” said Trueworthy. “I made a mistake and it has become quite public. It is embarrassing to me and this body.”
Aldermen said following the meeting that now there will be a formal removal hearing.
According to the police report the July 22 event was reported around 12:15 p.m. but started earlier in the day as Trueworthy, 36, sent multiple emails to Stewart that she deemed “out of character”. He then called her several times “slurring his words” and calling her names.
Stewart said in the police report she suspected Trueworthy to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Shortly after the phone conversations, Trueworthy showed up at Stewart’s emergency door and started banging on it. Healey, chief of staff, answered it and requested Trueworthy use the common entrance. He refused, said the report, and Stewart let him in “in hopes of avoiding a disturbance in the corridor of City Hall.”
Trueworthy demanded a drink and said he would rifle through the office for alcohol if he was not given one, according to the report.
Trueworthy used vulgar language and told Stewart, he “was a better politician” and “was capable of doing a better job as Mayor”. He stated that Stewart should say she helped the City through a difficult financial time and was moving on to different endeavors.
Healey spoke with Jessica Gerratana, a Council Secretary and a friend of Trueworthy’s, who came in apparently to calm him down. Her husband, Greg Gerratana, was able to get Trueworthy out of the office. State Representative Rick Lopes also arrived at City Hall. Police also recommended Trueworthy’s wife be called as they were concerned with his children’s welfare.
Later that same night Trueworthy allegedly, showed up at West Side Tavern. When he was refused a drink he made anti-gay remarks to Tavern Owner Isaac Silva who asked him to leave.
After a police report was released on July 28, Trueworthy resigned as Mayor Pro Tem and apologized for his behavior saying he was attending alcohol meetings.
People across the Internet blogs and on Facebook have asked for him to resign. A petition with nearly 100 signatures asking him to resign has also circulated.