HARTFORD (CN) – A city dump worker says he lost his job and had a stroke because he refused to give “preferential treatment” to the husband of Hartford’s first openly gay mayor, who wanted to throw out leaves and other debris without a permit.
In a Superior Court complaint, Willie Edwards says Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra’s husband, Charlie Ortiz, came to the dump on Oct. 14, 2010, without a permit.
When Edwards tried to tell Ortiz how to get a permit, refusing to let Ortiz leave the debris without one, he says Ortiz became irate.
“At one point Mr. Ortiz exclaimed “Do you know who I am” and further stated “I will make a call and fix that,” according to the eight-page complaint.
Edwards says his supervisor, Stewart Issac, summoned him to his office two days later.
“Mr. Issac stated to Mr. Edwards ‘you refused two guys in a red truck on Thursday, you (explicative deleted) … Was it one of these guys,'” according to the complaint (redaction in original). “Mr. Isaac then showed Mr. Edwards a photograph of Mr. Ortiz and Mayor Segarra. Mr. Edwards indicated that Mr. Ortiz was the man in the photo. Mr. Issac indicated that Mr. Ortiz was the Mayors spouse and told Mr. Edwards that he was transferred from is position at the Transfer Station, pending an ‘investigation.’ Mr. Edwards was given no further information other than he ‘messed up’ and that he was in trouble with his position because he had refused to allow the mayors spouse to use the Transfer Station. On about November 5, 2010 Mr. Edwards suffered a stroke.”
Edwards claims Mayor Segarra decided to intervene into a personnel matter on behalf of his spouse to intimidate him.
“Mr. Charlie Ortiz called his spouse to intervene on his behalf and complained that he did not get preferential treatment as the spouse of the mayor,” according to the complaint. “Mr. Ortiz’s complaint was without merit and he knew or should have known that Mr. Edwards’ would face repercussions because of his actions.”
“Mr. Pedro Segarra personally intervened in the matter causing the Department of Public Works to take action against Mr. Edwards,” the complaint also states.
Edwards seeks unspecified damages for negligent infliction of emotional distress. He is represented by John Kardaras.