East Windsor First Selectman Violated State Election Laws: SEEC

January 11, 2024 0 By JohnValbyNation

EAST WINDSOR, CT — A complaint to the Connecticut State Elections and Enforcement Commission (SEEC) led to an investigation which concluded First Selectman Jason Bowsza violated state election laws just prior to a referendum vote in 2022.

New Board of Selectmen member Keith Yagaloff, who won a seat as a petitioning candidate in the November municipal election, filed the complaint with the SEEC against Bowsza, who has served as first selectman since 2019.

At issue is Bowsza’s use of East Windsor’s automatic phone messaging system to encourage residents to approve a referendum to convert the Scout Hall on Abbe Road into a community facility and senior center.

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One message contained the wording, “The new arrangement to use Scout Hall for multi-generational programming and service delivery makes sense from a financial position and organizational one.” Another said, “…approval of the proposed project will allow better customer service to people who are in need of social service intervention and will allow for more expansive utilization of the Scout Hall location.”

The $5 million project was narrowly defeated in 2022, but came back to referendum in April 2023, at a slightly lower cost, and easily passed with approval from about 70 percent of the voters.

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Four other allegations of wrongdoing filed by Yagaloff were summarily discharged by the commission.

Bowsza was not fined by the commission, but was ordered to adhere to all election laws in the future.

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“After four years and several hundred community-wide phone calls, there were two sentences that were borderline inappropriate,” Bowsza told Patch Tuesday. “I’ll be more careful in the future.”

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