Town attorney exonerated in Bridgewater
Published 8:23 pm, Wednesday, August 4, 2010
This, despite the Statewide Grievance Committee's finding this week Mr. Baker did nothing unethical in a real estate transaction he had handled for the ex-wife of First Selectman Bill Stuart and the Bridgewater Fire Department.
"When I reflect back on this whole situation, I continue to be distressed," Mr. Baker said Wednesday. "There was a full trial and a lot of expense. He (Mr. Garlasco) worked tenaciously to bring a conviction."
Mr. Baker said he is convinced the grievance -- which could have brought serious sanctions by the legal profession's review board -- was part of "what town officials say is a crusade on the part of this individual to harass everyone involved with the town."
Mr. Garlasco said Wednesday, "I respect the decision of the committee."
The New Milford attorney contended in the complaint there was a conflict of interest on Mr. Baker's part when he requested in December 2009 that the town of Bridgewater waive its right of first refusal to purchase property at 79 Hut Hill Road.
Mr. Baker said he was only trying to correct an "earlier oversight" from when the property had originally been purchased.
The Grievance Committee found last Friday Mr. Baker "did not engage in unethical conduct" in the situation.
"The record lacks clear and convincing evidence to substantiate a finding (of) a conflict of interest... accordingly, we dismiss the complaint," Attorney Jorene Couture wrote in the decision memorandum.
Mr. Garlasco declined to comment on the inference that he is harassing officials in the town of Bridgewater.