Giving Up Heroine


Assistant Chief Ellen Murray (Visual Approximation)

Stratford has been blessed over the years with women who have worked tirelessly, bravely and effectively for the citizens. Some names come to mind immediately. Pat Ulatowski is one of them. Before being forced out by Miron after 39 and a half years, she dedicated thousands of hours to the taxpayer (unpaid) to ensure that procedures were followed correctly and justly. A little known fact is that Ms. Ulatowski donated an organ to a relative and within two WEEKS was back at her desk doing the Town’s business. Not once did Ms. Ulatowksi receive any compensation for the hours and hours of overtime, weekends and volunteer work she accepted on our behalf. She was continually willing to help any citizen wade their way through government paperwork.

Another name that stands out is Elaine O’Keefe. The former Health Director (also forced out by Miron) essentially taught herself toxic waste clean up regulations and worked tirelessly for us to make sure the Raybestos site was properly and safely capped and converted into usable (and taxable) property. Think of that the next time you go to Walmart, Shop-Rite or Home Depot.

It saddens us deeply to lose another heroine. On June 13th Assistant Fire Chief Ellen Murray tendered her resignation to the Town after 27 years and nine months of outstanding service. In 2009 Ms. Murray was named Firefighter of the Year and has quietly served the residents of Stratford who needed it most. We cannot list the numerous citations and awards she has received for her service due to space limitations. We also cannot list the thousands of hours she volunteered in any way she could to help anyone who needed it. It is a simple fact that after she left her overnight shift (in tears) for the last time, she went immediately to help out with the Firefighters event for child burn victims. She will, of course, be mortified by this posting. Seeing her name in print is not something she ever desired. To that we say, “Too bad, get over it”.


52 Responses to “Giving Up Heroine”

  1. 1 rex525

    While Miron appointees Buturla, Ridenhauer, Cavanaugh, Moffet, McCarthy and Collier still work here at taxpayer expense this is very troubling indeed.

    Restore the Pride? I’m waiting, don’t fault me if I don’t hold my breath.

    While we’re on the subject, maybe the Republican Town Committee will run a fundraiser for the wrongfully unemployed McNeil and Soto? Oh wait, never mind….. it’s not election season yet.

  2. 2 jezebel282


    It turns out that the CT Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) recently notified (former) Assistant Chief Murray and Chief Kepchar that their complaints have passed the MAR (Merit Assessment Review) on ALL counts. The next step is that the Commission will assign an investigator to review the case and determine what documents and witnesses will be necessary to find out what happened. The investigator may then issue notice of a fact-finding conference and/or mandatory mediation conference to the parties. The investigator may also request that the parties provide documents and/or witnesses at the fact-finding conference. The Commission has the right to subpoena documents and/or witnesses, but voluntarily producing documents and witnesses by the parties saves much time.

    Which leaves us to wonder about the timing here:

  3. 3 jezebel282


    According to several eye/ear witnesses, when asked about the abrupt departure of one of the most proficient, dedicated Firefighters in the State of Connecticut, Chief Cavanaugh’s response was: “Make sure she returns her keys.”

    Aside from the obviously shocking lack of feeling in this statement, it strikes us as one of the most well, STUPID things we’ve ever heard. He’s worried about keys? After having those keys for 27.75 YEARS?

    Whattaguy. He must have been at the top of the class in the Miron School of Personnel Management. The cause of this loss is becoming clearer, don’t you think?

  4. 4 1george1

    It is good to have inspiring heros and heroines.

    Monday June 14, within to town council public forum
    presentation I did a gallagher prop presentation.

    I started with a tiny plastic shovel = symbolic of efforts
    of work against the political tide.
    About as effective as government stopping bp spill
    ot integrity of goveernment.

    Next I had a couple of DOM’s “FOR SALE” PROPS
    In blue = USA DEMOCRATS

    Next I had a (7) Group of GREEN LANTERNS of the Universe.
    Look up the GREEN LANTERN power up slogan…..
    An “earth green lantern” was named Jon Stewart.

    I also had 7 miniture “Justice League of America” figures.

    Included was WONDER WOMEN.

    I admire many WOMEN.

  5. 5 mayor2013


    I am saddened by the news that Asst. Chief Murray will retire. I watched her climb through the ranks and was always so very proud of her. I only hope that she made this decision with a clear mind and not under duress. I also know the other two ladies you speak of in your posting and I can say that Ms. Ulatowski was devoted to the Town of Stratford and it was reflected in her daily performance. She is now employed by the City of Bridgeport where she carries on her reputation for devotion to duty and the City is taking full advantage of her knowledge, work ethic and expertise. Ms. O’Keefe was devoted to the Town of Stratford and her record in the filed of public health cannot be matched. She is now employed by Yale University and is rising through the ranks as would be expected. So, Asst. Chief Murray need not fear – there is life and lots more to accomplish beyond the town of Stratford.

