|Maryanne Camporeale watches from the dugout|
Tonight was GA's first HHA meeting, and wow... it started off with a BANG.
In fact, fireworks lit up the room before the meeting started. That's when Commissioner Jake Stuiver politely asked the HHA attorney if he could ask him something. Well, Stuiver's gentle tones did belie what was coming...
Jake asked the attorney whether the meeting should be adjourned or Commissioner Maryanne Camporeale be asked to recuse herself due to her imminent removal by the DCA for failure to follow a statute mandating completion of a study course with 18 months of her appointment.
When did Camporeale's 18-months end?
November 2011. Wow.
Camporeale was silent as Jake jousted with the attorney, insisting that while a dismissal letter had not been received by either him or HHA Executive Director Carmelo Garcia, he'd spoken to the DCA and was told the letter was waiting to be signed by someone who was "on vacation".
The attorney seemed reluctant to advise on any action, unrelenting that the DCA had not sent a letter, but Jake argued that the statute should prevail.
Stuiver was like a pitbull, refusing to budge. He noted that all of the votes Camporeale had made since her 18 months were up would be retroactively called into question once she was booted, so it was in the best interest of the body not to compound the dilemma that her imminent removal would cause.
GA was impressed by Jake's tenacity. Grrrrrr... like a dog with a bone.
Carmelo tried to intercede for Camporeale, saying that she was physically handicapped so the state may give her special consideration. That flopped on the floor, DOA.
Because Stuiver explained the DCA gave no latitude about flouting the statute - never did. Then he read a DCA letter to an unidentified HHA Commissioner who was removed for the same reason: failure to follow the statute.
Commissioner Mello stepped in to say the the Board had 3 choices:
- proceed with the meeting as usual
- ask Camporeale to sit with the public and refrain from participation
And she did. Without comment. Except once seated she called out angrily, "Satisfied?"
GA was seated right behind her and heard what she said next to the person beside her. Let's just say it wasn't warm and fuzzy, something about it being "payback."
Carmelo wasn't the ebullient performer I'd heard about; his demeanor was glum. Deflated. Or as my friend put it: he usually bounces around like Tigger, but tonight he was Eeyore.
Perhaps he sees the writing on the wall.
To be continued...