East Haven Mayor: Media Hurts Town by Airing Taco Comment

Embattled East Haven Mayor Joe Maturo says it is time to move on from his taco comment that made headlines across the country.    During  a taping of Face the State with Dennis House on WFSB, Maturo said  acknowledged what he said was a mistake, but said he had obligation to the town and would not resign.

“I was voted in for my 11th year.  I have an obligation as the leader of our community to do what is right for our community.”

 “I’m going to be a better leader and we are going to heal.   We are going to make East Haven a great place to live.”

Maturo agreed to come on Face the State Thursday morning morning and arrived at our suburban Hartford studios here as an immigration group was delivering 500 tacos to his office.    He was followed to WFSB by WPIX reporter Mario Diaz, who was interviewing Maturo when the mayor made the infamous taco comment earlier this week.     Maturo told me it is time to move on, and when the media continues to air the video of the comment, it hurts the town.

Maturo also talked about the arrest of four police officers, about the culture of racism in East haven that has been alleged, and whether he has ever witnessed racism in town.

It is clear the stress Maturo has been under.  As soon as the interview was over, it seemed like a huge weight had been lifted from his shoulders. 

Here is the interview that aired on WFSB-TV  Sunday morning, January 29, 2012  http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=6684542

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23 Responses

  1. Hopefully the issue behind the tacos (the federal arrests) will be a much stronger and more lengthy discussion on Sunday. Maturo is not my mayor, and all officers that were arrested are innocent until proven guilty, but the climate developed in a police department under his management and the management of a personally selected chief. This raises many valid questions and concerns about his leadership choices and more about how he will move forward with those who protect and serve East Haven residents.

    • You are the only one up here with sense. Everyone seems to be forgetting the big picture. The taco comment was the last straw. Too many shady things have been going on and its time BOTH Gallo and Maturo be held accountable for the inappropriate conduct that has been allowed under both of their watch. Most importantly, they should both resign from their positions so real leaders can bring us out of this mess. If not, it is guaranteed the racial profiling and harassment will continue.

  2. So glad to hear he’s not going to let bullies (Hartford Courant etc.) try to make him step down. Good for you Mayor.

    • He Needs to resigns. He speaks of tolerance of the Hispanic population. I am not Hispanic and tolerance means to tolerate. If he believed in equality of the races there is no need for tolerance as everyone is the same. So I guess I should make the same statement. People should have tolerance with his ridiculous racist remarks. I THINK NOT!!

    • I think that you might be a bit confused. When police harass and beat people they’re sworn to protect, THAT’S bullying.

      • There are two separate issues here. Taco-gate and the police profiling. For some reason, some of you can’t separate the two. I have no more energy for this. Mr. Mayor, I’m glad you’re not going to resign.

  3. I feel the taco comment, although, perhaps not the most appropriate thing to say, was blown way out of proportion. I’m Italian, and people can drop calzones and meatballs off to me at my office whenever they want. I hope the Mayor donated the extra food to the homeless shelters.There are so many hungry people out there. It’s brilliant actually. Let’s give credit where credit is due. If 400 tacos are going to be delivered to his office until he resigns, then he just did Malloy’s job for him. They found a way to stimulate the economy! Don’t resign over a taco.
    That being said, the alleged racial profiling against the 4 officers is no joke. They ARE innocent until proven guilty, and if found guilty, I’m sure it will be handled swiftly and justly.
    People, PLEASE, let the taco thing go!

    • “I hope the Mayor donated the extra food to the homeless shelters.”
      Acccording to the NH Register all the food was distributed that evening.

      • And it wasn’t by the mayor, or his office, it was by the group that brought the tacos in the first place. They made their point and then did the right thing.

  4. Seriously? There are far bigger issues in this state to deal with. The mayor is not the first, nor the last, person to say something “dumb”. This was not said with any maliciousness in my opinion and people need to get over it! I’m sure next time he’ll try to phrase his support for the Latino community (or any other ethnic group) in a more politically correct way.

  5. As it was pointed out on Jim Vicvich’s show yesterday, Former AG Dick Blumenthal “misspoke” about his Time in Vietnam for YEARS.., apologized a time or two and is now known as Senator Dick Blumenthal.

    Seriously, these people are using this as lightning rod so they can exploit it for Amnesty. Mark my words, La Raza (The Race) will be funding this to stoke the fires.
    Never let a crisis go to waste…politics 101 Emanuel Style.

    • If it had only been the taco statement, but when I read in the same interview he said, “My heart goes out to those four officers”, your “lightning rod” statement is a washout.

  6. [...] we delivered the tacos to Mayor, he ran out the back door to avoid us. And, in an interview set to air on WFSB-TV this weekend, the Mayor’s comments continue to be tone deaf: “I was voted in for my 11th year. I have an [...]

  7. “Maturo told me it is time to move on, and when the media continues to air the video of the comment, it hurts the town.”

    Sir, YOU hurt the town when you said it.

  8. [...] this Sunday morning at 11 EST on Channel 3 in Hartford. House published details of the interview on his blog tonight. Here is an [...]

