NEW BRITAIN - Paul Manafort Drive will not be renamed for World Series MVP George Springer, according to city officials.
“The road is named after Paul Manafort Senior - a man who served his city, state and our country with admiration,” mayor Erin Stewart said of the road. “I can understand why people are upset, but this street honors the father.”
The idea came to light last week when Connecticut resident Dan Russell started a petition on change.org to rename Paul Manafort Drive to George Springer Drive. By Friday morning, the petition had exceeded its initial goal of 1,500 signatures and is now shooting for 2,500 before being sent to the mayor and several aldermen.
The street was named after Paul Manafort Sr., a former New Britain mayor, in the 1990s. Russell’s petition argues that the street bears the same name as his son, Paul Manafort Jr., who was recently indicted by the FBI.
The indictment of Manafort Jr. and his business partner, Rick Gates, was unsealed in October and contained 12 counts: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.
Russell also acknowledged all the things Springer does outside of baseball.
“George Springer also does charity work for children with speech development difficulties, having had a stutter his whole life,” part of Russell’s petition reads. “Springer participated in a baseball clinic in Newtown, CT for elementary school students in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.”
The full petition can be found at www.change.org/p/rename-paul-manafort-drive-to-george-springer-drive-in-new-britain-ct .
Skyler Frazer can be reached at 860-801-5087 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Skyler Frazer on Twitter @FrazerNBH