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Hartford development chief leaves amid questions about city residency

BY Patricia Daddona

1/10/2018
PHOTO | Steve Laschever
PHOTO | Steve Laschever
Sean Fitzpatrick, Hartford's director of development services, has resigned.
Sean Fitzpatrick, Hartford's director of development services, resigned Tuesday, effective Jan. 31, amid concerns about whether he is in compliance with the city's residency rules.

Fitzpatrick, who could not be reached directly for comment Wednesday, said Tuesday in an email to his department obtained by Hartford Business Journal and other media outlets that he is leaving despite the city counsel's legal opinion confirming he is in compliance with city residency requirements.

In December, the city's Internal Audit Commission received an anonymous tip as well as information in a "We the People" blog post by Kevin Brookman that Fitzpatrick lists his city residency at 22 Woodland St., the location of the social, members-only Town and County Club.

He also has a home in Simsbury but told HBJ in late December that he had the documentation to support his residency at the social club.

"Last Friday, I shared with you the Corporation Counsel's opinion confirming that I have fully complied with the City's residency requirement, notwithstanding recent insinuations to the contrary in the Courant and elsewhere," he wrote in the department email. "Yesterday [Jan. 8], I submitted my resignation to Mayor Bronin. I told you at our first team meeting two years ago that we public servants shouldn't expect to be thanked very often; baseless scandal‐mongering needn't be part of the deal, however."

The legal opinion was not immediately available.

In an official public statement, Fitzpatrick praised the city leaders and employees he's worked with to help revitalize the Capital City.

"I'm proud of the team we've assembled in Development Services and of the work we've done together – getting Dunkin' Donuts Park up and running, building partnerships to transform long-blighted buildings into new residences, bringing life back to Constitution Plaza, and so much more," he said.

He said he will stay on through the end of January to ensure a smooth transition.

In a statement, Bronin said: "Sean Fitzpatrick has done a terrific job assembling and leading a development team that's playing a key role in revitalizing Hartford. In particular, he deserves enormous credit for turning the stadium project around, delivering an award-winning ballpark while protecting taxpayers from bearing the burden of the previous developer's mistakes. We were fortunate to recruit someone of Sean's caliber, and I am grateful for his dedication and service to our city, and for the new direction he's set for his department."