    Gods Speed to Ellen.

  6. 6 jezebel282


    Those were very kind words and, although I am sure Ms. Murray would be embarrassed, they are absolutely true.

    “she made this decision with a clear mind and not under duress.”

    Sadly, recent events indicate otherwise:

  7. 7 mayor2013

    Sadly, recent events indicate otherwise:

    Then she must rescind her retirment papers and take some time to evaluate her decision. After reading the CHRO complaint affidavit by Ms. Murray – she would be very foolish to let them off the hook. For very selfish reasons, I would like her to stay and fight it out. The fire chief can go pound sand. I really want to express it differently, but I cannnot on this public blog.

    Rescind the retirement papers and “give them HELL!

  8. 8 1george1

    A few people have been surprized by the lack of outrage on this blog
    about several recent Harkins / Council / Attorney situations.

    I explained that this blog has a political audience of mostly like minded
    people who regrad themselves as the “masters” and heros.

    Talk to dick or jim miron – they think they are the good guys.
    Some of the bloggers / readers are as deluded as they are.

    Patty U, Ellen, Diane, Elaine, are good and capable people.
    A couple were not treated well.
    A couple are over paid or pensioned, among others.

    They deserve good compensation.
    We can honestly disagree on levels of compensation.

    I would never have gone to Town Councils starting 1998
    if it were not for people dying and the police / FBI / system
    not investigating and stopping it / prosecution.

    Your beloved unions and people you like and do not like have
    lists of people I believe murdered including:
    – Evelyn O’Sullivan – Stfd HS Gym teacher, wife of USPS Arbitration witness,
    John, they lived on Wakelee
    – Ed Fennell – R Registrar – Condo in North Stfd
    – rUSS PLEASic – Sutton Place USPS-NALC Union President
    – Anthony Mazzarese – Yale Street – WW II Vet – gave Support affadavit
    – Amy Knott McDonald – died week after husband worked on my home
    – Alex Kozak – Eagle Scout buddy of DeCilio – Computer expert
    – Parents of friends all died in early 2000s.

    Balance moved to:

  9. 9 jezebel282


    “Talk to dick or jim miron – they think they are the good guys.”

    No need to talk to them. That’s what sociopaths do.


    “Then she must rescind her retirment papers and take some time to evaluate her decision.”

    I have never heard anyone accuse Assistant Chief Ellen Murray of being a coward or not having guts. But at the end of the emotions there are the decisions you must make for yourself and your family. When you talk to the people that must work under people like John Buturla, Donna Best or James Cavanaugh what you hear is exhaustion and disgust. It has been 4 years now that they have not seen justice or fairness and it appears the situation has no chance of improving.

    It’s like going to the doctor and saying “Doctor, it hurts when I do this.”

    Sometimes the only correct answer is, “Don’t do that.”

    Some people retire because they can’t afford not to and others because they can see no other remedy.

  10. 10 1george1

    Thank you for leaving the Stratford Deaths in place.

    I also believe Matt Catalono’s parents

    Moved to:

  11. 11 jezebel282


    Cottages on Long Beach West on fire

    Written by John Kovach
    Friday, 18 June 2010 16:06

    Eyewitness report that cottages on Long Beach West are again on fire.

    You know who’s not there directing firefighters and making sure the blaze is put out effectively and safely?

    Assistant Fire Chief Ellen Murray.

  12. 12 nomoreyears

    Cavanaugh really screwed the call up on LBW. Heard a truck got stuck in the sand on the way out. Way to go chief.

  13. 13 jezebel282


    The Stratford Star

    Mayor John A. Harkins said the lag between construction of the road and the removal of the cottages could have contributed to the incident.

    “The Stratford Fire Department responded to the scene shortly before 4 p.m. and has contained the blaze without incident,” Harkins said in a statement. “Fortunately, nobody was hurt. Unfortunately, this could have been prevented had the state Department of Environmental Protection granted my request to complete the work when it began in March, rather than stop and wait for the end of the plover nesting season in September. While we have increased police patrols in the area due to my concern for safety, the only way to remove the threat of another fire was to remove the cottages quickly. This mattered little to state regulators. Once again, bureacratic* red tape and environmental hysteria got in the way of common sense. Thank God nobody was hurt due to state government’s lack of common sense or regard for the concerns of this community. Many thanks to our firefighters for getting the blaze under control.
    The $909,000 restoration project is being paid for with federal stimulus Monday.”

