December 27, 2017

Hartford's Fitzpatrick: 'I'm in compliance' with residency rule

PHOTO | Steve Laschever
PHOTO | Steve Laschever
Sean Fitzpatrick, Hartford's director of development services.

With a city investigation underway, Sean M. Fitzpatrick, Hartford's director of development services, said Wednesday he is in compliance with the state's residency rules.

The city's Internal Audit Commission received an anonymous tip as well as information in a "We the People" blog post by Kevin Brookman earlier this month that Fitzpatrick lists his city residency at 22 Woodland St., the location of the social, members-only Town and County Club, said Commission Chairman Bruce Rubenstein.

The municipal code requires city of Hartford employees to live in the city.

"I believe I am in compliance with the residency requirements of the municipal code, but just to be safe I have asked the [city's] corporation counsel to render an opinion on the issue," Fitzpatrick said in an email. "I will happily abide by the result."

Reached by phone, Fitzpatrick, who acknowledged he also has a home in Simsbury, said he has the documentation needed to prove residency.

"I have a nice room and kitchen next door [at the club]," he said, but declined to elaborate or answer more questions about how much time he spends there.

Rubenstein said Wednesday he is "neutral" on the subject, but has asked Chief Auditor Craig Trujillo to obtain any evidence of residency, which will likely include a residency affidavit, proof of rental payments, and change of address indicators that would show Fitzpatrick receives mail at the club.

The commission is set to meet Jan. 17 and Rubenstein said he has asked for the matter to be put on the agenda.

In addition to taking testimony and evidence from Fitzpatrick, Rubenstein said he will seek information from the club's general manager regarding how rental income is handled and the city's interim human resources director concerning the filing of residency affidavits.

"I have questions," Rubenstein said.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said in a statement: "It is my understanding that Sean satisfies all of the residency requirements. He is a tremendous asset to the city, and I'm proud to have him as part of my leadership team."

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