The Wheelhouse Digest
10:14 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Privacy vs. Transparency; Bridgeport Police; House Stenographer Goes on a Rant

The state's task force examining victim privacy and public information met Wednesday for a marathon session to consider issues at stake in restricting Connecticut's Freedom of Information Act. "Privacy now is so fleeting and so easily violated," testified Morgan Rueckert, the attorney for 22 Newtown families. One brief exchange captured on video put its finger on the pulse of the debate. That and more below in The Wheelhouse Digest.

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State Rep. DebraLee Hovey during Wednesday's FOI/privacy task force hearing.
State Rep. DebraLee Hovey during Wednesday's FOI/privacy task force hearing.
Credit CT-N

"BURST OF FRUSTRATION" AT FOI HEARING
A three-minute exchange during a five-hour discussion gets at the nugget.

Getting right at the heart of the matter, a few words exchanged during Wednesday's hearing for the Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public’s Right to Know highlighted central issues in the current debate: whether the question is the public availability of information, or whether it's about free speech, and what we do with that information. For legal experts and many in the media, it's the latter; for victim's advocates, the problem is that free speech remedies are after the fact, when the damage has been done. Matt Kauffman excerpted the exchange in a short video. 

Read more at The Hartford Courant.

Editor's note: WNPR has submitted testimony to the panel, asking for the release of public records which have been shielded from view by legislative action.

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Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch has said he asked the police chief to review the racial slur incident and report to him.
Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch has said he asked the police chief to review the racial slur incident and report to him.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

A PROTEST AGAINST A POLICE LECTURER'S RACIAL SLURS
During an ethics training session, slurs were allegedly repeated, and went unchecked.

Just as the East Haven police officers on trial for violating civil rights are preparing to make their case, the Bridgeport Police Hispanic Society is demanding the resignation of James Nardozzi, Assistant Police Chief in that city. Nardozzi is accused of saying nothing when a visiting professor, while conducting an ethics training session last month, repeatedly used an ethnic slur referring to Hispanics, among other racist statements.

Read more at The Connecticut Post.

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Dianne Reidy is pulled out of the House chamber Wednesday night while still yelling into a microphone.
Dianne Reidy is pulled out of the House chamber Wednesday night while still yelling into a microphone.
Credit ABC News

STENOGRAPHERS HAVE FEELINGS, TOO
A bizarre outburst after a momentous House vote disparaged Freemasons and the government.

Dianne Reidy, a stenographer for the House, took an opportunity to grab the mic just after a vote was completed late Wednesday night to criticize government. "The Constitution would not have been written by Freemasons!" she yelled. As SoundCloud commenter Martin Van Butchell put it, "There are about a thousand legitimate rants she could have gone on about our worthless government...and instead she rants about Freemasons. FAIL. But a nice distillation of everything wrong with Congress."

Watch more at ABC News.