NEW BRITAIN - Former mayoral candidate Alfred Mayo, who was convicted of breach of peace Monday after trial on charges that he had assaulted Mayor Erin Stewart, told The Herald on Wednesday that he intends to sue the city.
A six-member jury deliberated for about a day before finding Mayo guilty of the charge. They did not find him guilty of committing third-degree assault. He scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday. He could face a maximum of six months in prison.
In a two-page letter faxed to Corporation Counsel Gennaro Bizzaro, Mayo alluded to the third-degree assault charge and maintained that his rights had been violated when he was told to leave Walnut Hill Park at the time of the incident.
Mayo told The Herald by phone that his rights as a candidate to campaign had also been violated.
Witnesses at the five-day trial, including Stewart, told the jury that Mayo had shown up at the mayor’s annual Pencil Hunt in July 2015 on a bicycle, carrying a campaign sign. He then began handing out campaign literature to schoolchildren at the event.
The Pencil Hunt is an annual celebration of the end of the camping season for the Parks and Recreation Department.
Stewart and her staff called police after Mayo grabbed the mayor’s arm while she was telling him to leave. He was charged with third-degree assault and breach of peace the day after the event.
Mayo refused to plead guilty to any of the charges in exchange for a suspended jail sentence, opting to take the case to trial. Mayo represented himself, filing dozens of motions and subpoenas seeking testimony and evidence from witnesses who often agreed with the prosecution’s version of events.
The 60-year-old Mayo, who formally filed Friday to run for state representative in the 25th District, contended throughout the trial that he hadn’t put his hands on the mayor.
He is now saying that the assault didn’t exist because the jury found him not guilty on the charge.
In order for the jury to have found Mayo guilty of third-degree assault, New Britain State’s Attorney Brian Preleski had to prove, among other things, that Mayo had intended to injure Stewart when he grabbed her arm.
Mayo said he intends to file a lawsuit against the city, the mayor, the police department, the Parks and Recreation Department and the Public Health Department, claiming he, his fiancee and his son are due “remedies.”
“I can confirm that this morning we received a fax from Mr. Mayo titled ‘Letter of Intent,’ which appears to be a notice of intent to sue,” City Corporation Counsel Gennaro Bizzarro said. “After reading the letter, I am unable to decipher any specific cause of action, nor do I believe any such grounds exist for Mr. Mayo to sue the city. If and when Mr. Mayo does attempt to sue the city, we will respond accordingly.”
Lisa Backus can be reached at 860-801-5066 or Lbackus@centralctcommunications.com.