September 27, 2005
By OSHRAT CARMIEL, Courant Staff Writer
The Hartford city council on Monday upheld the first vetoes
Mayor Eddie A. Perez has ever issued.
The vetoes were a refusal of the council's request that the
mayor investigate the circumstances of two cases of alleged police
By a vote of 7-1, the council declined to override the vetoes
-- thereby supporting the mayor's position.
"We've been doing a lot of directing the mayor to do things,
and now we hear it's not appropriate," said Councilwoman
Veronica Airey- Wilson.
She was citing the mayor's written reasons for refusing to investigate
the two police matters.
"Now we know," Airey-Wilson
The mayor had said that the council overstepped its authority
when it asked him two weeks ago to study the cases of Kendall
J. Williams, a homeless man who sustained multiple fractures
in an altercation with police, and Ignacio Vilchel, whom police
shot four times when they came to his house to arrest him on
The issue marked the first time the mayor has flexed his new
veto power under the city charter that took effect in January
2004. It was also an unusual public disagreement between the
mayor and council, which is largely seen as under his control.
Still, the mayor offered the
council a concession after issuing his vetoes. He sent council
members a letter promising he and the police chief would appear
before them for a presentation on the "process and procedures
the city uses to address [police] complaints."
That offer seemed to satisfy council members -- at least enough
to uphold his veto.
"We have a letter from the mayor, who wants to speak with
the council," said Councilman James M. Boucher.
Boucher credited the council for bringing about that result.
"The council really is moving this issue forward," he
All but Councilman Kenneth H. Kennedy, who sponsored the resolution,
seemed to agree.
Kennedy's was the only vote
to override the mayor's veto. Before doing so, though, he criticized
the mayor's written reference to his resolution as an act of
someone "eager to score quick
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