  9. i agree lets move on maturo now what are u going to do for the latino community heres is your mulligan. we know that you are backing the police department but who are the real victims in all of this. wake up and smell the racism in your police dept the fbi has proof that it exist but you continue to deny the facts. that is your problem maturo you must admit there is an issue and then we can build towards fixing the problems and make east haven a great town that i have lived in for 12yrs.

  10. It all.comes from the top.

  11. We know a professional couple that three days after Irene storm, they were lost in the neighborhood, no power in the area , they stop looking for use the GPS and two cops was very rude with them, yelling and the daughter 8 years old begin to cried.My friends are Americans, no Hispanic, nice people . So no excuses!
    The power makes some people very abusive!

  12. What gets me is that he says “I don’t think the town of East Haven, the people of East Haven, think that” as a response to Dennis asking if there was a cultural issue in the PD. Umm, have you been listening to a lot of the people from your town? Taco comment, not an issue here, not anymore, but if YOUR town didn’t think there was an issue, would you not be here right now?

  13. First off i agree with Mayor Maturo that the New Media is over blowing it a bit. But i disagree with him saying that the East Haven Community is not like that.

    Well i have been told by 3 people on 3 different occasions that prejudice exists in East Haven.

    I was told it stems back to when the Italians moved to East Haven in the 60′s and 70′s They didn’t want non Italians moving into their city. So it exists and always will

    I would like to say that the news media is like a guy seeing a hot woman for the first time , he chases until he dates here then once it isn’t a mystery boom good bye

    I bet the former Mayor April is smiling right about now.

  14. Why don’t we put in all the unmentioned ingredients to the mix:

    1. a police union membership that wanted the chief removed, primarily because he was not a townie, and whose changes that were put in place following the Malik Jones tragedy were not fully accepted by the rank and file (forgot about that one…did ya?)

    2. a democratic mayoral candidate who promised the police union the sun moon and stars, that had no other effect than to encourage a pre-existing culture that fed on the premise that the chain of command could be circumvented or ignored any time they felt an order or policy was wrong….they supported Capone, they made their bed with her and then didnt want to sleep in it.

    3. the same democratic mayoral candidate who has long been rumored to have had a quid pro quo agreement with a member of the Ecuadorian community to trade the chiefs jobs for 400 votes.

    4. a police commission that had tried to fire the chief on at least 2 other occasions prior to any of the incidents that led to the federal investigations

    5. the police commission has consistently targeted only firing the chief, and failed or ignored the actions of the individual officers, even though one of them obviously lied on a police report

    6. the former mayor who either lacked the maturity or will to resolve the issues that existed between two of her most ardent constituencies….hence coming to the solution that the chief would make an easy common target

    7. a police commission chairman, who had a stated personal axe to grind against the current mayor, who now turns out to be correct when he denied him a seat on the police commission when he first got elected over 14 years ago. Oh, yes, the same police commissioner had his chairman of the town council wife resign over the perceived snub.

    8. a roman catholic priest, who should spend more time re-reading his Aquinas than taking on the mantle of political activism, did absolutely nothing to mediate or ameliorate the issues, who chose instead to escalate them

    9. a current mayor, who despite showing his ignorance to some components of this situation, has been the only one in town to actually embrace the federal report

    10. the chief could not be fired….if he could the previous mayor would have done so (remember Ambrosio in Hamden ?….betcha forgot that one too

    11. the only alternative to getting rid of the chief, other than keeping him suspended and paying him forever, and carrying the overhead of an additional salary, was to bring him back and let him resign….if he is charged and convicted the town can move to take back the pension

  15. I moved to east haven in 2000 with my Mixed family my self and my brother when to school out here and we lived around the corner from Maturo and his family. I’m not one to talk bad about some one but when we moved in his comment was ” oh great property taxes are going to go down. like really and when the fight at the high school broke out over the comments that were made about people race he made it sound like they were fighting over a girl REALLY and out off all the students in the fight what students were arrested and kicked out of school come on now. People need to open there eyes more and see the big picture. comments are just going to keep coming “we need to fix the race issue before are town becomes a new fair haven” its not just the mayor or the cops its teachers shops and some people this is crazy I would say every one needs to stand up and protest but we seen what happend last time we protest

    http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=US#/watch?v=rD9Fc2dyXjA

  16. I moved to east haven in 2000 with my Mixed family my self and my brother when to school out here and we lived around the corner from Maturo and his family. I’m not one to talk bad about some one but when we moved in his comment was ” oh great property taxes are going to go down. like really and when the fight at the high school broke out over the comments that were made about people race he made it sound like they were fighting over a girl REALLY and out off all the students in the fight what students were arrested and kicked out of school come on now. People need to open there eyes more and see the big picture. comments are just going to keep coming “we need to fix the race issue before are town becomes a new fair haven” its not just the mayor or the cops its teachers shops and some people this is crazy I would say every one needs to stand up and protest but we seen what happend last time we protest http://m.youtube.com/index?desktop_uri=%2F&gl=US#/watch?v=rD9Fc2dyXjA

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