The Journal Inquirer broke a story Wednesday afternoon about House Speaker James Amann’s suspension Tuesday of a high-ranking aide, Kelly Kirkley-Bey. Kirkley-Bey the daughter of state Rep. Marie Lopez Kirkley-Bey, D-Hartford, was suspended for two weeks without pay for using an interoffice mail system to distribute invitations to Amann’s campaign fundraiser next Thursday. Amann was unavailable for comment Wednesday afternoon, but his spokesperson, Larry Perosino, said Wednesday the Speaker has made it clear that if it occurs again she will be terminated. But this isn’t Kirkley-Bey’s first run in with authorities.
In 1997 Hartford police arrested her for criminal mischief after she allegedly tore down a political sign of her mother’s political opponent. Then in 1999, Kirkley-Bey paid a “voluntary” $250 contribution to the state Elections Enforcement Commission, stemming from her behavior during a 1998 Democratic primary . Kirkley-Bey stood accused of intimidating voters and openly running her mother’s campaign from inside the polling place, the Hartford Courant reported at the time. The worst came in 2001. Hartford police charged Kirkley-Bey with possession of narcotics, interfering with police and operating under the influence in connection with allegations that she rear-ended another car later. At the time, Kirkley-Bey worked as a clerk for the General Assembly’s Human Services Committee. The list goes on. In 2003, less than a year after she was hired as an aide in the speaker’s office, she was arrested for larceny at her second job at JC Penny in Westfarms Mall where she allegedly helped a friend steal $155 worth of merchandise. When this occurred Amann told the Hartford Advocate: “I sat her down and I gave her a warning,” Amann said. “I won’t tolerate it,” he had said at the time.