    And then in the CT Post:
    The blaze was started by a person or persons, according to Fire Marshal Brian Lampart.
    “How and where exactly it started, we’ll never know,” he said.

    OK, it’s not the first fire there. Maybe not even the last one. Obviously, access to abandoned structures are a great temptation to vandals. Apparently you can tear down carousels without anyone noticing either.

    But this statement is astounding:
    “Once again, bureacratic* red tape and environmental hysteria got in the way of common sense.”

    Really John? “Environmental hysteria?” You couldn’t just leave it at praise for the the FD? You HAD to take a swipe at “environmental hysteria”? You are saying that educated people at the DEP and ARRA administration were “hysterical” while they were in the conference room deciding upon when to begin demolition of the abandoned structures in an environmentally sensitive area? Never mind the money will only be available beginning Monday?

    I’m really sort of stupefied here why it was necessary to blame “hysterical environmentalists” when the Fire Marshall stated (and it should be obvious to anyone) that the fire was started by a person(s)?

    *Note to John Kovach: It is spelled “bureaucratic”.

  14. 14 tommurray13

    Although I choose not to be a regular contributor to this blog, due to obvious personal reasons I have been following this thread. Be that as it may, I feel obligated chime in because I don’t want someone else blamed for something that rests squarely upon my shoulders. Chief Cavanaugh, while on scene for part of the Long Beach West incident yesterday was not in operational command of that fire, I was.

    Late yesterday afternoon “B” Platoon (of which I am a member) from the Stratford Fire Department responded to that structure fire. En route to the call Stratford Engine 5 was involved in a motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Main St. and Woodend Rd. when a driver veered left, into Engine 5, after pulling over for the other responding Engines (the cars fault, not theirs). This put us down one Fire Engine and three firefighters on the initial response.

    Upon arrival we found a single cottage on fire, with the structure fully involved in very close proximity to a row of others (the closest building being approximately four feet away). The two Engines who successfully arrived out at LBW via the new gravel road set up their (limited) water supply and started to protect the adjacent cottages to prevent fire spread and to reduce the environmental impact of this event (for those of you reading this saying to yourselves “why didn’t they just let them burn to save everyone the hassle”, we can’t. It’s a violation of the law and of our oaths to protect life and property, besides were firefighters, we can’t help ourselves).

    While both Fire Engines exhausted their limited supply of “tank water” we had on scene, other Firefighters set up a floating portable pump which gave us a slight supply of sea water. At that point the fire was in danger of overtaking the nearest cottage, with its back porch already starting to burn. This is the point when Engine 5 was cleared from the scene of their motor vehicle accident and continued to their Long Beach assignment. As they arrived at the Long Beach parking lot, with myself knowing full well that this vehicle is the heaviest Fire Engine in our fleet, I and I alone I made the judgment call to have them proceed down the new gravel road and into the scene. I weighed the risk vs. the benefit and unfortunately came up “craps”.

    At that point the firefighters on scene tenaciously rounded up every bucket, garbage can, pot and pan they could find off of their Fire Engines and from the adjacent vacant cottages and formed the first “Bucket Brigade” employed by SFD on an emergency scene in probably over 100 years. The end result was that the fire was retained to the cottage of origin, no other cottages were consumed, the environmental impact was reduced, no one was injured and Engine 5 was towed out of the sand without damage (without damage from the sand, not the car accident).

    Although it is not a closely held secret that Chief Cavanaugh and I share some disagreements, I can not with clear conscience let another man take the blame for something I am solely responsible for. I made the decision to send Engine 5 down that road, and I stick by that decision. With that said, any criticism of this event should be directed at no one else but me, however, every resident should also be aware of the proud actions of their firefighters and lieutenants on that emergency scene. They performed their jobs with the utmost professionalism and efficiency under less than optimum conditions and refused to give up despite those less than optimum conditions. I can proudly say that I am blessed to be associated these firefighters.

    At this time I would like to thank the Bridgeport Fire Department who assisted in water supply operations via their Fire Boat from “Lewis’ Gut” later in the incident, as well as the Stratford Public Works Dept.

    In closing, as this thread is dedicated to my wife, the recently retired Assistant Chief Ellen Murray, on a professional level I will miss her dearly. She served this town with pride and distinction for nearly 28 years and she deserves only the best as she reenters civilian life. I would storm the gates of hell with that woman, unfortunately for me I’m sure she will be called in the other direction.

