On Election Night 2007, some political observers were quite surprised to see that Cromwell’s veteran First Selectman, Republican Paul Beaulieu, was beaten by the 29 year old Democratic candidate, Jeremy Shingleton. Since that time, Cromwell residents have been surprised on several occasions by their leader’s curious behavior.
Mr. Shingleton first raised the flag of controversy after he “dismissed” the town police chief via e-mail. The situation reached fiasco status until Shingleton relented.
The next chapter of the story – and a most fascinating one at that for political observers – came and went earlier this year as that same police chief, Chief Anthony Salvatore, formed an exploratory committee to investigate the possibility of running for First Selectman against Shingleton.
But not long after announcing a bid for office, it was revealed that Salvatore’s candidacy was a violation of the federal Hatch Act, and it was determined Chief Salvatore couldn’t be Chief and run for First Selectman at the same time.
Chief Salvatore withdrew from the First Selectman’s race a few weeks ago.
First Selectman Shingleton stirred the pot again today by calling for a RICO investigation into the Middletown Press’ coverage of his term in office, as reported by the Courant:
In what amounts to a highly personal attack on the Middletown Press and longtime local news reporter Jeff Mill, Shingleton complains that “biased” and “libelous” articles about his administration and his dealings with town Police Chief Anthony Salvatore are aimed at preventing him from campaigning for a second term, depriving him of his livelihood and chasing businesses from town.
Mr. Shingleton’s bizarre actions raise real questions about his ability to serve as First Selectman. Firing the police chief and calls for RICO investigations of the local paper are no way to govern a town.
The Courant solicited sage advice on the matter from one Cromwell resident, Valerie Grey: “He’s worried about the newspaper? I just think he should be doing better things with his time.”