Fairfield RTC chairman questions Town Attorney’s directive

The Fairfield Republican Town Committee Chairman James Millington has questioned Town Attorney Stanton Lessor’s directive to the Town Clerk and Registrar of Voters offices to begin to expend taxpayer money in preparation for election in which the court-mandated stay in place.

The Town has filed an appeal of the decision to hold a special election on June 6 for the office of Selectman. The filing of the appeal resulted in an automatic stay on the election that was recently recognized by the Supreme Court in its April 6 ruling denying the Town’s application for an emergency hearing before the state’s highest court. The Democrats recent motion to remove the stay is an acknowledgment that a stay is now in place. The Democrats motion is still pending.

“We should not be spending any taxpayer money on ordering ballots and moving forward with this election until we get a decision from the court on Democrats’ motion to lift the stay on the June 6 election and/or the appeal is heard” Millington said Monday. “Town Attorney Stanton Lessor, whom himself signed the petition to force a special election, is ignoring the court imposed stay on the election and moving forward. I believe his actions are conflicted by his own personal bias in this case and he should not be directing the course of the election until the motion to lift the stay or the appeal is heard.” “There are two opposing legal opinions in this case, a stay on the election is in place and the court is in the process of moving forward. I wish the court would hear this case tomorrow, but that is not in our hands and we need to wait for this process to come to a conclusion in the court system,” Millington said.

The current election date requires certain actions need to be taken by the Town Clerk and Registrar of Voters. To meet the June 6 date, those actions would have to later this week. However, with a stay in place, the election is on hold until the stay is lifted or the appeal is heard. To date, the Judge has decided to leave the stay in place pending an appeal and the Democrats have filed a motion to lift the stay.

Millington stated “if that means pushing off the election date, then that is what should be done to allow everyone their right to be heard in court and to save the taxpayers from any additional expenditures.” He went on to say “If we continue down this road, print ballots, print absentee ballots and direct staff expend time planning this election for June 6 and the appeal is still pending, we will have wasted thousands of taxpayer dollars. As the Supreme Court suggested in its earlier ruling, there is no hurry or harm in waiting to see where this case is going as a full board of selectman is currently seated.”

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