  15. 15 nomoreyears

    Tom Murray,

    You are a good man.

  16. 16 phineast

    Nomoreyears is 110% correct.

  17. 17 jezebel282

    Chief Murray,

    Thank you for posting. I hope many of our readers bookmark your post so that in the future when they need a definition of “Man-up” they can refer back to it.

    I also hope, on this Father’s Day, that someone has pointed out your post to your children. It is something they should print out and keep with them always.

    But your post caused me to pause for a moment. Well, OK, more than a moment. After reading it and rereading it, I had this thought; what if our leaders (elected and appointed) responded to events like this? Rather than letting the situation’s responsibility be foisted upon something or someone else, they accepted it and even more, embraced it.

    This is what I did, this was why it was wrong, these are the steps I took to correct it, no one else is to blame. No one is ever correct 100% per cent of the time. When you think of the time and energy spent by politicians trying to spin every action into something positive or blameless, it truly makes you wonder if they have any stamina left to do anything else.

    What’s more, by doing what you have done their credibility would be enhanced and our faith would be restored.

    And here is why: My family sleeps better at night knowing that you are on duty protecting us. Thank you.

  18. 18 pt4341

    I could not have said it better myself.

    Retired Assistant Chief Ellen Murray is a very lucky woman.

  19. 19 pt4341

    I would also like to wish her a happy and healthy retirement.

  20. 20 jezebel282


    “Retired Assistant Chief Ellen Murray is a very lucky woman.”

    I am not so sure about that. There are not many wives that would be thrilled about their husbands running into burning buildings. Or for that matter putting in ungodly hours due to manpower shortages.

    You just don’t run into that many happy wives of cops and firefighters.

  21. 21 sudds

    1) Who is this Harkins person that spoke to the press???

    2) Thank you Chief Murray! But…

    3) Where was our “Public Information Officer” on this? Why do I need to get my information from a random blog entry when my tax dollars are supposedly paying someone to inform the public??? Day TWO on the job, and he should already be on probation!!!

  22. 22 paradisegreen

    Let me get this straight. The entire reason that the voters of Stratford chose to sell the beach to the fish and wildlife people was for the preservation of the environment, specifically the piper plovers. Was Mr. Harkins not in town that day? Or was that the best he could come up with to point the blame somewhere else?

  23. 23 mikereynolds

    No the reason the voters chose to sell the beach was for $10 million and someone to manage the beach, taking it out of the hands of the town. The environment was not the primary reason. And how did that turn out by the way? I recall that our former Mayor sold the voters a ‘bill of goods’ and that the deal fell apart since the beach wasn’t worth $10 million.

    John Harkins is spot on when he called it ‘environmental hysteria’. That’s exactly what it is. I’m surprised Marcia Stewart hasn’t launched a missive yet.

    Instead of letting common sense rule out and get rid of those cottages in the spring and summer we all have to wait until the fall before the contractor can go in there and FINALLY! get rid of the cottages that everyone complains about and keep burning down.

  24. 24 jezebel282


    “No the reason the voters chose to sell the beach was for $10 million and someone to manage the beach, taking it out of the hands of the town. The environment was not the primary reason.”

    I would agree with you completely if anything you said were accurate.

    The driver behind the idea to sell LBW to the Trust for Public Land for transfer to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was Marcia Stewart. Miron just saw a quick political opportunity. Poor Marcia had no idea what kind of “ally” Miron would turn out to be.

    But let’s use a little common sense ( I know, it’s not usual in Stratford). If the deal was just for the $10 million, we could have gotten twice that, maybe even 10 times that, by selling it to a commercial developer (probably brought in by Rich Buturla). That may yet happen since there is currently no deal on the table to do anything else with it.

    But I have to agree with paradisegreen, I can see no sense at all in blaming “environmental hysteria” when clearly nothing in the environment caused the fires.

    Would they have not burnt down if they weren’t there? Of course. But they have been there, vacant and abandoned for ten years now. And that is “hysteria”?

    Call me crazy…but I would have blamed vandals instead.

  25. 25 mikereynolds

    “The driver behind the idea to sell LBW to the Trust for Public Land for transfer to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was Marcia Stewart.”

    Sure, that was the driver…but I think $10 million and USFW was what motivated voters.

    Of course vandals are to blame for the fires but those cottages would be mostly gone if common sense ruled out over birds.

    But in my book Marcia Stewart and people of her ilk certainly fall under the “environmental hysteria” category.

  26. 26 mikereynolds

    Sorry, I should have said

    ….but I think $10 million and USFW management of the land was what motivated voters.

