'Citizens" seek to thwart Metro Center appeal; board tackles 'illegal' hiring today
The "Concerned Citizens" group, which last week won a court ruling that ordered an outside environmental consultant off the job at the Metro Center project, is moving to make sure town Conservation Director Thomas Steinke is quickly restored to that role.
The group yesterday filed a motion to terminate an automatic stay of the Superior Court judge's ruling should town officials decide to appeal the order barring Gary Weddle from serving as the town's wetlands-compliance monitor for the project.
Based on the court's findings, the motion states, "any appeal taken by the defendant in this action would only be for purposed of delay."
The group added: "Based upon the defendant's own testimony concerning his non-performance of the duties assigned to the office of wetlands compliance officer and the public interest in the proper oversight of the environmental issues related to the project to which the defendant was illegally appointed as found by this court, the due administration of justice requires that the automatic stay of the court's judgment be terminated."
The Conservation Commission is set to meet at 7:45 p.m. today in Sullivan-Independence Hall to discuss the ruling.
"I'm not in charge," said First Selectman Kenneth Flatto, who in late 2007 had ordered Steinke and his staff off the job.
Flatto said the decision to appeal the court ruling, however, is up to Weddle since it specifically addresses his hiring by the commission.
Town Attorney Richard Saxl said he believes there are "serious deficiencies in the written opinion" and disputed the notion any appeal would be taken simply to delay action, but would rather be based on merit. "We don't know where Dr. Weddle and the commission are headed right now," he said.