(Updated) Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz’s attorney withdrew his motion Tuesday to keep her videotaped deposition from the public.
In a brief Hartford Superior Court hearing, Wesley Horton, Bysiewicz’s attorney said he “reached the conclusion that the Courant is correct,” referring to the Hartford Courant’s motion to intervene and request that the deposition tapes be made public. Horton said the state’s open record laws require it to be released.
The more than five hours of videotaped deposition could be released as early as Wednesday afternoon. It’s expected to show Eliot Gersten, the attorney for the Republican Party, questioning Bysiewicz about her qualifications to run for attorney general.
Quoting anonymous sources, the Connecticut Law Tribune reported Monday that Gersten is “ecstatic” at the results of the deposition thus far.
In between court proceedings Tuesday Gersten approached the remaining few members of the media and told them the transcript is good, but the video is even better.
“If the Fourth Estate doesn’t fail to do it’s job, then I’d be surprised if this case is still around in a week,” Gersten said.
But Bysiewicz’s lawyers seem to be in it for the long haul.
Outlining his legal arguments in open court Tuesday, Horton said he believes Bysiewicz meets the statutory requirement to run for attorney general. He said all active practice means is that she is eligible to practice law.
“It means nothing more than that,” Horton said.
He said it does not mean how much time she’s spent in court and it does not mean how many clients she has represented in court. He said active practice of the law embraces a wide array of legal advice.
If those arguments fail Horton will argue Bysiewicz is qualified under the state constitution, which doesn’t place any restrictions on those holding constitutional offices. He said the exception to that rule is the governor, who must be at least 30 years old to run.
Horton has argued that Bysiewicz’s 11 years as Secretary of the State should count toward the 10 years of active practice. If the court finds they don’t Horton said Tuesday that they will make a constitutional argument, in which case Bysiewicz only needs to be 18 years old and an elector of the state to qualify.
Immediately after announcing her candidacy in January a blogger raised questions about whether Bysiewicz met the 10 years of active practice provision. Bysiewicz has been an attorney for more than 20 years, but before getting elected to public office she was in private and corporate practice for six years. She filed the lawsuit seeking the court’s opinion in the matter.