New Britain Alderman Resigns From Top Post After Drunken Outburst at Mayor's Office

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCConnecticut.com/City of New Britain
    New Britain Deputy Mayor and Alderman Michael Trueworthy is accused of barging into Mayor Erin Stewart's office while intoxicated, calling her vulgar names and telling her not to run for reelection so he can run in her stead, according to the police report.

    New Britain alderman Michael Trueworthy has resigned as president of the Common Council following a drunken outburst at Mayor Erin Stewart's office late last month, and the mayor is calling on him to step down altogether.

    Trueworthy, who, until recently, served as deputy mayor and chair of the New Britain Common Council, requested a special meeting to select a new president to take over for him, according a warrant dated Aug. 5 and addressed to the city clerk.

    Majority leader and alderwoman at large will Suzanne Bielinski will assume Trueworthy's role as head of the Common Council. Trueworthy remains an alderman, but Stewart and a Change.org petition are asking him to leave office.

    Photo credit: Change.org

    Trueworthy announced his plans to resign shortly after the incident. He called it a mistake, apologized and promised to get help for his drinking problem.

    Thursday's meeting was the first time Stewart came face-to-face with Trueworthy since his alleged tirade July 22, when Trueworthy showed up drunk at her office, called her vulgar names and told her not to run for reelection, according to a police report filed after the incident.

    Stewart told police that Trueworthy had called and emailed her throughout the day and that his emails had been “out of character” and that he sounded drunk on the phone, according to the incident report.

    “She stated he was slurring his words and was unable to have a coherent conversation,” the police report says. Stewart told police that Trueworthy was upset with the way she had “handled recent city business and called her an inappropriate name three or four times.”

    According to the report, not long after Stewart hung up the phone with Trueworthy, she heard a loud banging coming from the emergency entrance to her office in City Hall. Stewart’s Chief of Staff John Healey opened the door to find Trueworthy standing there and let him in “to avoid a commotion in the lobby.”

    Police said Trueworthy “barged into [Stewart’s] office, was being belligerent and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol.” According to police, he asked Stewart for a drink, then continued calling her names and threatened to search her office for alcohol when she told him she didn’t have any.

    At that point, Stewart asked Healey to call the police chief, the report says.

    Trueworthy allegedly told Stewart not to run for mayor again and to leave office, saying she had helped the city in a time of financial crisis and would be “moving on to other opportunities,” according to the police report. He then told her he would run for mayor instead.

    Police arrived as Trueworthy’s friends were leading him out of City Hall to take him home. According to the police report, officers saw Trueworthy stumbling and leaning on his friends’ shoulders as they walked him to the car. Police said he was unsteady on his feet and smelled strongly of alcohol.

    Stewart told police Trueworthy had had problems with alcohol in the past, but said she didn’t feel threatened or want to press charges, according to the report.

    Trueworthy also apparently had problems at a local bar later that night. According to the owner of the West Side Tavern just down the street from City Hall, Trueworthy showed up drunk and was thrown out of the bar after demanding alcohol and making homophobic comments.

    Trueworthy admitted that he was asked to leave the bar.

    "When you have a high power, you have to be an example for everybody," explained West Side Tavern owner Isaac Silva. "You should not be drunk in public."

    After the incidents came to light, Trueworthy stepped down as the president of the Board of Aldermen. He confirmed the accuracy of the police report and said he's taking responsibility for the incident.

    "I made a bad decision and thought I could simply drink a beer," Trueworthy explained. "That was clearly not the case."

    Trueworthy was appointed to the administration, finance and law, bonding capital equipment reserve, planning, zoning and housing subcommittees and serves as liaison to Central Connecticut State University, the Department of Property Management, Mattabassett District in Cromwell and the Veterans Commission, according to the city Web site.

    New Britain alderman and minority leader Wilfredo Pabon said he was concerned the incident would hurt the public's trust in elected officials and urged Trueworthy to relinquish his position on the board.

    "He should step down from the Council completely," Pabon said. "It doesn't look good for the city."

    No criminal charges will be filed, police said.