  27. 27 jezebel282


    “$10 million and USFW management of the land was what motivated voters.”

    OK…then I missed your point. I agree that the voters believed the town would get $10 million (not that anyone would see their taxes go down. It was Miron, remember?) AND that the land would be off limits to developers and reserved for, you know, the environment?

    My only point was that if you are going to take a swipe at someone take it at the ones who are responsible not the ones who are doing what they are directed to do (The DEP).

  28. 28 phineast

    Stating that LBW could be developed commercially is a piece of misinformation. It cannot. There is so much red tape wrapped around what you can and cannot do at that site from a federal standpoint let alone state standpoint(DEP RULES) it is not going to happen-not in this life time anyway. Having been designated the last barrier beach in this part of the state if not the entire state creates an even more difficult development scenario. Residents can have all the fantasies they want about “how much” money the town can “get” for it which ranks up there in the Miron fantasy school of though….but it is not going to happen. Unless someone goes in and uses the buildings that are already there, there will be no new permits to build-federally, that is the bottom line.
    When Miron first brought up the idea of selling the beach he was all about the money. He could have given a rats rear about the environmental issues. He will tell you he “cared” about the beach but like all of his other lies they came back to bite him in the ass. If he had cared he would have done HIS JOB correctly—but he failed-on several levels-as mayor he failed to protect the interest of the community by putting together a contract that was clear, complete and met the criteria for a sale. From a legal point of view-he and his “legal beagle” wrote a contract that was so poor that a 1st year law student would have got an F on the assignment, not to mention failing to making sure that all the pieces were in place to protect the entire basis of the contract. He was an idiot and will always be an idiot. In the mean time, Stratford residents have been raped for 10 years of legal fees on this one paying double time (my guess) during the Miron term. All the residents wanted was tho have the area properly cared for with public access-getting the cash would have been amazing-and frankly if there was no cash the people would never have even considered selling. Miron was not truthful during his pandering-no big surprise-like everything else he touched, he ruined it-makes me laugh that he thinks he has a shot in the state……we will be reminding everyone what a terrible job he did in Stratford. You are correct Jez-blame those responsible-for the bad deal, the fire…..

  29. 29 jezebel282


    I agree.

    I was just tossing away a point about the money. I doubt anyone in Stratford would want to see high rise condos on that property except maybe a lawyer.

    We seem to be getting away from the best part of the event. Our Fire Department was able to extinguish a serious structure fire in the most remote part of Town. And they did so in the heat, sand and without a water supply. It was done with determination and creativity (really, a bucket brigade). Most importantly, it was accomplished astonishingly quickly and without a single injury despite obstacles like a vehicle accident, poor terrain and the recent loss of our most educated and highly trained firefighter.

    To place the blame for this fire on “hysterical environmentalists” is, well, befuddling.

    I would rather focus on the work performed by Stratford’s Bravest.

  30. 30 sudds

    “Our Fire Department was able to extinguish a serious structure fire in the most remote part of Town. And they did so…”

    Agreed, but man-o-man… how p*ssed-off are the people that got booted from the units because supposidely the fire department could not gaurantee adequate services???

    PS… am I the only one who thinks that we should have just let them all burn down once and for all???

  31. 31 jezebel282


    “the fire department could not gaurantee adequate services???”

    Note to Stratford FD: If there is a structure fire at Sudds’ house, bring lot’s of buckets.

  32. 32 sudds

    Wait a minute now… this is NOT a knock on the Fire Department!!!

    This is merely stating that the efficiency of the FD is a slap in the face (by town leaders who shut down the tenants, NOT by the FD) to the former tenants!

    Furthermore, it proves that the FD was used as a scapegoat to advance someone’s agenda! (with having a beach-house in my family, I know full well that there are a lot of jealous people out there with a “if I can’t have it, I don’t want you to have it either” mentality)

  33. 33 jezebel282


    “Wait a minute now”


    Relax, I was just putting it in terms you’d understand; “Does it effect me directly?”

  34. 34 rex525

    Tom Murray two thumbs up, you have brains and class! I doubt had the roles been reversed your so called boss would have had the dignity to do the same.

    It is a shame that in Stratford cream does not always rise to the top. While on that subject, best of luck to Mrs. Chief on her retirement, a terrible loss for us all.

  35. 35 jezebel282


    “Tom Murray two thumbs up, you have brains and class!”

