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Enfield - Ex-democratic Chairman plans to sue former mayor

Posted on May 28 2007

A longstanding feud between former Democratic town chairman Jack Mancuso and former mayor Patrick Tallarita took another turn last week, when Mancuso filed a notice of intent to commence civil action in connection with a May incident at Shaw’s supermarket.

Mancuso claims he and his two young children, Massimo and Vanessa, were shopping at Shaw’s aroun 5:15 p.m. on May 28, when Tallarita “began shouting at them and making obscene gestures.”

“Immediately thereafter,” the filing alleges, “while they were unloading their groceries from the check out counter, Mr. Tallarita forced his way in closer physical proximity to the Mancusos, close to the check out counter, while continuing to shout and gesture in an aggressive and angry manner.”

The document continued, “Mr. Tallarita’s screaming consisted of threats, including physical threats. Mr. Tallarita made it clear that his words and actions were in response to Mr. Mancusos’s filing a complaint with the Public Integrity Unit of the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office.”

Tallarita has previously stated he helped get Mancuso removed from the Democratic town committee.

Mancuso did not file a complaint at the time of the incident with Enfield police, and check of public records at the police department Monday indicate no filed by Mancuso this case.

Despite this, the second part of Mancuso’s intent to file suit concerns the police department.

“Shortly after this incident, “the notice claims, “upon information and belief, based upon information provided by other, the Chief of Police, Carl Sferrazza, and/ or members of the Enfield Police Department may have gone to Shaw’s store and demanded they produce all recordings of any security camera that might have recorded the incident. The claimant’s hereby provided notice that they intent to take action to investigate the factual basis of this claim and to pursue legal action in the event there is a basis for pursuing such a claim.”

The notice names the Town of Enfield, Tallarita, Sferrazza. “Officer John Doe #1" and “Officer John Doe#2" as potential persons responsible for Mancuso and his children suffering “personal injuries including but not limited to emotional distress, anxiety, depression, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life’s activities, loss of reputation, post-traumatic stress syndrome, and fear for the safety of their family. Some of which injuries and concerns are permanent in nature.”

“I have no knowledge of the part of the story regarding the mayor, but the allegations about me are absolutely untrue,” Sferrazza said Monday. “I never went to Shaw’s and asked for anything, not did I ever direct anybody to do so.”

Dough Smelcer, store director at Shaw’s, refused comment on the situation, and referred questions to Judy Chong of the grocery chain’s public relations department. Ms. Chong did not return a telephone call from the Enfield Press.

Mancuso’s attorney, A. Paul Spinella, would not comment on the proposed litigation, which was filed Friday with the Enfield town clerk’s officer. He also would not provide the Enfield Press with Mancuso’s unlisted telephone number.

by: Tim Jensen