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Stern Village Director Still In For Now

The new members of the Trumbull Housing Authority voted to settle his contract, which expires in June. The terms are confidential and his end date was not specified.

The Trumbull Housing Authority, which now has all-new members, is keeping Stern Village Executive Director Harry Wise but his last day of work is not clear. 

Neither the board members nor Wise's attorney, James Cordone, commented. Wise's contract expires in June.

Two reports from emergency officials and Fire Marshal's Office accused Wise of mismanaging Stern Village during Hurricane Sandy in late October 2012 and failing to properly implement the emergency plan from November 2011.

After the unanimous vote, Housing Authority Chairman Russ Friedson said, "He is the executive director and when that changes we will inform people."

Wise earns about $70,000 a year.

The authority met in Stern Village Tuesday night, where one resident said afterward that Wise was "doing a good job." Stern Village is subsidized housing for seniors and the disabled and has about 200 residents.

Another resident said security is an issue because Stern Village also houses people with mental illness. There are problems after Wise leaves in the evenings, he said.

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The issues with Wise were publicized in December, prompting First Selectman Tim Herbst to appoint Friedson and Joanna Leone to the authority. After all the other board members resigned, Herbst appointed Joy Meehan and Diane Pomposello. One of the former board members he did not reappoint was Judith Stern, a relative of the Stern family.

One resident said Stern "served us well."

In December the board replaced its attorney, Anthony Musto, after Herbst charged that Wise's contract was extended in an illegal meeting. The board was also accused of failing to file minutes or post its agendas properly.

Musto defended himself and Wise after that and called on Herbst to apologize.

Included in the accusations was that Wise failed to act on getting a generator for the meeting room.

Under questioning by the authority Tuesday, Wise said he was not an expert in generators and advised the authority to obtain the services of an engineer. Bids were coming in the for the generator, he added.

He said other parts of the emergency plan were installing AEDs and a reverse 911 system, both done. The authority then voted to approve implementing all parts of the emergency plan.

louis January 31, 2013 at 05:33 PM
And as for the Trumbull Housing Authority, what authority do they have? In other words are they merely there to run Stern Village? Why have a board which serves such minor purposes and if Wise was so negligent, why only discover this now?
Carol Hudak January 31, 2013 at 05:49 PM
This is far beyond being a farce. The GOP WELCOME WAGON has arrived. This is now the strong arm of the favored law firm dis-allowing SV residents from having any say. How pathetic - the GOP bullies have to bring the big guns law firm in to silence a group of senior citizens, etc. WAKE UP, TRUMBULL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SV is just learning what some (but not enough) of Trumbull already knows: A tighthanded 'regime' runs this town. Speak out at your own peril. I have to keep reminding myself I live in America, and not the middle east. Yes, JR, it could be another THS'98 alumnus, or the wife of a high ranking GOP member. . . Keep your eyes open . . . this job is earmarked for a special someone. GOP, HOW LOW DOES IT GO?? Aaron, I sincerely hope you are all over this story. Remember, there is gov't money here. With gov't $$ comes gov't regulations. Are any larger gov't laws being breached? (this admin. thrives on being technically legal.) What if your parents/elderly were living at SV? Would you want them treated like this? A meeting where they are TOLD that their comments and questions were not welcome. They are being dictated to, not listened to. This is disgraceful and abusive. And totally unnecessary.
Joan January 31, 2013 at 06:40 PM
Is it typical to have attorneys present at these meetings to weigh in on whether they are being conducted properly? I assume that the Trumbull taxpayers--including these senior citizens who were dismissed so rudely--footed the bill for this attorney who decided that they would not be allowed to ask questions at this meeting. I think this is the very definition of hubris. How much longer will Trumbull voters put up with this disgraceful behavior at our expense?
Aaron Leo January 31, 2013 at 07:03 PM
A follow up story is coming Friday. Thanks.
David February 01, 2013 at 03:19 AM
My God, why does this feel similar to the Nazi's rise to power. The whole process sounds so evil and sinister.

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