Mayor Harp’s campaign head abruptly quits amid FBI corruption probe

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH)–A political hit job!  That’s what New Haven Mayor Toni Harp’s re-election campaign is claiming in a blistering statement slamming FBI subpoenas recently served on city hall.

Mayor Toni Harp’s now former campaign Manager, Jason Bartlett, has stepped down amid a federal investigation.

Bartlett told News 8, “It’s political season and I know that in political season, people have their knives out and people try to foment a lot of rumors and innuendo.”

Bartlett is still working as the city’s youth services director at this time.

Shortly after the announcement, Democratic Mayoral Candidate Justin Elicker released this statement:

Mayor Harp has known for nearly three weeks that her Campaign Chair was at the center of an FBI investigation. Mayor Harp should have relieved him from this role much earlier. To only do so now, after it became public, is yet another betrayal of public trust.

Bartlett is Harp’s top political advisor, and he was given the political appointment of Director of Youth Services. If he is truly at the center of an FBI investigation into projects related to his official work, the ethical and appropriate thing to do would be for Mr. Bartlett to have stepped aside as soon as this information came to light.

[Bartlett] should be placed on administrative leave as Youth Director pending the outcome of the FBI’s ongoing investigation into corruption in City Hall.

The fact that Mayor Harp waited for the press to break this story infers that there is something to hide. What did she know? And when? Her Administration was clearly hoping to hide this FBI investigation from the public, further violating our trust about what goes on in City Hall. The public deserves to know the truth.

DEMOCRATIC MAYORAL CANDIDATE JUSTIN ELICKER

Harp’s newest campaign manager, Ed Corey, called the corruption probe a “…baseless FBI investigation.”  And, in a shocker, he blamed Harp’s Democratic mayoral rival, Justin Elicker’s wife, who happens to be a federal prosecutor.

Campaign Manager Ed Corey said in a statement,

It is nothing more than a political hit job by an otherwise desperate campaign.

It is easy to surmise that certain DTC leaders coordinated with the Elicker campaign to leverage Natalie Elicker’s influence to initiate a baseless FBI investigation. It is apparent that candidate Justin Elicker had inside knowledge of the investigation into City Hall. Attorney Elicker clearly had her hand in manipulating the FBI into moving forward, which is reminiscent of the FBI’s sloppy meddling in the 2016 election. It is no surprise to me that Attorney Elicker is willing to use the same tactics that got her boss elected, to get her husband elected.

Mayor Harp has previously reaffirmed that her administration will cooperate fully in any investigation. We are confident that this baseless investigation initiated by disgruntled political opponents of the Mayor will turn up nothing.

Justin Elicker likes to talk a lot. My question to Justin is, have you been completely honest about your record? That remains to be seen as far as I’m concerned. We’ll see what the voters think on Tuesday, September 10th.

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp Campaign Manager Ed Corey

Almost immediately Mr. Elicker fired back.  

“I think it’s inappropriate that there are these kinds of accusations about my wife,” Mr. Elicker said.  “My wife is in no way whatsoever involved in any investigation against the Harp administration.”  

Corey took the helm of Harp’s campaign Wednesday after Jason Bartlett abruptly resigned.  He denied any wrongdoing after being named a target of the FBI subpoenas.  

“You’re always concerned.  To even be in the news, you’re concerned,” Bartlett told News 8’s Mario Boone.

Bartlett said he hasn’t been called before a federal grand jury and doesn’t expect to be.  For now, Bartlett still has his job as the city’s youth services director.

A fundraiser for Mayor Harp that was scheduled for Wednesday evening in Stamford has been postponed.

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