© 2024 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WEDH · WEDN · WEDW · WEDY
WECS · WEDW-FM · WNPR · WPKT · WRLI-FM · WVOF
Public Files Contact · ATSC 3.0 FAQ
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bridgeport mayoral primary hearing enters second week of testimony

Bridgeport city employee Wanda Geter-Pataky, center, works with her lawyer, John R. Gulash, right, to know which questions to answer so as not to incriminate herself during her testimony in Bridgeport Democratic Primary Mayoral candidate John Gomes' challenge of absentee ballots in Superior Court in Bridgeport, Conn. on Friday, October 13, 2023. Geter-Pataky was shown video clips of herself placing quantities of absentee ballots into election drop boxes. At left is Judge William Clark.
Brian A. Pounds
/
Connecticut Post / Hearst Newspapers
Bridgeport city employee Wanda Geter-Pataky, center, works with her lawyer, John R. Gulash, right, to know which questions to answer so as not to incriminate herself during her testimony in Bridgeport Democratic Primary Mayoral candidate John Gomes' challenge of absentee ballots in Superior Court in Bridgeport, Conn. on Friday, October 13, 2023. Geter-Pataky was shown video clips of herself placing quantities of absentee ballots into election drop boxes. At left is Judge William Clark.

A hearing over the disputed results of the Bridgeport mayoral primary plowed ahead Friday with two witnesses repeatedly invoking the Fifth Amendment from involvement in a now highly-publicized video at the heart of the lawsuit, and if she was paid by current mayor Joe Ganim’s re-election campaign.

Wanda Geter-Pataky mostly stayed silent.

“On her behalf, I would assert her privilege, your honor,” said John Gulash, her attorney.

Geter-Pataky, a greeter at the city’s government center in downtown Bridgeport, stared at a video recording purportedly showing her and city council candidate Eneida Martinez dropping off what appeared to be absentee ballots.

Attorneys for John Gomes’ mayoral campaign focused the two witnesses at the center of a lawsuit over potential electoral misconduct during the city’s mayoral primary last month.

But Ganim did not appear in court Friday. Gomes’ campaign attorney Bill Bloss said Ganim might testify next week.

Geter-Pataky watched on as video was played from a security camera overlooking a drop box. Yet according to John Kannelly, attorney for the city’s registrar of voters Patricia Howard, the video isn’t compelling enough.

“So this great conspiracy that we've all been hearing about isn't there,” Kannelly said.

“And so that exhibit in and of itself is no reason to strip the voters of Bridgeport of their rights and to disenfranchise them.”

Bridgeport Democratic candidate for City Council Eneida Martinez, center, watches video of her placing absentee ballots into election drop boxes during Bridgeport Democratic Primary Mayoral candidate John Gomes' challenge of absentee ballots in Superior Court in Bridgeport, Conn. on Friday, October 13, 2023. At left is Judge William Clark.
Brian A. Pounds
/
Connecticut Post / Hearst Newspapers
Bridgeport Democratic candidate for City Council Eneida Martinez, center, watches video of her placing absentee ballots into election drop boxes during Bridgeport Democratic Primary Mayoral candidate John Gomes' challenge of absentee ballots in Superior Court in Bridgeport, Conn. on Friday, October 13, 2023. At left is Judge William Clark.

Bloss also focused on the two witnesses. Geter-Pataky did answer when asked about her title and her association with the city Democratic Party. But she, along with Martinez, repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment, even after video was played showing Geter-Pataky and Martinez allegedly putting ballots inside a drop box.

The video and other evidence, Bloss said, shows the primary results can’t be trusted.

“This is quite clear evidence that absentee ballots were mishandled.” Bloss said.

Ganim, who previously served time in federal prison over corruption charges, has denied any wrongdoing.

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.

Related Content