NEW BRITAIN, CT — The city of New Britain, depending on who you talk to, had no intention of renaming “Paul Manafort Dr.” But in order to stop the news media from doing stories about it Mayor Erin Stewart ordered a new one.
On Wednesday morning around 8:30 a.m. the sign was changed to “Paul Manafort Sr. Dr.”
“It’s just clarifying which Paul Manafort the street is after so CNN stops writing fake news articles,” Stewart said Wednesday in a text.
The half-mile stretch of road was named for Paul Manafort Sr., the late father of the embattled former Trump campaign manager. The elder Manafort served as Republican mayor of New Britain from 1965 to 1971. He was a war veteran and a businessman who died in 2013.
The recent trial of his son, Paul Manafort Jr., for financial crimes, including money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent, had some wondering if they should change the name.
There was confusion about whether the sign referred to the father or the son.
CNN, the Washington Post, Hartford Courant, and CBC, a Canadian news outlet have done stories about the street which cuts through Central Connecticut State University.
Dan Russell started a petition to rename the street after New Britain native and 2017 World Series MVP George Springer. The idea for the petition arose in November when Manafort Jr. was indicted. Nine months later it has 1,690 signatures.
Stewart said she doesn’t believe she needs the permission of the City Council in order to erect the sign.
New Britain City Council Majority Leader Carlo Carlozzi Jr. said he’s not sure Stewart has the authority to change the sign unilaterally.
“It’s a name change not a clarification,” Carlozzi said.
He said he’s researching the issue.