Wilton seeks to dismiss first selectman candidate’s lawsuit

WILTON — The attorney for the town of Wilton and Board of Selectmen has filed a motion for summary judgment in the lawsuit brought by Michael Powers. The motion is dated Oct. 22 and was submitted by Ryan P. Driscoll of Berchem Moses, P.C. of Milford. Berchem Moses is the firm of Wilton Town Counsel Ira Bloom.

The motion claims that Powers lacks standing in the matter and his application fails to state any claim upon which relief can be granted. Further, the motion claims the defendants — First Selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice and Selectmen Josh Cole, Lori Bufano, Deborah McFadden and David Clune — are entitled to legislative immunity.

In his lawsuit that was filed Sept. 29, Powers, a petitioning candidate for first selectman, alleges the Board of Selectmen did not, on a number of occasions, follow Robert’s Rules of Order for making a motion and thus those motions are “null and void.”

Powers has applied for a temporary and permanent injunction, claiming 37 of the board’s motions during 2019 did not meet the standard for motions according to Robert’s Rules. As such, he says, those motions must be vacated and future motions must follow Robert’s Rules and other provisions of town policy.

Driscoll’s motion says Robert’s Rules of Order is not the “controlling authority” for procedure of town boards and commissions. In addition, the motion argues that Powers did not allege any effect on his taxes or that he suffered any injury as a result of the votes in question, and therefore, he lacks standing in the suit.

It goes on to use as two examples one vote that would save the town money and another in which the selectmen voted to not acquire a piece of state-owned property.

The motion also argues that Powers lacks standing because he does not have a personal and legal interest in the votes at issue.

Finally, the motion says that because the defendants were sued “simply by virtue of their status as municipal legislators” and because they were performing legitimate legislative duties, they are entitled to immunity.