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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Zarella withdraws nomination

Something sounds fishy here. Gov. Rell's nomination of State Supreme Court Justice Peter T. Zarella has been controversial from the start but things really went downhill for the Governor and her nominee yesterday.

State Supreme Court Justice Peter T. Zarella asked Gov. M. Jodi Rell on Monday to pull his nomination for the chief justice position, hours after the former chief justice acknowledged he purposely delayed the release of a court ruling in an attempt to help secure Zarella's confirmation.

Zarella said it was apparent that lawmakers would not hold a public hearing on his nomination this legislative session, which ends May 3. That would mean his nomination would not receive final action during the session.


Rell, who said she believes Zarella is "a man of integrity and outstanding judicial ability," said she is troubled that revelations about former Chief Justice William Sullivan delaying the release of a court ruling has overshadowed the nomination.

"The next step must be to get answers to everyone's questions. Once I am satisfied that all relevant questions are answered and concerns addressed, I will proceed with the nominating process," Rell said in a written statement.

Rell could nominate Zarella or someone else for an interim appointment for chief justice after the legislature adjourns. The General Assembly's Judiciary Committee could then hold a public hearing and vote to confirm the nominee until January, when the full legislature returns for the 2007 session and could vote on a permanent appointment.

It didn't take long for John DeStefano to issue the followiong statement.
While I cannot comment directly on Judge Zarella’s qualifications to serve as State Supreme Chief Justice – it is clear that Gov. Rell should not re-nominate him and that former Chief Justice Sullivan’s actions have irrevocably harmed the confirmation process. Additionally, the sudden resignation of Chief Justice Sullivan and Gov. Rell’s immediate nomination of Judge Zarella to replace him, have already been troubling. Those concerns were immediately compounded yesterday as it is now clear that Judge Sullivan’s acted to protect Judge Zarella’s nomination at a point in time prior to Gov. Rell even saying she knew there was a vacancy. Either Judge Sullivan or Gov. Rell don’t have their stories straight, either way this harkens back to a way of doing business that Connecticut residents thought they put behind them. They deserve better.
This story is still developing and since there is so much material (video footage) regarding this situation, I'll have to post on this story later.