The sword fight (rather, word fight) between a Connecticut Law Tribune columnist and the CHRO shows no signs of abating (for the previous rounds see my earlier post here).
Round Three comes in today’s paper with a further response from Karen Lee Torre to the letter posted by CHRO Acting Executive Director Robert Brothers. Let’s just say that she shows no sign of backing down from her earlier criticisms:
…I irked an agency over-populated by people invested in imaginary discrimination and stirred an agency stakeholder to employ an overused smear tactic against critics of his taxpayer-funded widget factory — the canard of bigotry. Brothers asserts that I made “generalizations about persons of a different race or ethnicity.” Rubbish. I did no such thing. I cited the numerous frivolous complaints filed with CHRO, an agency that wastefully duplicates the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Brothers further interpolates into my column an attack on the “intellectual” gifts of his staff. More garbage. I said many were unproductive, not stupid.
Brothers insists my comments had “ugly overtones” that show his agency is still needed. Having already dispensed with Brothers’ bigot-baiting and redirected it to the trash heap where it belongs, let us consider what is truly ugly — judicial records and CHRO’s annual report.
Then, Attorney Torre cites to this blog for support referring to a prior post where I note that the CHRO’s human rights referees issued just six decisions over the last year. While I’m flattered for the reference, the point I was making was not to show that the hearing officers were unproductive or incompetent — only that it did not seem like an effective use of taxpower dollars to have so many.
How can the back and forth stop?
Here’s an novel idea: Attorney Torre and like-minded individuals should be appointed immediately to a task force or working group helping to improve the CHRO.
Will this ever happen? Probably not. The CHRO and Ms. Torre will probably scoff and laugh at the idea for one reason or another.
But, if both could move beyond the rhetoric, they would realize that Connecticut’s too small to have experienced practitioners like Ms. Torre stand on the sidelines, when a state agency can use help and advice on how to improve.