Company Whose Contract Was Ended Says Panel Acted Without Its Full Complement Of 5 Members
January 07, 2011
The Hartford Parking Authority is being sued because it does not have a full, five-member board.
The board currently has only two members: Patricia LeShane, the chairwoman, and Kenneth B. Lerman, the commissioner.
The lawsuit was filed by Connecticut Parking Services Inc., a company that contracts with the authority. The suit comes nearly one month after the authority voted not to honor an agreement with the company. Prior to Dec. 9, Connecticut Parking Services operated the M&T parking lot at 1214-1218 Main St.
The decision to end its contract with Connecticut Parking Services for the M&T lot was made by only two members, and according to Hartford's municipal code, there must be five members on the board and a majority, at least three board members, must be present to vote on an issue, said Richard Rochlin, the attorney representing Connecticut Parking Services.
LeShane declined to comment on the suit Thursday, saying she hadn't seen it. Mark McGovern, parking authority chief executive officer, could not be reached for comment.
Rochlin noted that last summer, the parking authority amended its by-laws to permit the authority's current composition. However, he said the municipal code dictates how the authority should operate.
"The by-laws can't conflict with the code that gives them life," Rochlin said.
Connecticut Parking Services is not asking for financial compensation, but it could choose to later, Rochlin said. The company wants the court to tell the authority that it has voted improperly, and it wants the court to declare actions made by the authority when it had fewer than five members unenforceable.
Members of the parking authority are nominated by the mayor. Those appointments are then approved by the city council.
Mayor Pedro Segarra could not be reached for comment.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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