    I actually got to meet Asst Chief Murray! In my alter ego, of course. My neighbors and I were cleaning up (an ongoing process) and this red SUV with “Assistant Fire Chief” written on the side pulled up. He asked if we were ok and needed anything. Of course we responded, “Electricity would be nice”. He winked and offered us COLD bottled water, gave us an update of what was happening and then said “call if you need anything”. I later learned fro m a PW employee that his shift began on Wednesday at 5PM. He had been on duty for 47 hours by then.

    Whatta nice guy!

  36. 36 jezebel282


    After years of maneuvering and delays by the Town Of Stratford Attorneys, Deputy Fire Chief (Naugatuck) Ellen Murray finally has her discrimination case in front of a Federal judge today. Chief Murray is seeking no damages other than legal fees. She merely objects to the discriminatory practices of the Town of Stratford. We wish her all of the luck in the World!

  37. 37 stfdprofessor1

    “Chief Murray is seeking no damages other than legal fees”

    Oh great here we go again with another MOUNTAIN of legal fees when is this EVER going to stop!!!!!!!!!!

  38. 38 jezebel282

    When the Town switches to a salaried Town Attorney.

  39. 39 stfdprofessor1

    Couldnt we have just given her one of those shiney new SUV’s theyre doling out to everybody and their brother in town with a nice apology card?

    At least we wouldnt have to pay to put gas in it anymore and it’d save us a ton of money!!!!!!

  40. 40 missgreeneyes118

    Ellen Howley/Murray should be thankful to Town Atty Florek for the generous retirement payout and calculations her husband Tom received.
    Of course Mr Florek should be thankful to the Murray family for all the billable hours he amassed on their cases.
    Everyone is thankful for all the money that was and will be paid – except us – the taxpayers.
    True dedication by all involved……….to making money.

  41. 41 stfdprofessor1

    Cant argue with most of it until the last line missgreeneyes (IF Jez is correct on seeking no damage except legal fees).

    Besides this latest fiasco, I still want to know when the new council is collecting up all those car keys and reversing those whopper pay increases. Can we at least try to stop “John” and his strumpet who are set to be the next “couple” to win big in the stratford lotto!!!

  42. 42 missgreeneyes118

    Ellen threw away her pay stubs – so can she use Tom’s instead?
    Doesn’t the town have any payroll records?
    She made more money without the promotion, but suffered a economic loss?.

    Case 3:11-cv-00629-JGM Document 244 Filed 01/27/16 P

    : ELLEN MURRAY : 3:11 CV 629 (JGM) : V. : : JAMES MIRON, individually and in his : office capacity as Mayor of the Town:
    DATE: JANUARY 27, 2016

    Familiarity with the Court’s analysis is presumed, but for the sake of clarity, the Court reiterates its findings from the October 2015 Ruling: With respect to the first factor, [the party’s explanation for the failure to comply with the discovery order,] . . . plaintiff’s claim that “she simply threw her pay stubs and information with respect to her pension contributions away and did not spoilate evidence seems somewhat disingenuous and self-serving[,]” particularly when plaintiff’s underlying claims in this litigation were filed with the CHRO and EEOC in February 2010, approximately six months after Maffett was hired and approximately five months before plaintiff retired from her employment with the Town of Stratford. . . . . As discussed above, in support of her Amended Damages Analysis, plaintiff provided documentation evidencing that Maffett, as Deputy Chief, as of August 31, 2009, received $85,000 annually for forty scheduled hours per week, at an hourly rate of $40.8655, while plaintiff as an Assistant Chief for forty-two scheduled hours per week was receiving $87,959.23 annually, at an hourly rate of $40.2743, which amount exceeds the $37.80 earned per hour reflected in Thomas Murray’s pay stub attached to plaintiff’s Amended Damages Analysis. Moreover, also as discussed above, as is clear from a review of plaintiff’s 2009 W-2, she received $124,049.73 from the Town of Stratford as an Assistant Chief, and in 2010, she received $115,494.38 from the Town of Stratford prior to the end of her employment on or about June 15, 2010.

    With respect to the second factor, while evidence of plaintiff’s economic loss is of substantial significance to her case, and thus cuts in favor of plaintiff, plaintiff’s actual evidence is of little significance as it demonstrates that her pay as an Assistant Fire Chief actually exceeded that pay received by Maffett as a Deputy Fire Chief.

    The prejudice suffered by defendant in allowing evidence of Thomas Murray’s earnings is substantial, in that the jury would not consider plaintiff’s actual compensatory damages, as she has not submitted the difference in her pay as an Assistant Chief, and the pay for the position of the Deputy Fire Chief, and this pay stub, as discussed above, does not include the retroactive pay increase for Assistant Chiefs.

