The Judiciary Committee voted 32 to 9 in favor of a bill that would give a legislative committee oversight of law enforcement activities and lists like the one Ken Krayeske showed up on before his arrest at Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s inaugural parade.
Judiciary Committee Co-Chairman Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, said law enforcement must articulate why they think a person is going to commit a crime. In Krayeske’s situation one of the criteria state police used for considering him a threat to the governor was the fact that he was “campaign manager for the Green Party,” Lawlor said quoting the two-page color brochure state police distributed to local police.
Sen. Mary Ann Handley, D-Manchester, said she was “troubled” when she first read the legislation, but has since concluded “it’s a legitimate way for us to prevent abuses of police power.”
Rep. Arthur O’Neill, R-Southbury, said he was concerned federal law enforcement may be hesitant to trust the state with certain information, since it learned in a recent investigation that a former state representative passed along information he learned as chairman of the Public Safety Committee to criminal organizations.
Lawlor said that’s a valid concern, but that the former legislator was removed once the state learned about the investigation. Besides, he said, the scope of the bipartisan committee is limited. The Speaker of the House and President of the Senate will have the power to convene a meeting of the bipartisan intelligence committee as they see necessary.
“I think there are enough checks and balances in here to satisfy your concerns,” Lawlor said. The bill also includes briefings on constitutional rights for law enforcement.
Rep. David Labriola, R-Naugatuck, said he recognizes that this bill is a reaction to one event and in his mind “it’s an overreaction.”
He said the measure is unnecessary and costly because it creates more levels of bureaucracy. He said the incident that occurred doesn’t rise to the need for public policy.
Labriola along with Sen. David Cappiello, R-Danbury, Rep. Janice Giegler, R-Danbury, Rep. Bob Godfrey, D-Danbury, Rep. William Hamzy, R-Terryville, Rep. Claudia Powers, R-Riverside, and Rep. Al Adinolfi, R-Cheshire, voted against the bill.
Click here to read Krayeske’s arrest story repository.