    As for the last factor, the “possibility of a continuance[,]” this case has been pending for more than five years, and is trial ready. Moreover, plaintiff was already afforded the opportunity to amend her damages analysis to comply with her disclosure requirements. Additionally, plaintiff herself states that she threw away the pay statements for the relevant time period, so that any opportunity to amend her damages analysis to comport with this Court’s previous order is futile.

    Case 3:11-cv-00629-JGM Document 244 Filed 01/27/16 P
    To alter this conclusion in light of plaintiff’s very recent disclosure, in fact, on the eve of trial, of her own pay stub, which pay stub does not include the retroactive pay increase from the Tentative Agreement, serves to reward plaintiff for her decision to “simply thr[o]w her pay stubs . . . away[,]” while claiming that she “did not spoliate evidence.” (October 2015 Ruling at 18). The October 2015 Ruling already found plaintiff’s actions “somewhat disingenuous and self-serving[,]” and only declined to address the issue of spoliation in light of the preclusion conclusion reached in the October 2015 Ruling. (Id. & n.18)(citations omitted).
    Accordingly, this Court adheres to its earlier conclusion in light of plaintiff’s inexcusably late disclosure of her own pay stub, which apparently was available in another file, and the fact that although plaintiff claims that this pay stub evidences the same difference in pay detailed for defendant a year ago, the amounts she stated at the evidentiary hearing are not the amounts calculated in her Amended Damages Analysis. (Dkt. #206)

  43. 43 jezebel282

    There seems to be a whole lot going on here. We are not aware of , well, anyone who keeps every single pay stub for any given year. It seems there must be more to this case than pay stubs. We think it is telling that she did not sue the Town nor anyone else other than James Miron. Why do you think that is?

  44. 44 missgreeneyes118

    So rather than tell you how much money the guy who got the job that I wanted made, I just want to show you how much money my husband Tom made.
    Which I probably could not have made – since I was taking time off and calling out sick – so Tom could get that extra overtime.
    So what the other guy made by getting the position I wanted really means nothing.
    I want to work my loss calculations off the highest paid person in the fire department

    It’s all about the money

  45. 45 jezebel282


    It is rare that we disagree, but this is one of those times.

    As we had mentioned, this was a suit against James Miron, not the Town. Not Ned Winterbottom, not the Fire Chief, not even Kent Miller or Heather Habelka. Just Miron. We think the reason is his clear bias against mature women. By the time Miron was done (and we like to think that we were a part of that) not a single woman over fifty years old was employed by Stratford Municipal government. The CHRO and DOL complaints against Miron fell like rain drops.

    We won’t get into Maffet’s other troubles with the IRS and bankruptcy court in South Carolina. We won’t even talk about his obvious lack of qualifications or the money Stratford taxpayers shelled out to move Maffet north. We can just talk about Miron’s refusal to promote from within.

    “since I was taking time off and calling out sick – so Tom could get that extra overtime.”

    Tsk, tsk Green. That is just meanspirited…And wrong. Everyone knows that caring for anyone with Alzheimer’s is a time consuming, exhausting and thankless job. That’s why we now have the Family Leave Act. And, by the way, if we had to guess we would guess that was the motivation behind seeking the Deputy Chief position. We know that a Deputy Chief puts in far less hours and has far less responsibility than an assistant chief. Just look at Deputy Chief Gottfried and say any assistant chief ever.

    I do agree that submitting your spouse’s pay stubs even though you have the same job is an inexplicable legal maneuver. We would be demanding a refund of legal fees for that one.

    But, then again, the court allowed Miron and his gang to leave Town Hall with bags and bags of our cash. Seriously, a $10,000 bonus for “working” here for six months? We still believe Miron absconded with over $200,000 in cash.

    We would have liked to see some Miron take responsibility for something.

  46. 46 ronmoreau

    “…since I was taking time off and calling out sick – so Tom could get that extra overtime.”

    This confirms what many of us have known for years. Calling in sick (when they are not really sick) to beef up someone else s overtime. If I did that on my job I would get fired.

  47. 47 jezebel282


    We can state with a great deal of certainty that what Green (and now you) allege did not happen.

  48. 48 missgreeneyes118

    Ron knows what most have thought for years…. Ellen and Tom really worked the system…and the taxpayers.
    OK – It has finally been said.
    It is hard to admit being misled by smiling faces.
    No one likes to admit being played for a fool.
    But the facts speak for themselves.
    The more information that comes out – the less flattering it is for Ellen and Tom.
    They made a lot of money and will continue to make over $200,000 in pensions from the town.
    Plus monies from their current employment and any other workers comp settlements and lawsuits.
    Must they are still sue us taxpayers for deeds of people we voted out of office?
    What more do they want?
    Would they be doing this if they actually lived in Stratford?
    We tried to fix it!
    When will they be satisfied?

    Do they feel safe living in a town with a volunteer fire department?
    The taxes are a lot less….

  49. 49 jezebel282


    Apparently we are going to continue to disagree. Ellen Murray retired from the Stratford FD two years before Tom Murray did. How she helped him work the system during those years would be an amazing story if you care to tell it. Additionally, Assistant Fire Chief Danny Ross also retired shortly after Ellen Murray. This left only Tim Brennan and Tom Murray as Assistant Fire Chiefs. Each one having to cover his share of 168 hours per week. No matter how you count them, this is a huge amount of hours for two people to cover every week.

    One thing we do agree about are the enormous amount of pension payments being received, especially by Tom Murray. Who is to blame for that? Our answer is Ron Ing, John Florek and John Harkins. But for Ron Ing’s negligence, there would have been four assistant chiefs at SFD the entire two year period. And it’s not like this wasn’t pointed out to Ing on an almost daily basis…by Tom Murray and Tim Brennan.

    After McGrath was hired as chief (of course receiving a full pension from the city of Stamford as well) with a cursory interview, Tom Murray decided it was time to retire. And who signed Tom Murray’s contracts? John Florek and John Harkins.

  50. 50 missgreeneyes118

    There is plenty more mismanagement that went on during Miron’s reign.
    Hiring of family and friends all around town – many which still have lawsuits going on.
    And what is the common denominator in all this fiscal mismanagement?
    Town attorneys.
    They give opinions approving contracts and hiring agreements that put the Town in a position where litigation, huge legal bills, and enormous payouts of tax dollars are all the norm.
    They help create the environment that is ripe for abuse.
    Why don’t they help us avoid all the litigation?
    Oh yeah – they get paid by the hour.
    And Harkins did not shut down the Town Attorney’s money spigot either.
    Whether it’s the Mayor’s Office, The Town Attorneys, The Police And Fire
    Departments, even the Registrars Office
    You always hear don’t blame the player, blame the game
    Well the game is rigged by the players and the taxpayers get the bill
    We need to follow the money where it leads us …whether it goes to politicians….. their cronies… their friends … or our friends….. or those we admire.
    It is what it is, political party and affiliation not withstanding.
    The money trail does not discriminate by political party or affiliation.
    It shows reality…..people’s actions speak louder than their words.
    In the municipal forum – scrutiny follows the money – as it should.

  51. 51 jezebel282


    We are returning to agreement. The credibility score of anyone in our municipal government or political committees are near zero. Graft, adultery and payoffs are the rule, not the exception.

    Until citizens, including parents, pay attention and vote the only reasonable thing to do is move to almost anywhere else.

  52. 52 stfdprofessor1

    “Which I probably could not have made – since I was taking time off and calling out sick – so Tom could get that extra overtime.
    So what the other guy made by getting the position I wanted really means nothing.
    I want to work my loss calculations off the highest paid person in the fire department”

    “This confirms what many of us have known for years. Calling in sick (when they are not really sick) to beef up someone else s overtime. If I did that on my job I would get fired.”

    Sounds like two gigantic leaps of bad faith to me when you look at the facts

    Fire Cheifs who retired by George Mulligans posted figures:

    Thomas Murray- 2/27/12- $122,850.00
    Thomas Velky- 7/2/09- $108,774.12
    John Milne- 1/2/08- $107,188.44
    Daniel Ross- 1/31/11- $105,985.80
    Joseph Cremin- 1/3/03- $101,303.40
    Michael Hostettler- 4/3/09- $100,928.28
    Ellen Murray- 1/26/09- $92,050.52

    Two things I notice, Ellen Murray retired 3 years before Tom Murray and being the LOWEST pensioner in that group doesn’t appear to have done what she’s being accused of. I dont like the size of any of these pensions one bit, but as long as we have a mayor who makes political decisions instead of a town manager who makes business decisions these types of problems WILL CONTINUE.

    FLASHING FORWARD FOUR YEARS has any of those car keys been collected or any of those excessive raises been reduced? Are there still TWO full time paid registrars with benefits? Is the town attorney’s litigation mill still churning out the billable hours? Has anybody started the petition to return to a town manager?

    Since everythings hunky dory, what the hell, why dont we spend our time throwing rocks at two “has beens” without any facts?

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